A Conversation with Melissa Jagears

Today, the INSPY Awards warmly welcomes author, Melissa Jagears. Her novel, A Heart Most Certain (Bethany House) is on the 2017 shortlist in the Historical Romance category. Please join us in welcoming Melissa.

Today, we read about the inspiration for A Heart Most Certain learn about her nightstand reading and where she does most of her brainstorming – plus more!Melissa Jagears INSPYs

A Fresh Voice in Historical Romance!

Lydia King knows what it’s like to be in need, so when she joins the Teaville Moral Society, she genuinely hopes to help the town’s poor. But with her father’s debts increasing by the day and her mother growing sicker by the week, she wonders how long it will be until she ends up in the poor house herself. Her best chance at a financially secure future is to impress the politician courting her, and it certainly doesn’t hurt that the moral society’s president is her suitor’s mother. Her first task as a moral society member—to obtain a donation from Nicholas Lowe, the wealthiest man in town—should be easy . . . except he flat-out refuses.

Despite appearances, Nicholas wants to help others but prefers to do it his own way, keeping his charity private. When Lydia proves persistent, they agree to a bargain, though Nicholas has a few surprises up his sleeve. Neither foresee the harrowing complications that will arise from working together. When town secrets are brought to light, this unlikely pair must decide where their beliefs—and hearts—truly align. – Goodreads

Author Interview with Melissa Jagears

INSPYs: What inspired you to write, A Heart Most CertainI started brainstorming this book back in 2012 when I was not published. I lived near Coffeyville, KS which has this wonderful mansion residing where you would least expect one. Every time I passed it, I thought a mansion in the middle of nowhere would be a great setting for a story. But the mansion only belonged to one family, so I couldn’t use its actual history for a romance. Another time I was driving by, I was pondering how a lot of fairy tale retellings were getting published. (I do a lot of brainstorming in the car!) And while passing the mansion, I was trying to come up with fairy tale/classic stories that hadn’t been done in a Christian novel retelling and thought up Scrooge and Aladdin. Then I wondered if I could combine the two. That’s where it started. How to put Scrooge and Aladdin in a middle-of-nowhere Kansas mansion. The pictures on the series covers are of the actual Brown Mansion which is my Lowe Mansion’s inspiration.

What are some of the challenges/benefits of incorporating faith in your stories? I love theology. I’d go to seminary just for fun if I didn’t have to pay for it. I love reading pages upon pages of theology discussion, BUT not in my fiction. Back in the old days where Christian fiction would plop in an entire sermon delivered from a pulpit? Yeah, I’d skip right over those to get back to the story. So there’s the challenge for me not to go too gung-ho on the theology discussions when they happen in my stories because it’s just so fun to discuss, but I know when reading fiction that’s not what I’m looking for and I don’t want to write anything I myself would skip!

As for the benefit, I mentioned I wrote this book in 2012. When I started editing it again in 2015 for Bethany House, one of the Biblical messages in the book spoke straight to me. God used a book I’d written years before to help myself years later. I think addressing the spiritual in stories make them timely no matter when it’s read.

JUST FOR FUN QUESTIONS

1. What are you watching? Sorry I’m not that fun, I don’t have a television and the only movies I overhear are geared to preschoolers. I do watch youtube videos sometimes…..

2. What are you reading or what’s on your nightstand? Last book I read was Love’s Winter Hope by Naomi Rawlings, and I’ve been itching to read The Lady and the Lionheart by Bischof.

Face-off Questions

1. Print or Ebook? I like both. They each have pros and cons, but if I had to choose one, I’d choose print because if there’s an end-of-the-world Apocalypse coming, I could read without electricity.

2. Dark Chocolate or Milk Chocolate? Milk Chocolate

3. Coffee or Tea? Neither, but if it were a life and death situation where I was forced to drink one, I’d choose tea. I’ve actually lived through an entire cup of tea, but I can’t make it past a sip of coffee.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Carol Award-winning author Melissa Jagears is a homeschooling mom who writes Christian historical romance into the wee hours of the night. She’s the author of the Unexpected Brides series and Love by the Letter, a free prequel ebook novella. You can learn more about Melissa, her books, and where she hangs out online at www.melissajagears.com.


Thanks so much for joining us on the INSPYs.com blog today, Melissa. It was a pleasure to host you and spotlight A Heart Most Certain.

  • Staci

    A Heart Most Certain was a lovely read. It was a bit edgier than the prior mail order bride series. I am elated that Melissa has made the short list.
    Melissa, we are twinning on the tea/coffee answer. My drink of choice is ice water.
    Best wishes to Melissa in her continued career as an author!

    • Melissa

      Water or milk, that’s about it. Or pear juice, which you have to buy in the baby aisle most anywhere, but goodness, how can you leave that goodness behind just because you don’t shop in the baby aisle anymore? 🙂 Thank you, Staci, for dropping by and commenting!