My friend and fellow Indianan Denise Hunter has a new book that released a couple weeks ago. Surrender Bay is her first book with Thomas Nelson, and you should hear the buzz. I just bought the book yesterday and can't wait to get started reading it. Here's some of the feedback:
"I've always thought Denise Hunter was an amazing writer but this wonderful story sets her firmly at the forefront of compelling love stories. How Landon breaks down Samantha's determination that she is unworthy of love kept me glued to the pages. An amazing story!"
--Colleen Coble, author of Fire Dancer (Smoke Jumper Seri
While Denise does not write suspense, she is an amazing writer. With her first trade novel, Mending Places, she created an amazing story that showcased forgiveness. I kept thinking she can't be going where I think she's going, and she went even further. It was an amazing, gripping story. Denise has kindly agreed to an interview. Her sweet spirit and commitment to craft comes through in her answers. Enjoy!
1) Surrender Bay is the start of a new series for you. What is the inspiration behind this story and series?
Surrender Bay was born out of my desire to tell a unique love story. After three women's fiction books, I realized my main passion is romance, yet I didn't want to write a trite romance novel. I wanted to write something that showed God's love in real way, something that stayed with the reader for days afterward. I hope I managed to accomplish that.
The fiction team at Thomas Nelson really helped me hone this series into something unique. On the surface, they are stories of couples falling in love. At the heart, these stories are parables, with the hero of each story representing some quality about God's love. Surrender Bay focuses on the theme that God will never leave us. Hence, Landon never leaves the Samantha . . . regardless of what she does to chase him away.
2) This series is set in Nantucket. How did you decide on that location for the setting?
I was looking for something unique. Well, romantic too. :-) I tried to think about what settings appealed to me as a reader and yet haven't been overdone. Once I settled on Nantucket, my family visited the island, and I fell in love with the place!
3) Your prior series had a strong women's fiction bent. This one is different. In what ways?
Well, first of all, this one is pure romance. My last women's fiction novel, Finding Faith, had a subplot that was a romantic thread, and I noticed when I was writing that book that I enjoyed writing the subplot more than the main plot, even though it was only a simple romance plot. I also noticed as a reader I was having trouble finding love stories that were clean, well-written, serious, and emotional. I figured if I liked that kind of story, surely there were other readers wanting them too.
The other difference is something I alluded to above. The women's fiction novels had an overt faith threat in the plot. The characters talk about God and their faith--nothing wrong with that! With the Nantucket series, I decided to try the parable approach. I think parables have a unique way of showing us the familiar in a very fresh way. That is my hope with Surrender Bay.
4) As you wrote Surrender Bay, what did you learn from the characters?
I learned they had minds of their own! Just when I thought I knew what they were doing next, they went and changed things up on me.
5) Time for a fun question...if you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be and who would you take with you?
Alaska! I've never been before, but I'd love to find a quaint little town to set a story or series in. I'd take my family. We love trekking around together, and I'd want to cover as much of as Alaska as possible, taking in the gorgeous scenery and wildlife. The boys are 15, 12, and 9--great ages for traveling!
Thanks so much for joining me, Denise. If you haven't read any of Denise's books, I encourage you to give them a try. She's a gifted writer.