Are you a fan of novella collections? They can be a fun way to discover new authors, and the shorter stories lend themselves to busy seasons in our lives. I am happy to have Donna Schlachter back visiting with us today. You may have met Donna previously when she shared about her book, Second Chances and Second Cups. Her novella, Echoes of the Heart, is included in The Pony Express Romance Collection, which released recently. Before we begin, though, let’s take a look at the story.
Join the race from Missouri, across the plains and mountains to California and back again as brave Pony Express riders and their supporters along the route work to get mail across country in just ten days. It is an outstanding task in the years 1860 to 1861, and only a few are up to the job. Faced with challenges of terrain, weather, hostile natives, sickness, and more, can these adventurous pioneers hold fast, and can they also find lasting love in the midst of daily trials?
Echoes of the Heart by Donna Schlachter
A mail order bride. A crippled stationmaster. No way out for either of them—except with each other. Can they surrender their hearts and find true love?
Welcome back, Donna! What inspired you to write this series, or this novel in particular?
I discovered since I started writing seriously that I love history. I hated it as a subject in school in Canada, where I’m from, where it seemed history meant memorizing dates of reigns of Monarchs. I met up with Mary Davis at an ACFW conference (here’s a great reason to go to conferences) and asked her what she was working on. She said she and three other authors were putting together a proposal on the Pony Express. I said if there was an opening, I’d love to join. A month later, she emailed and said one of the ladies had to drop out and now there was an opening. In the meantime, I read everything I could about the Pony Express, visited a couple of stations within a day’s drive of where I live, so I was ready. I wrote about a subject I knew nothing about at the beginning, but I know a lot now!
It does put a different perspective on learning history. Who is your favorite secondary character in this story, and do you think you’ll include that character in a future story?
I love the Pinkerton agent. I see him as a young Robert Duvall. I think he’s going to have his own story.
Those Pinkerton agents do seem to have a lot of potential! What do you hope your readers take away from this novella?
My goal with this novel—as with all my stories—is that readers see that our God is bigger than all our mistakes. He is truly a God of second –and third, and fourth. . . –chances.
And aren’t we all thankful for that? If you could travel back in time to the general time period of your novel, which one person would you most like to meet?
I’d love to meet Agatha Christie. She is the grand master of mysteries. I want to know where she got all those great characters.
She definitely had an impressive imagination. Paper or e-reader? There are certainly pros and cons to each. Which is your favorite?
Paper. I read enough on the computer during the day.
I can understand that one. Technology has its place, but “real” books still win at my house, too. Would you say it’s gotten easier or more difficult to write and publish over the years?
Both.It’s easier because the discipline is there to write. But it’s more difficult because I don’t want it to feel like a job. Ever.
“A job” somehow sucks the creativity out of it. What do you feel is the most challenging part of the writing/editing/publishing process?
Looking at that first blank page and wondering what I thought I was doing when I said I’d write this book 🙂
Hehe. I imagine most authors have moments within the process where they wonder the same thing. Can you give any hints about what you’re working on now?
I’m working on two more novellas I’m under contract with Barbour Books, and then a cozy mystery under my pen name that comes out in June.
It sounds like you’re keeping busy. Thanks so much for taking the time to visit with us today, Donna!
Your turn! If you could travel back to the Pony Express era, which one person would you most like to meet?
More about Donna:
Donna lives in Denver with husband Patrick, her first-line editor and biggest fan. She writes historical suspense under her own name, and contemporary suspense under her alter ego of Leeann Betts. She is a hybrid publisher who has published a number of books under her pen name and under her own name. Her current release, Echoes of the Heart, a 9-in-1 novella collection titled “Pony Express Romance Collection” released April 1. Donna is also a ghostwriter and editor of fiction and non-fiction, and judges in a number of writing contests. She will be teaching an online course for American Christian Fiction Writers in June 2017, “Don’t let your subplots sink your story”. Donna loves history and research, and travels extensively for both.
You can connect with Donna online:
Echoes of the Heart: http://amzn.to/2lBaqcW
‘The Pony Express Romance Collection’ Giveaway:
Donna has generously offered to give away a paperback copy of The Pony Express Romance Collection. Giveaways are subject to the Giveaway Policy.