Today’s Wednesday Writers is interviewing author Meghann Whistler. In addition to her interview Meghann is sharing an excerpt from her book Falling for the Innkeeper. Welcome, Meghann!
Catherine: Please tell the readers about the release that is being showcased today.
Meghann: Falling for the Innkeeper is a sweet Christian romance novel set at a charming beachside inn on Cape Cod. It’s about a wary single mother who meets a workaholic lawyer intent on buying the only home she’s ever known.
Catherine: I love stories set in beachside communities. How did you come up with the concept for this book?
Meghann: I started with the hero—what drove him to put so much of himself into his work? And what would it take to make him reassess his values and priorities?
I’ll also admit that my grandparents owned an inn that’s a lot like the one in the book, and I wanted to visit it again on paper. So, the setting was another key piece of the puzzle when I first started thinking about this story.
Catherine: What a great way to honor your grandparents. Are you a pantser or a plotter? Linear or non-linear writer?
Meghann: I have a rough idea of where my stories are going when I start writing, but I lean heavily on the “pantser” side of the equation. I enjoy the process of discovery as I write. I’m usually a linear writer, but if I get stuck, I will occasionally jump ahead and then fill in the earlier scenes later.
Catherine: What does your revision process look like?
Meghann: I edit as I write. I know a lot of people who suggest writing straight through without stopping to revise until the first draft is done, but I can’t write forward if I know there’s a problem with an earlier scene. I have to correct it before I can move on.
Catherine: I always edit as I write, too. It gives me a chance to get back into the story. On to the next question: What’s the first book, in the genre you write in, that you remember reading?
Meghann: I didn’t start reading Christian fiction until about three years ago. The first Christian romance novel I remember reading is Finding Her Way Home by Linda Goodnight, which was eye-opening for me. I’d always thought romance novels were racy and poorly written, but Finding Her Way Home was sweet rather than sexy, and I was so invested in the characters I couldn’t put it down!
Catherine: Do you have a day job? If so, what is it?
Meghann: I’m a full-time, stay-at-home mom to three little boys, and my job duties got way more intense this past spring when COVID-19 hit!
Catherine: I can’t imagine going through COVID with children. I’ll bet you’ll be ready for a vacation when this is over. Speaking of vacations, what is the farthest place from home that you’ve traveled?
Meghann: Hong Kong! What a great city! Part of the reason my heroine’s parents live in Hong Kong is because I couldn’t pass up a chance to write about what a fabulous place it is.
Catherine: It’s been a pleasure having you here today, Meghann. As you say goodbye, can you leave the readers with an encapsulation of your life’s philosophy?
Meghann: I find a lot of comfort in Philippians 1:6, which reminds me that I don’t have to be perfect. As long as I’m willing to show up and do the best I can each day, God will continue to work in me and through me.
Thanks for joining us today. Keep reading for a peek at Meghann’s book.
FALLING FOR THE INNKEEPER
By Meghann Whistler
A battle for a charming Cape Cod inn… But what happens when romance checks in?
Single mom Laura Lessoway won’t accept her mother’s plan of selling her late grandmother’s inn without a fight. But when big-city attorney Jonathan Masters arrives to arrange an offer from a client, she’s drawn to him. And working together as he helps with repairs only brings them closer. With his career and her home on the line, can they ever find common ground?
Jonathan had always had this idea that if he could just reach that brass ring, if he could just grab it and hold on, that would be the thing that would make everything in his life work the way it was supposed to, the thing that would make everything okay.
But would it? Would it really?
Making partner at the law firm wouldn’t magically fix his father’s illness. Making partner wouldn’t change the fact that he’d been a scared, bullied kid. Making partner wouldn’t mean that his father, who’d gone missing when Jonathan was just seventeen, would ever come home.
He gave his head a little shake. He knew his mentor, Mike Roe, wouldn’t like this train of thought.
But then he thought about Mike’s life: the penthouse apartment and the fancy sports cars, the top-rated restaurants and the best-tailored suits. Jonathan used to think Mike’s life was what success looked like—and maybe, for some people, it did—but what about Mike’s high-maintenance ex-wife? What about the kid he never saw? What about the fact that he had more money than he could spend in a lifetime and he still spent every waking moment at work?
Was this some kind of early midlife crisis? Jonathan wondered. What would he even do with himself if he didn’t have this job?
He drummed his fingers on the bedside table. What was with him tonight? He was wildly unfocused, and it was messing with his head.
It was the woman—Laura. She’d thrown him off balance with her beauty and her wit and her kind, gentle smile. Just thinking about her emerald green eyes—which could, by turns, be sharp, or playful, or kind—made him feel…strange. Whimsical.
And Jonathan never felt whimsical about women. He was more practical than romantic. Back when he’d started at Harvard Law, he’d made a decision not to get distracted by a serious relationship until he made partner, and he’d stuck to his resolution all these years.
He always kept his promises—to others and to himself. After growing up with his unpredictable father, he was very disciplined that way.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Meghann Whistler writes sweet Christian romance novels that won’t make your grandmother blush. A hopeless romantic who met her husband on a blind date, Meghann recently left her marketing career to pursue her lifelong passion of writing sweet, hopeful stories that demonstrate the power of love and grace. She loves to hear from her readers, who can reach her at www.meghannwhistler.com.
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