Welcome, Laura, How did you develop a 'love of story'?
I’ve always had a love of story. At first it was with the written word, I cut my teeth on my grandma’s collection of Grace Livingstone Hill books. They’re still on the bookshelves in my home, though I haven’t read them in years. I started trying to write my own stories when I was nine.
I also read Grace Livingstone Hill books when I was younger. Can you tell us a little bit more about how you got started in writing?
Like I said, I was nine. My teacher assigned us a short story assignment. My short story wasn’t so short. And I played with it ever since. I remember my aunt stumbling across a list I made when I was a child of possible titles. She thought they were real books and asked my mom for a copy of them so she could buy them for me. Mom told her they were my story ideas. I’m not sure what my aunt thought about it, but most people thought writing was an impossible dream… but get a real job.
It appears we have a lot of similarities. :) How do you get your story ideas?
God, mostly. Anywhere. Everywhere. The farmer’s market here in town sparked this one. The Amish in our area set up as vendors and they do really well. Everyone wants their baked goods, jams, jellies, honey, vegetables, and more. I thought it’d be fun to set a story around a farmer’s market.
As long as I can remember. Yes. It’s a dream come true.
I can relate. I've always wanted to be a writer. Tell us about your new novel.
The Birdhouse … Twenty–year–old Greta Miller's daed has been injured in a farming accident during the summer. The supportive Amish community tries to help out, but Greta and her sister must work outside the home to make ends meet, and so Greta rents a booth at the farmers' market. Because Greta is still in her rumspringa and free to explore the world, her family selects her to sell her homemade jams, jellies, and preserves to Englischers. Josh Yoder wants to court Greta, but years ago, he made the mistake of rejecting her during a seemingly innocent game; which resulted in him leaving the Amish. Three years later, he's back, but Greta wants nothing to do with him. Josh struggles to fit in and rebuild relationships he destroyed. Knowing Greta's family needs help, he steps in, hoping to win her back. When Greta admires one of his birdhouses, he gives it to her, hoping that it will open the door to more. But as their friendship begins to grow, a series of unfortunate events pull Greta away from the Amish, leaving her rejected by those she loves. Will Greta get beyond her family's distrust and return home? Will she prove her innocence? Or will she remain outside her Amish community?
That sounds like an interesting story idea. What spiritual truths do you desire to convey to your readers?
God has in mind the spiritual truths He wants me to share and the readers to understand. In this particular book, the message I got was God knows. He knows, He cares, and He will provide. But that may not be the message the reader gets. Because I could mention at least a half dozen more spiritual truths in The Birdhouse.
If you are like me, God teaches you spiritual truths as you write too. :) Could you share with us how you became a Christian?
I was eight years old and it was communion Sunday. I was allowed to take communion with the adults, but for the first time that year I understood what it meant. And I skipped it. After the service, during the invitation I went forward and the pastor helped me understand what I was doing. I never regretted it since.
What a sweet story. Here's another writing related question. Are you involved in a critique group?
Absolutely. They catch all my grammar and punctuation errors and my really good critique partners ask questions that help me take the story deeper where it needs it.
I know what you mean. I've recently gotten involved with Word Weavers and they have been helpful.
What advice can you give to writers trying to break into the publishing world?
Dare to dream. Keep reading, keep studying the craft, keep learning, and don’t give up. If God’s given you a passion for it, He’s given you permission for it.
Thank you. That speaks to my heart. One final question. Where can readers find you?
Purchase my books:
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/laura-hilton?store=allproducts&keyword=laura+hilton
Deeper Shopping http://www.deepershopping.com/index.php?query=laura+hilton&x=0&y=0&module=productsearch&_logmode=Y&querymodule=SPX