Interview with Lorna Seilstad

» Posted on May 24, 2011 in Blog | Comments Off on Interview with Lorna Seilstad

This week I’m hosting Lorna Seilstad with A Great Catch and Julie Carobini with Fade to Blue. 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 (May 29th) evening.

Interview with Lorna Seilstad:

What made you start writing?

In 4th, 5th, and 6th grade, I had the same teacher for English. Every Friday, we had a creative writing assignment. For example, we might come to school and find footprints taped to the walls and ceiling and we were supposed to write about how they got there. I loved it.

After my first child was born, I decided I wanted to stop teaching and stay home. I did daycare for teachers, but I needed something. I went back to my first writing love of fiction.

How long have you been writing? When did you sell your first book?

In 2000, I started writing fan fiction online. I wrote at a site called There were a lot of wonderful writers there, and it was a wonderful place to learn and find my voice. I started working toward publication in 2007.

I went to my first ACFW conference in 2008. There, I met Andrea Doering from Revell in one of editor interviews. My first contract, for the three books in the Lake Manawa Summers Series, came from that interview.

How do you handle rejections?

I think rejections are always hard. Whether it’s a rejection from a publisher or a one star review, it stings. I may be hurt for the day, but I’m not crushed. My work is not me. It’s what I do. I trust God to open the doors. My mantra on my publishing journey has been “His words. His will. His timing.”

Why do you write?

I think I have to write. If I wasn’t writing stories down, I’d still be making them up in my head. I write for publication because I felt like God wanted me to go in that direction. I had to come to a place that I knew I had to write even if the words were never published, because it was what He wanted me to do. I want my words to bring glory and honor to Him and help readers grow closer to worshipping Him in spirit and in truth.

What would you be doing with your free time if you weren’t writing?

I enjoy reading, working with my 4-H club, and teaching Bible classes. I have two right now. I teach the book of Acts for 5th and 6th graders on Sundays and have a girl’s club class on Wednesday nights.

What are you working on right now?

Right now, I’m finishing up the third book in the series. It’s about Lilly and a roller coaster designer.

Do you put yourself into your books/characters?

Not usually, but Emily in A GREAT CATCH is very near and dear to my heart. She has some trouble with being graceful, and I completely relate. In fact, one line in the book came from something my older brother once said to me. He said, “If I drew a chalk line on the sidewalk, you’d trip over it.” I also understand Emily’s struggle to balance everything and her tendency to over commit.

Tell us about the book you have out right now.

A GREAT CATCH was so much fun to write! I had to learn a lot about baseball and the suffrage movement. It’s hard for us to imagine a time when men thought a woman incapable of making a sound decision like who to vote for. The turn of the Century was such a wonderful time for women, though. So much was changing. I tried to capture all of that excitement in A GREAT CATCH.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

I had to write my first feature for our high school paper eleven times. (And that was before we worked on a computer.) Later, my teacher said, “It’s not that you had to, it’s that you would. I knew you’d make it because you were willing to put the story first.” I never forgot that. Writing isn’t about me. It’s about getting the message across to the reader.

How important is faith in your books?

Walter Wellesley “Red” Smith once said there was nothing to writing. “All you had to do was sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.”

Because Christ is my life, when I open a vein, I pray the love of God pours out on the page. I want my books to help Christians grow in a practical way to see the truth about themselves and God.

What themes do you like to write about?

It seems that a lot of my stories come down to trusting God’s plans for our lives. So many times, we try to tell God our plans and then ask Him to work them out.

What is your favorite book you’ve written and why?

I don’t think I could pick a favorite. They are like my children and I couldn’t pick one over the other. One thing I do love about A Great Catch is the two aunts in the book. They were such a  hoot to write. I had to be careful they didn’t take over the book.

What is your writing schedule like?

I try to do business things first thing in the morning, after I get the kids off to school. Mondays are my errand days. By eleven, I want to be writing and then I write until they get home. If I haven’t met my 1200 words for the day, I usually write some more that evening or night. Sometimes I write better at night. I try not to write on the weekends unless I have a fast approaching deadline.