Award-winning author Regina Andrews, a resident of Providence, Rhode Island, grew up in the nearby seaside village of Barrington. After graduating from Providence College she attended the University of Delaware, eventually earning her Master's Degree in American Civilization from Brown University. Her hobbies include travel, museums, theater, music, singing and gardening as well as reading.
Hello, Regina. Light of the Heart is the first book in The Sterling Lake Series. Please tell us about this Christian/Romance.
Sterling Lakes is a fictitious town in New England filled with natural beauty but also a cloudy past. In Book One, Light of the Heart, Cascade Preston, a successful stained-glass artist, returns to her hometown to work on the renovations at St. Luke's Church. However, she does so with a resentful heart, since this town pretended not to know that her mother was being abused by Cascade's father. She wonders how people can call themselves Christians and not reach out to help their brothers and sisters.
What a wonderful message! Where did you get your inspiration for this book?
I grew up in a beautiful small town that had its share of personalities! There was opportunity for character study around every corner. None of the characters in “Light” are based on folks from my childhood, though. The inspiration for the series grew from my growing understanding of human nature and my awe at God's love for us despite our imperfections as I matured.
Cascade is a stained-glass artist. Did you have to do much research about this subject for your novel?
Yes, I did, Linda. I fell in love with stained glass on my first trip to Paris, France, where I visited Sainte Chappelle in the center of the city and Chartres Cathedral outside of Paris. For this book, I read a lot and took a stained glass class. Let's just say I am a klutz! Fortunately, I live right near the Rhode Island School of Design, a great art University, and was able to do reference there.
What does your family think about your writing?
Another great question! My parents were really proud and happy and supportive, even though I was published after I lost them. Actually in the same year I was published, 2009, it was three different publishers who accepted four different manuscripts of mine and I felt like things were opening up. The first acceptance occurred on my parents wedding anniversary, I'll never forget it. It was like my parents were there with me. Now my husband, sister, in-laws and friends are really happy and proud. But they still can't understand why I have to work at my day job all week and then write on the weekends sometimes, instead of hanging out with them. lol!
Yes, authors tend to do that, huh. Now it’s time to tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.
Not to get heavy, because this has such a happy ending - but when I just started law school, my father suddenly became critically ill one day and he passed away the next day on the operating table. My mother at the time was gaining ground from a medical challenge 1 1/2 yrs earlier, and was not well. Now Dad was gone and she was alone. So of course I stayed home with my mother - for six years. I hope people remember this story as a parable for listening to what God wants for us in our lives, even if it might be really different from what we had planned. That trust is what I hope my books convey and reinforce.
What a wonderful lesson! Thank you so much for this lovely interview. I hope my followers will check out your book.