Interview with Lorna Seilstad

» Posted on Sep 23, 2010 in Blog | Comments Off on Interview with Lorna Seilstad

This week I’m hosting Richard Mabry with Medical Error, Lorna Seilstad with Making Waves and Darlene Franklin with A Woodland Christmas. If you want to enter the drawings, please leave a comment on one of the post during the week with your email address. I will not enter you without an email address (my way to contact you if you win). If you don’t want to leave an email address, another way you can enter is to email me at The drawings end Sunday (September 26th) evening.

Interview with Lorna Seilstad:

1.What made you start writing?
As an adult, I started writing because I remembered loving to write stories as a kid on through college. I missed it. My fourth grade teacher turned me on to writing with weekly creative writing assignments. We’d show up for school and she’d have some kind of story starter, like footprints taped to the ceiling, and we had to write how they got there. As an adult, I found fan fiction and writing those stories got me started. I’ve written fan fiction at Romance Fanfiction as Oreolover for several years.

2.How long have you been writing? When did you sell your first book?
In 2008, I felt like God was trying to get my attention about writing for publication. The whole idea was terrifying. I was afraid of failing. After He eliminated all my excuses, I finally bent my knee to His will and said, “Okay, I’ll write even if no one ever reads it.”

I sold Making Waves after my first ACFW conference. While there, I’d met with Andrea Doering, senior acquisitions editor for Revell. When I pitched to her, I forgot everything I was going to say, so I introduced myself and just handed her my one sheet.

3.How do you handle rejections?
I had a wonderful and tough journalism teacher in high school. I wrote my first feature story 11 times. She taught me that writing isn’t about my feelings, it’s about the story. Later, she told me it wasn’t important that I had to do it 11 times, it’s that I would.

That has stuck with me and I try to have that attitude when I face rewrites or rejections. Writing is also very subjective. No one likes everything.

4.Why do you write?
I write because all these stories are inside my head and they won’t get out until I write them down. I even dream in plots sometimes. I’ve tried not writing, and I still write in my head. I feel it’s a gift God has blessed with, and I want to honor Him by using it well.

5.What would you be doing with your free time if you weren’t writing?
Reading. Honestly, I love reading. I also enjoy working with the youth of our congregation and teaching Bible class. Right now, I teach two Bible classes (one Sunday, one Wednesday) and one Bible study during the week. Teaching is my second love.

6.What are you working on right now?
I’m working on Book 3 in the Lake Manawa Summers Series. It features Lilly from Making Waves and her potential new love, roller coaster designer Nick Perrin. Book 2, A Great Catch, will be out in June.

7.Do you put yourself into your books/characters?
I suppose they all have a part of me in them, but I don’t see it. I came up with Marguerite in Making Waves because of my sister-in-laws wit. One day I thought, what if Caronna (SIL) would have been born back in a time she couldn’t say all those funny things that pop in her head? Caronna says I need to add that that is where the similarities end between her and Marguerite.

I’m working on book 2 of the Lake Manawa Summers Series now, and Emily is probably more like me than any character I’ve written. She struggles in the elegance department, and I feel her pain.

8.Tell us about the book you have out right now.
Here’s the copy from the back cover.
Sun, summer, and a scrumptious sailing instructor. What more could a girl want?
When spunky Marguerite Westing discovers that her family will spend the summer of 1895 at Lake Manawa, Iowa, she couldn’t be more thrilled. It’s the perfect way to escape her agonizingly boring suitor, Roger Gordon. It’s also where she stumbles upon two new loves: sailing, and sailing instructor Trip Andrews.

But this summer of fun turns to turmoil as her father’s secrets threaten to ruin the family forever. Will free-spirited Marguerite marry Roger to save her father’s name and fortune? Or will she follow her heart–even if it means hurting the family she loves?

Full of sharp wit and blossoming romance, Making Waves will whisk you away to a breezy lakeside summer holiday.

9.Do you have any advice for other writers?
First, I have a motto that I hang onto. “His way. His words. His timing.” I know it’s hard to wait, but God is in control of it all. Pray a lot for His guidance.

Second, keep learning. Good writers are not divas. They are lifelong learners.

And last, enjoy the journey. Every step is part of that – making lifelong writer friends, discovering a crit group that gels, or finding a mentor who believes in you and challenges you to be better.

10.How important is faith in your books?
Faith is a big part of my books. I feel like my audience is mostly made of believers, and my goal is to minister to them. Even though my books are historical, that doesn’t mean the basic nature of people has changed over the years. Women back then struggled with lying for their own gain, with lives that are too busy, and with trusting God in all things. I hope my books show characters growing through these spiritual struggles in a real way.

11.What themes do you like to write about?
I like to write about timeless things: family, love, differences, and struggles of faith. It seems that my books also have a lot of women trying to break out of the molds society put them in at that time, because I like characters who grow.

12.What is your favorite book you’ve written and why?
Oh that’s a hard one! I don’t think I could pick. I think that would be like having to chose which of my three kids I like best. I love to tease them when they say, “Why does she get to do it and I don’t?”

I look at them and smile, “Because I like her best.”

So, I’ll just say, “I like Making Waves best” and hope A Great Catch isn’t listening.

13. What is your writing schedule like?
During the school year, I get the kids off to school, throw some laundry in, and answer e-mail. After that, I try to write 1200 to 1500 words. That’s my goal. I sometimes go back to work some more after supper if the kids are all busy with homework and don’t require my help. My daughter is in calculus. I couldn’t help her if I wanted to.