Interview With Sherrie Hansen, Author of SHY VIOLET

Shy VioletThis is my fourth interview with Pat Bertram, on the occasion of the release of my new Wildflowers of Scotland novel, Shy Violet, coming May 1st from Second Wind Publishing. Thanks so much for all you do to promote our work, Pat!

You’re welcome, Sherrie. I’m always glad to do what I can to help. But we’re here to talk about you and your new book. What is Shy Violet about?

When a poor choice and some wild fluctuations in the space time continuum leave school teacher Violet Johansen stranded in the car park of Eilean Donan Castle in Scotland, Violet wonders if she’ll ever find her way back to her comfort zone. She has two choices – to trust a piper who looks exactly like someone she dated a decade ago, or a band of nefarious pirates. Pirates. Pipers. People and mistakes from the past that threaten to haunt you forever… A castle that’s been ravaged and rebuilt… Only time will tell if Violet and Nathan’s fragile new friendship survive the storm and see love reborn.

Why will readers relate to your characters?

We’ve all had ups and downs in our lives – a relationship you were utterly convinced was a dream come true, only to realize at some point that it was exactly wrong, even toxic. We’ve all lived through the disappointment, the heartache, and hopefully found, at some point in our journey, that good things come from bad, that all things work together for good, and that rainbows often follow the most terrible storms.

What about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Shy Violet is set in one of the most beloved, picturesque castles in the world, Eilean Donan, near the Isle of Skye, Scotland. The main characters are quite ordinary, American school teachers who find themselves caught up in a drama that revolves around the nefarious activities of some modern-day pirates / whiskey smugglers.

What is your goal for the book, ie: what do you want people to take with them after they finish reading the story?

I always hope that my readers will get lost in my stories, that they will be magically transported to another time and place where they can forget their own troubles and stresses for a time and live vicariously through my characters. For me, reading a good book, just like going on a nice, long vacation, broadens my perspectives and reminds me that there’s a whole big world out there that doesn’t revolve around me or my issues. There’s also a bit of humor in many of my books, and often, a quirky character or two who may bring a smile to your face. I love it when people say they find my books to be entertaining or funny.

Is there a message in your writing you want readers to grasp?

I want my readers to believe that life is filled with second – and third and fourth – chances, that a wee bit of good can come from even the worst situations, and that there is hope – always.

Have you written any other books?

Shy Violet is my third Wildflowers of Scotland novel, and follows Wild Rose and Blue Belle. There is also a prequel novella called Thistle Down. I’ve also written Night and Day, the Maple Valley series – Stormy Weather, Water Lily and Merry Go Round, and Love Notes.

What has changed for you personally since you wrote your first book?

I wrote my first several books from the perspective of a single woman who could only dream about experiencing love firsthand. Fast forward a dozen years, enter one real-life husband, and I know how wild the rollercoaster really is. I feel that I can write relationships, dialogs and certain characters much more realistically – and even a bit humorously – now that I have insider knowledge.

Where can people learn more about your books?

You can find out more about me and my books at:

http://www.secondwindpublishing.com/#!sherrie-hansen/c1scv
http://www.facebook.com/SherrieHansenAuthor
http://sherriehansen.wordpress.com/
http://www.BlueBelleInn.com or http://www.BlueBelleBooks.com
https://twitter.com/SherrieHansen
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2870454.Sherrie_Hansen
https://www.pinterest.com/sherriebluebell/

Sherrie Hansen’s previous interviews on Pat Bertram Introduces  . . .

Sherrie Hansen, Author of “Thistle Down” and “Wild Rose”
Sherrie Hansen, Author of “Love Notes”
Sherrie Hansen, Author of Merry Go Round

Sherrie Hansen, Author of “Thistle Down” and “Wild Rose”

wildrose

Hi, Sherrie. Tell us a little about your new release, Wild Rose:  

When Ian MacCraig tries to capture the thief who is stealing artifacts from his kirk in Loch Awe, Scotland, the last thing he expects to find on his video is a woman engaging in a passionate romp under the flying buttresses.

Rose Wilson is mortified to learn that Digby, the online friend she met for what she thought was a harmless rendezvous, is a common criminal.

Now that Ian, the board of Wilson Enterprises, the constable, and half the town have had a glimpse of Rose in all her naked glory, it seems even her family looks at her differently. What remains to be seen is how far Ian will go to defend Rose’s honor and if the church ladies will forgive Rose now that they know who she really is… and if Rose can believe she’s worthy of someone as good and kind as Ian MacCraig.

Wild Rose and Pastor Ian MacCraig… a match made in heaven or one hell of a predicament?

Wild Rose is the first of my Wildflowers of Scotland novels, to be followed by Blue Belle later this year and Shy Violet sometime next year. “Thistle Down,” an eShort prequel, is currently free or 99 cents online.

What inspired this story?

Several personal events merged and made into make-believe situations provided the inspiration for Wild Rose. Wild Rose is about being humbled, experiencing forgiveness and redemption even when you feel totally unworthy, and about forgiving yourself, which is sometimes the most difficult thing of all.

What are your writing goals for this year?

I hope to finish editing my second Wildflowers of Scotland novel, “Blue Belle”, sometime before November so I can start working on the third, “Shy Violet”, for NaNoWriMo.

What do you enjoy most about writing?

I enjoy letting my imagination run wild, and living vicariously through my characters. I enjoy working through issues in my own life through the characters in my books. I enjoy orchestrating happy endings and finding resolutions to crisis, and having control over what happens in my imaginary worlds.

Do you have a favorite hero and/or heroine in your books and why?

I love Jensen and Anders in my first book, “Night and Day” – they’re the perfect couple even though it’s midnight in Minnesota and daybreak in Denmark. Miles apart, and an ocean between them, but so close in every way that matters…

What is your favorite scene from this story and why?

I love the scene where Rose is trying to find favor with the church ladies. Rose wants to spearhead a fundraiser to auction off beautiful, tastefully made quilts in fashionable colors, only to find that the church ladies have their own plan – their signature All-Inclusive Holiday Quilts, which include gaudy, mismatched remnants from every holiday from Christmas to Easter.  There is also a touching scene where Rose and Ian are dancing and Rose is wishing he was a little more wild and uninhibited instead of a conservative pastor that is one of my favorites.

How do you balance writing and everyday life?

This is my biggest challenge as a writer. I own a B&B and Tea House called the Blue Belle Inn in a small town in northern Iowa, and I’m a pastor’s wife and actively involved in his church, which is 1 ½ hours southeast of the Blue Belle. We maintain homes in both towns. It makes for a very busy lifestyle. I also love music and quilting and spending time with my nieces and family. It is a constant challenge to squeeze everything in in appropriate amounts.

Where is your favorite place in the world?

My husband and I both felt a deep connection to Scotland when we visited there in 2007. We have both said many times that we could be very happy living near Tobermory, on the Isle of Mull, one day. The colors, the food, the combination of sea, mountains, castles, beaches, cottages and gardens (and golf!), just called out to us. We felt instantly at home.

What is your favorite food to cook or eat while writing?

Well… I am supposed to be on a diet. Truthfully, if I opened this question up to include all foods I like to munch on, I would have to write a book… My favorite Scottish foods are Smoked Haddock Pie with a mashed potato roof, Cumberland Sausages with Mash, Caramel Shortbread, and (drum roll) Mr. Kipling’s Exceedingly Good Mini-Battenberg Cakes, all of which are mentioned in Wild Rose.

What don’t most people know about you but you would like to share?

I play the piano with a worship team that plays at different churches and love rocking out with the drummer and keyboard player.

What are a few of your favorite things?

1.  Days when I  can write, read, or sew all day long in my nightgown.

2.  Wednesday afternoon adventures with my nieces.

3.  Taking photographs and finding beauty in my own back yard through the lens of my camera.

Tell us about yourself:

Sherrie HansenTwenty-one years ago, I bought a dilapidated Victorian house in northern Iowa so I could move home and be nearer my family. I rescued an amazing but very run-down old house from the bulldozer’s grips and turned it into a bed and breakfast and tea house, the Blue Belle Inn. Since then, welcoming guests, running the business and cooking wonderful food has consumed the largest chunk of my life.

Before that, I lived in Colorado Springs, CO, and before that, Augsburg, Germany. I attended Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL and spent one life-changing summer in Bar Harbor, Maine. I grew up on a farm in southern Minnesota.

After 12 years of writing romance novels late at night when I couldn’t sleep (mostly because I was so keyed up from working 12 hour days at my B&B), I met and married my real-life, romantic hero, Mark Decker, a pastor. I enjoy playing the piano with the worship team at church, needlepointing, photography, renovating and decorating historic houses, traveling, and going on weekly adventures with my nieces and nephews.

I live in 2 different houses, 85 miles apart, and write on the run, whenever I have a spare minute. “Wild Rose” is my sixth book to be published by Second Wind Publishing.

Links (website, blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, book buy links, etc.):

http://www.facebook.com/SherrieHansenDecker,

http://sherriehansen.wordpress.com/,

https://twitter.com/#!/SherrieHansen,

http://www.secondwindpublishing.com/index.php?manufacturers_id=24