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An Interview with Becky Wade

Becky Wade is making her CBA debut this month with My Stubborn Heart, a contemporary romance she cooked up using the following recipe: She started with a HUGE serving of romance. Then stirred through faith stories for both main characters. She mixed this thoroughly with a cast of funny senior adults. She added a smidgen of home renovation, then wrapped the entire thing up in a charming small-town setting. It took her a year to bake it. And now — voila! It's ready for a taste test.

Becky, is there a story behind this book?

My Stubborn Heart is God's second-chance gift to me. More than ten years ago I published three historical romances for the general market. Then three things happened in quick succession that ended my career. 1) I became a mother. I'd thought, before having a child, that I could be a full time stay-at-home mom and a full time author simultaneously. Um, no. 2) My publisher cut me loose, an event I recognized as God closing a door on the secular books I'd been writing. 3) The Lord led me to pour my energy into raising my little ones (of which I have three).

So I set my writing on the shelf with no intention of ever taking it back down again and devoted myself to the hard and wonderful work of mothering. When, seven years later, I began to hear a still, small voice asking me to write again — this time for the Christian market — I was astonished. I'd gone down the wrong path the first time, after all. But those who make mistakes, He forgives. I was a busy mom with very little time and only the memory of long-forgotten skill. But those He calls, He equips.

I cleared my schedule during the hours my kids were at pre-school so that I could work. I rolled up my sleeves, sat down at my computer, and began to write a contemporary Christian romance manuscript.

That manuscript? My Stubborn Heart.

Where do your story and character ideas come from?
My stories become so large and complex that it's often hard to dig down through all the layers and remember the tiny seed of the original idea. Often, I derive inspiration from people I know and what they've been through. Other times, I experience something myself and think, 'hmmmm....'. Or I hear a story that snags my imagination in a new direction. Once I was walking through the first floor of Nordstrom and saw a pair of pale pink high heels. I wondered what kind of woman would wear those shoes and then — from that single question — ended up dreaming up an entire novel.

How do you go about brainstorming the twists and turns in your books?
At the outset of a project, I work on the characterization of my hero and heroine. That leads me to their goals. Their goals lead me to think about the obstacles they'll have to face and overcome in the pursuit of those goals. My husband knows zero about novel-writing, but he's great to brainstorm with when I'm stuck, simply because he'll offer up new (sometimes loopy) alternatives which force me to view the plot in a different way. Once I set off on the writing of the first draft, God frequently gives me the gift of 'Ah hah!' moments. He's always gracious to reveal a twist I hadn't seen, a theme I hadn't grasped, a scene I hadn't imagined.

Reflecting back, what do you see as most significant to your publication journey?
Listening to my instincts. I truly believe that God speaks to each of us through them.

I didn't share My Stubborn Heart with anyone but God while I was working on it. I didn't even read any inspirational fiction. I wrote it exactly how I loved it and how I felt led to write it and never worried (well, tried never to worry) about whether it would sell one day. I simply trusted God with the book's final destination.

Who is your writing support system?
My husband gives me the emotional (and also the childcare) support I need to do this work. My mother and father-in-law host the kids for sleepovers whenever I'm desperate for writing time. I'm beginning to get plugged in to my local ACFW chapter - the DFW Ready Writers. The Bethany House Author's email loop provides me with camaraderie and encouragement and belonging. My agent, Linda Kruger, reads my manuscripts first and offers outstanding feedback and suggestions. My editor, Sarah Long, guides me through revisions and the rest of the publication process with friendship, wisdom, optimism, and experience. Steve Oates, Debra Larsen, Noelle Buss, and the rest of the team at Bethany provide the most amazing marketing support.

What do you do when you're not writing?
Take care of my kids (now 11, 8, 3) and my household! When I find time for myself I love to read, play tennis, get a pedicure, take a bubble bath, or watch movies with my husband.

Share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you.
"He must become greater; I must become less." — John 3:30
"...You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." — Acts 1:8

These verses are very dear to me because I pray them back to God every time I'm about to write.

What trivia about yourself would few people know?
I'm a southern California girl originally.
I own the BBC's Pride and Prejudice and watch it whenever I need a Colin-Firth-as-Mr. Darcy-fix.
I had a moment of glory as my sorority's president in college.
I once lived on the Caribbean island of Anguilla.
I love dark chocolate.

Any parting words?
Best wishes to my fellow ACFW members! Though it's sometimes hard to understand God's will or discern His plan, I believe He's called each of us to this challenging and terrific profession for a Very Good Reason. May He richly bless you through your writing!

Thanks for sharing with us, Becky!

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