I've got another interview for you. Today I'm talking with Ms. Roemer as she discusses her debut novel, Under this Same Sky. Have you read it?
About the Book
~ She thought she’d lost everything ~ Instead she found what she needed most. ~
Illinois ~ 1854
"Becky Hollister wants nothing more than to live out her days on the prairie, building a life for herself alongside her future husband. But when a tornado rips through her parents’ farm, killing her mother and sister, she must leave the only home she’s ever known and the man she’s begun to love to accompany her injured father to St. Louis. Catapulted into a world of unknowns, Becky finds solace in corresponding with the handsome pastor back home. But when word comes that he is all but engaged to someone else, she must call upon her faith to decipher her future.
Matthew Brody didn’t intend on falling for Becky, but the unexpected relationship, along with the Lord’s gentle nudging, incite him to give up his circuit riding and seek full-time ministry in the town of Miller Creek, with the hope of one day making Becky his bride. But when his old sweetheart comes to town, intent on winning him back—with the entire town pulling for her—Matthew must choose between doing what’s expected and what his heart tells him is right."
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I would have to say it was a deep desire to explore the age-old question: Why does God allow bad things to happen? So many times, God gets the blame when our prayers aren’t answered the way we wish. And though, the novel doesn’t seek to answer why, it does convey the message that God is able to work through the hardships in our lives to bring about blessing.
I wanted to create a character whose faith is shaken to the core and in the end discovers what true faith is. Becky Hollister loses everything she holds dear, causing her to question God’s sovereignty. Not until she experiences His love and healing in a personal way does she find His good and perfect plan for her life.
Makes me think of Job. Becky Hollister’s life has been turned upside down. Have you ever been in a similar situation? If so, how did that aid you in writing? If not, how did you ensure you were authentic to her situation?
I think we all have times of discouragement or heartache when we feel God is silent or has forgotten us, when our prayers aren’t answered the way we would like. Though I haven’t endured the depth of loss and tragedy Becky does, I’ve experienced disappointments that I’ve had to work through and have witnessed others going through great hardships. Healing takes time and a deep sense of God working in our lives. That’s the message of Under This Same Sky.
What a beautiful message. What is it about history that made you want to weave a tale in 1854 Illinois?
I love prairie settings and the nostalgia of the 1800s. I chose the year 1854 because much of the latter half of the novel takes place at the Missouri Institute for the Blind which opened in 1851. I needed the school close to its infancy to work it into my plot. Though most of my characters are fictional, I wanted the school to be historically accurate in its time period.
Awesome! Makes me want to read it all the more. Why did you write this novel? Was it simply the story idea or was the desire something more?
Oh, it’s so much more than just a story. What I seek to convey through Under This Same Sky is a message of renewed faith and hope. That no matter what we go through in life, God is there and has a plan for each of our lives.
Amen! Name three favorite authors and please share why they are your favorites.
I enjoy reading books by Laura Frantz, Kate Breslin, and Kristi Ann Hunter. They each have such a wonderful way of drawing you in and making you feel as though you’re a part of the story. Their novels contain such vivid characters and plots.
So very true! They write beautifully. Name three authors you haven’t read, but want to.
There are so many wonderful authors I’m looking forward to reading. These three would be among the top on my list: Dawn Crandall, Karen Witemeyer, or Melissa Jagears.
Ahh! You have to read these ladies! They're awesome. Can you tell us what you are currently working on?
I’m working on Book Two in my series entitled, Under Prairie Skies which is set to release in late spring, 2018. It’s the story of Becky’s cousin, Charlotte Stanton, a spoiled red-head who meets her match in cattleman, Chad Avery. As “iron sharpens iron” the Lord uses them to refine each other. I’m excited about this next installment in my Prairie Sky Series which starts out just days after Under This Same Sky ends.
Fantastic! Praying God gives you the words. Before you go, do you have anything you’d like to share with the readers?
I just want to say how thankful I am the Lord has given me the opportunity to experience my dream of being a published novelist and encourage others who have that same dream to persevere. God has a perfect plan for all our lives and in His time will bring it to fruition. For me, it was a thirty-year journey. Never give up on your dreams...or God!
Amen! Thank you so much for joining us today. Readers, do you have any questions for Ms. Roemer?
About the Author
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