Kerry says: I love them all, but I would like to know where do you find inspiration.
Ruth says: Thank you, Kerry. I play the “what if” game. That’s what originally inspired me to write An Inconvenient Marriage. I was writing Falling In Love With Her Husband (the first romance I ever wrote), and I thought, “What if my hero and heroine were forced into a marriage and had no desire to ever be intimate?” You see, in Falling In Love With Her Husband, the hero had loved the heroine and had always wanted to be intimate with her. But in An Inconvenient Marriage, I got to write the book where neither hero nor heroine wanted to be together.
Eye of the Beholder was inspired by the idea of a homely looking woman, who was faced with a lot of rejection, going out west to marry a man she never met in hopes of having children. Going in, I knew the hero’s brothers would make fun of her in some way, but I wasn’t sure how. Also, at the time, Neil Craftsman was supposed to be the hero. (If he’d been the hero, the Larson family would have been the Craftsman family.) But while I was writing the original version of the train station scene, I thought, “Would the book be better if Neil rejected her?” After thinking about it for a day or two, I went back to the story and rewrote the whole scene. That’s how Dave Larson took Neil’s place. Then I went back and wrote in the scene where Dave goes to the mercantile and decides to check out the bride Neil was expecting at the station. The rest just fell into place.
So the inspiration works like that.
Leona says: I like the Larsons but more interest lies with their sister (Sally) and how she felt about her brothers.
Sally Larson: I’m so glad you asked because I was the oldest girl. Yes, Richard was older than me, but he was no help at all. To him, cleaning a plate meant rinsing it off (without soap) and throwing it back on the shelf (without drying it first). That left the bulk of the cleaning up to me. All I can say is brothers are the worst. They thought burping and farting were fun. They played stupid games like “who can stink the worst?” And don’t think Richard and Dave are innocent in all of this. Yes, it seems like those two are angels because Ruth portrays them that way, but believe me, they were just as bad as Tom and Joel. They just knew how to hide it better. If it weren’t for Jenny, I don’t think I would have kept my sanity.
This question came in from my blog (from anonymous): I have something I have to say about the Larson series. I fell in love with the series because of Mary. There aren’t many books out there about ugly ducklings, but I have a very imporant question. How come every time you write about Dave, he seems so boring? He seemed fun and interesting, but now futher in the series, he seems dull. Why? Are you planing on writing abook about Joe? My neiece and I really enjoy it and want to know what happens. You are our favorite author. Thanks for writing these amazing books.
My answer: This is a great question about Dave because it helps to demonstrate how point of view works. I often have writers coming by this blog, so I think your question will help them.
According to Dave’s brothers and sisters, he’s boring. They look at him, and he just seems like a lump on a log. He’s more like a decoration piece than an actual participant in the action. He just comes and goes, occasionally saying something, and then he leaves. He doesn’t really interact with his brothers and sisters. He’s more of a loner, and while he’s not terribly shy, he does feel as if he got “lost” as a middle child.
I really think what makes him dynamic is Mary. Mary brings out the part of him that enables him to be someone important. Sometimes it’s the person we’re with and the way we see them that make them interesting. According to Mary’s point of view, Dave is the most fascinating person who ever lived. He was the only man who took the time to look beyond her appearance to see her as she truly was. And, I think love makes people see the one they love in a magical way.
As for Joe’s story, I plan to have it out around next spring. I already have his book cover:
In case anyone is wondering, Groom for Hire is Book 3 in the Pioneer Series. (Book 1 was Wagon Trail Bride. Joe was the one leading the group on the trail.)
And if anyone is wondering about the basic plot, here it is: When asked to lead another wagon train West, a man offers Joe Otto money to marry his daughter so she won’t have to go on the trails without the protection of a husband.
I’m hoping for March or April 2017.
That finishes up the Larson questions!
Sally Larson: ID 37771458 © Syda Productions | Dreamstime.com
Ruth Ann Nordin: taken by her oldest kid who was given a chocolate bar in return for taking the picture