Our Pages

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Our Guest: Robin Lee Hatcher

Our guest today is bestselling historical and inspirational novelist Robin Lee Hatcher. The author of more than sixty novels, Robin has won two RT Career Achievement Award (Americana Romance and Inspirational Fiction), the RWA Lifetime Achievement award, The Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction, and two RITA Awards for Best Inspirational Romance. Her latest novel, Fit to be Tied, is a historical inspirational romance set on a ranch in Idaho in 1916.

Hi, Robin! Thank you so much for agreeing to this interview. We feel very privileged to have you here today.

The Idaho setting of your latest novel comes as no surprise to those who are familiar with your Sisters of Bethlehem Springs series. But the hero’s background, as an Englishman and youngest son of a duke, was a pleasant and unexpected twist. Do you remember where you got the idea for this unusual couple? Was the research for this book exceptionally time-consuming since you had to cover both continents?

When I began writing this series, I knew who all of the heroines would be, but I didn't know who the heroes would be except for the first book. The more I got to know Cleo while telling her sister's story in A Vote of Confidence, the more certain I was that the hero of Fit To Be Tied had to be a cowboy. Who else would suit for this female horse wrangler on her dad's cattle ranch? So no one was more surprised than me when Sherwood, the fourth son of a duke, popped into my head as I was lying in bed one night. But the instant I envisioned him, I knew he was perfect for the story. I knew immediately that he was a troubled young man who'd been wounded in the war (WWI).

The research wasn't any more time-consuming than usual. I've written quite a few books set in England so it wasn't completely foreign territory for me. However, every book seems to need lots of research of one kind or another. For Fit To Be Tied, I did a lot of research on World War I, cattle ranching, horses, telephones, cowgirls, foods common to both England and America, Americans as seen through British eyes, Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, fashions, etc.

Can you give us some insight to your writing process? How do you manage to consistently publish several books each year?

I begin my day by working out, either at home on my stationary bike or at Curves (three mornings a week). Then I have my morning quiet time (Bible reading, prayer, etc.), and I'm usually ready to write by 8:30. I can usually produce new words for a maximum of four hours a day. I'm not a particularly fast writer, but I try to be consistent. Putting the behind in the chair is the only way I know to get a book written, one word, one sentence, one paragraph, one chapter at a time.

As a seat of the pants writer, most of my preliminary work is discovering who my characters are. Once I know them, they are usually faithful about telling their stories to me. I've also learned to get my fingers going on the keyboard.
There is something about the process of typing, even if I don't know where the story is going or even if I know I'm writing junk, that will get the creative juices flowing.

All those deadlines must bring a lot of stress. What do you like to do when you take a break from writing?

I like to watch movies, take photographs, and play with my dog. I also knit a little and am trying to get back into doing some painting with acrylics. I used to do quite a bit of it years ago, but it fell by the wayside when I started writing.

Your next book , A Matter of Character, is due out in June. Can you give us a hint of what it’s about ?

A Matter of Character is Daphne's story. I think the book's blurb probably says it best:

Who says a woman can’t keep a secret?

It's 1918, and Daphne McKinley, heiress to a small fortune, has found contentment in the town of Bethlehem Springs. But Daphne has a secret.
A series of dime novels loosely based on local lore and featuring a nefarious villain known as Rawhide Rick has enjoyed modest popularity among readers. Nobody in Bethlehem Springs knows the man behind the stories … except Daphne.

When newspaperman Joshua Crawford comes to town searching for the man who sullied the good name of his grandfather, Daphne finds herself at a crossroads, reassessing the power of her words, re-thinking how best to honor her gifts, and reconsidering what she wants out of life.

It's always fun to write about a writer (since I have an insider's knowledge of how peculiar we writers can be), and Daphne was no exception. I hope readers will find her story a nice wrap-up of the series.

Thank you, Robin Lee Hatcher for spending this time with us today. For more information visit Robin’s website at http://www.robinleehatcher.com/ . Be sure to check out the delightful trailer for Fit to be Tied.


  1. Thanks for stopping by, Robin! I loved the blurb for Daphne's story. It sounds like a lot of fun! Won't Joshua Crawford be surprised the man he's looking for isn't a man at all? :)

  2. Robin,
    Thank you very much for visiting us today. I love your covers. They're beautiful.

    Also, thanks for sharing your routine for writing. I find my mornings slip away with no writing being done when I don't have a routine to follow.

  3. Robin,
    Thanks for stopping by. I agree with Samantha, my mornings disappear too. I need to get a routine developed and stay with it. And, I need to be better about putting the butt in the chair and not get distracted.

  4. You seem to be well balanced and show a lot of discipline. No wonder you are able to write so much and successfully too. Hugs :O)

  5. What an amazing lady you are; an inspiration to writers everywhere.

    Crystal Jigsaw

  6. Very nice interview. Good luck with the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence on your two books, Fit to be Tied and When Love Blooms.

  7. Robin, thanks for joining us today! Great interview, both of you!
    I love your covers - wow! Just beautiful! And I have to agree with the others in that my mornings sometimes disappear if I don't plan out a schedule. It sounds like you've got it down pat and are incredibly disciplined. I have much to learn from you! LOL! Thanks so much for sharing your process with us today :)

  8. A warm, friendly interview that speaks well of the author (Robin) and interviewer (Gail). Nicely done, both of you! Boy, the more people I talk to, the more it seems most of us are pantsers when it comes to a story unfolding. Thanks, Robin, for being true to who you are and writing inspirational romantic novels to lift our spirits. I'll definitely check out your books.

    Hmm. The "Fit to Be Tied" cover could be me lassooing my next story idea! (heh heh)

  9. Thanks for taking time out of your schedule and joining us, Robin! I'm not a morning writer. I reserve the mornings for catching up on email and getting other work done. After lunch, that's when my head is in the game and I can settle in for a session with my butt in the chair, to borrow your phrase. I've tried to write in the mornings, but rarely succeed. LOL.

  10. Hello Robin, thanks for such a great interview. Your books are so amazing. Best of luck with the series. I'm always glad to see pansters with lots of self discipline and successful writing careers. I guess there's hope for me yet.
    Thanks Gail for putting this on your blog. It was so fun to read.

  11. Thanks, everyone, for all the nice comments, and Anonymous for the best wishes on my two finalist books in the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. I am just home after leading a women's retreat in the mountains of Idaho and am feeling rather brain dead or would try to answer each comment individually.