It’s been a privilege and wonderful learning experience to be part of New Mexico writer Norma Gail’s book launch team this spring for her contemporary inspirational romance novel, Land of My Dreams. I’ve just recently gotten my own e-copy to read, and the story is truly blessing me, the message of “where God is when life hurts” touching my heart deeply. Norma shared this interview with me to share with you—I hope you enjoy hearing from her heart. And please check out Land of My Dreams—which released just yesterday—here on Amazon!
Tell us a little bit about Land of My Dreams.
Land of My Dreams had its earliest roots in a dream I had when my husband and I were preparing for a trip to Scotland for our 30th wedding anniversary. I read so much that one night I dreamed I lived on a sheep farm. I began to write in 2008, when a broken foot and bad knee landed me in a wheelchair for 6 weeks and I needed something to occupy my mind.
Alone and betrayed, American professor, Bonny Bryant longs for a haven of peace. She accepts a position at a small Christian college in Fort William, Scotland, craving escape from her painful past. The passionate love which develops when she meets fellow professor and sheep farmer, Kieran MacDonell, is something she never anticipated.
Kieran harbors a deep anger toward God in the face of his own devastating grief. When Bonny’s former fiancé reenters her life, Kieran’s loneliness draws him to a former student.
How will Bonny decide between her rivals? Can they set aside the past to make way for a future, or will it drive them apart?
Land of My Dreams spans the distance between New Mexico’s high desert mountains and the misty Scottish Highlands with a timeless story of overwhelming grief, undying love, and compelling faith.
What do you think makes your style of storytelling unique?
I think all writers put some of themselves into their writing. Most of the situations in my writing are things that I or someone close to me has experienced. I am a very serious person, so I have to work to lighten things up. I’m very introspective. I write poetry and love words. I want to make the reader feel the setting—to feel the rain on their face. I want my readers to be better people and better Christians because they read my book.
Of course I want to entertain. As a Bible study leader and devotional writer, I have seen a lot of people struggle with trusting God when hard times come, and I have struggled myself. It is helpful to use real-life situations to illustrate biblical principles.
Good fiction can teach valuable spiritual lessons. People who would never attend a Bible study will read a novel, and they can learn how to live the Christian life. A novel is a very non-threatening way to introduce someone to the gospel or get a spiritual message across. It might open someone open up to talk about things they might not otherwise discuss.
What was the greatest problem you faced in writing this book?
It was challenging to write about a country I had only visited for two weeks and couldn’t return to for more research. It didn’t matter when I was just making up a story, but when I became serious, I needed to be accurate. I watched movies and documentaries, listened to music, and made a screen-saver with over 400 photos, found a Scottish-Gaelic dictionary on-line, and searched sites with slang and common terms. I found a wonderful writer and editor, Amy Drown, who had lived in Scotland to edit my book for accuracy.
I read a lot. I have led women’s Bible studies for eighteen years. I lead two studies a year, and used to lead three. I love living in the mountains, going to my mom’s cabin, and vacationing in the mountains. I enjoy taking my Jeep on 4×4 trails in Colorado. I study, write, and enjoy making my home beautiful and welcoming. I do quite a bit of family history research, which I hope will eventually lead to a book or two. I collect old family photos and love fixing them up in Photoshop. I make my own greeting cards, and enjoy making stationary and cards for gifts.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
They can contact me through my website at www.normagail.com
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Norma-Gail-Author/725237467493500.