Monday, April 11, 2011
Interview with Romance Author LK Hunsaker
Hello Loraine. This novel is a “sweet” romance. Please tell us about your new book and what time period it’s set in.
The time period is actually undetermined. I wanted an historical feel, with old-fashioned sensibilities and deportment and sometimes stifling restrictions, but I also wanted to pull in some more modern day issues. So it’s a bit of both, and it’s meant to show a timelessness and a rotation of events throughout history. Times may change, but inside, people are the same in each generation.
I like that idea. I’m from Idaho, so the picture on the book and in your video bring back beautiful memories of my home state. Since my ancestors settled there, my first 5 historical romance novels are set in Idaho. Since you were raised in the Midwest and lived in several eastern states with your husband, why did you choose Idaho for your setting?
Idaho is stunning, with its mountains and rivers and canyons, especially to someone who grew up in the middle of flat land and cornfields! I first went to visit back in 1987 with my new husband, who was born and raised in southern Idaho’s Snake River valley. I’m a bit of a photo bug so every time we visited, I had my camera along. The cover photos are ones I took on some of those earliest visits. It never ceased to amaze me that I could look out the back window of his parents’ house and see mountains in the distance.
His family moved, so we no longer take those canyon and mountain visits. I look forward to checking out your books and revisiting the state through your stories.
Thanks, Loraine. Idaho is very dear to me. Where did you get your inspiration for this novel?
Protect The Heart is very much a family-inspired book. My husband is a farm boy turned veteran. Also, I grew up hearing about my great uncles who fought in WW2, and those who joined after the war as soon as they were old enough. One of them is very highly decorated. The other was shot down and didn’t come home. I often thought about his mother who struggled through the loss of her child and the brother who came home when the other didn’t, so there is some of that in the story. I’ve also heard how overzealous my uncles could be. By the time I knew them, they were gray-haired or nearly so the stories brought them back as younger men. Part of that seeped into Cameron as I wrote.
Maura is very much drawn from real experience. She’s not a military spouse in the story, but she is the main support for the two soldiers away from home, as well as for several people who need her at home. Being alone in a new town is reminiscent of how, as an Army wife, I was often the new person in town without family or friends to support me during the rough times. It shows a strength she learns to have that can’t be learned any other way. There’s also an incident that is a take-off of an actual personal event where Maura feels hugely betrayed.
Your book sounds wonderful: full of emotion, love, and sorrow. It sort of reminds me of what our soldiers and families are going through today. What does your family think about your writing?
I have to say at first it was rough going. Writing takes an incredible amount of time, and back when I became serious about putting a story on paper that had been in planning stages since my teen years, my kids were still young and my husband still active Army. So to suddenly pick up pencil and paper and spend every free minute I could grab with this story they didn’t even know was swirling in my head was confusing to them, at best.
Now though, I’m very lucky they’re fully supportive. My daughter often grabs each new chapter I print while it’s still warm and badgers me for the next if I’m not fast enough. My son tells his tons of friends about my books and hands out bookmarks and pencils. And my husband, bless his heart, tells me this is what I should be doing now that I can.
After years of taking care of everyone else and working part time jobs, I’m in a place now to give my stories more attention and the life they’ve been searching for throughout the years. That is a wonderful gift for a writer. I would have a hard time doing this without their support, which also means having quick and easy meals so I can get back to the current book, and overlooking the fact that I have several plots and a bunch of characters in my head and forget to pick up the milk when I force myself to go to the store because a story line or bit of dialogue took over my thoughts. I do feel sorry for a writer’s family, because everywhere you go, your story is right there with you.
I understand completely. Now it’s time to tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.
This is hard! What do I want to tell that’s memorable but also open to the public? Hm.... Well, when I was in grade school, I was often one of the top finishers in the spelling bee. One year I went on to county level after winning the school bee. The year after that, when everyone was expecting I’d win again or at least be one of the top three, I knocked myself out early. It was quite a humbling experience, since it was a very easy word and I’m such a horrible chocolate addict, so much so that Mom often called me that when I was little, but I missed the word “chocolate”! I’ve never lived that one down, and I’ve never misspelled it since.
That is hilarious. What a great story! So now we know the real you, the chocolate eating author who will never again misspell “chocolate.”