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Interview with Lacy Williams

You’ve really turned the tables with your debut book, Marrying Miss Marshal. Where did you get the idea of using a widowed marshal as a heroine and a tenderfoot detective as a hero?
I love research, so it’s probably no surprise that the inspiration behind Danna (the heroine) came from my research. When I was digging up facts for this book, I stumbled on the real-life stories of two different women sheriffs in the 1920s. They were from different states but the basic premise was the same: both had worked with their sheriff husbands and when the husbands died, both women moved into the position of sheriff. So as Danna developed in my mind, it seemed to make sense that she was a widow and had been a deputy marshal before—that way she had the skills to be marshal when she needed them.

For Chas, I knew I needed a male lead strong enough that he wouldn’t be outdone by Danna. With his detective skills, he is a natural to help her with what she needs to police the town. But I also knew he would need a reason to lean on her, and from his first step onto the pages of the book, he was the tenderfoot.

Is this a marriage of convenience story? And if so, was it in the original plot or did the characters pull you in that direction?
The marriage of convenience in MARRYING MISS MARSHAL definitely came from the plot—neither Danna or Chas wanted to get married! Both had their own reasons for being wary of this kind of commitment (and I don’t want to spoil the story, so I won’t tell you what they are!), so forcing them into it was an adventure for all of us.

From what I saw and read on your blog, your recent book signing was a tremendous success. How did you know what to do?
I’ve been collecting advice from other authors and marketing newsletters since before I was even contracted. I’m a list-maker, Excel-user and a pretty organized person, so I knew that it would be important to prepare for an event like this way in advance. I think that definitely helped make the event successful, and it also was a huge blessing to have a sister-in-law who can plan a mean party! My church, friends and family have been SO supportive of the book and what really impressed me was that they all came out to support me in over 100 degree weather!

Were you at the ACFW conference when you won the Genesis award, and if so, did you have a speech prepared?
I was at the conference and almost didn’t make it to the banquet. My roommate and critique partner, along with two other friends from our local chapter, got stuck in the elevator on our way down to the banquet. We were stuck for about ten minutes total, and couldn’t get any response on the emergency phone. All three friends were sure I was going to miss the award ceremony! A very nice man who wasn’t related to the conference at all came and heard us banging on the elevator doors and pried them open. And we did, in fact, make it to the banquet on time. I still remember the dessert was a wonderful chocolate mousse confection—and I couldn’t eat it because I was so nervous!

I did have a speech prepared. Not because I thought I would win (I thought for sure I wouldn’t), but because on the off chance that I did win, I didn’t want to stumble and stutter—and I’m not good at impromptu speeches! I am comfortable speaking in front of groups if I’ve practiced, so in the end I took a small notecard with my speech on it.

You originally took a course, Writing for Children and Teens. Is this one of your bucket list goals?
I enjoy reading a good YA book and would definitely consider writing YA in the future but for right now I am having a blast writing for Love Inspired Historical. Another thing I’ve noticed is that ::ahem:: I’m not as young as I think I am anymore. I have worked on a YA book with my sister and found I had to constantly Google current slang terms because I’m hopelessly out of touch with what current teens are saying!

Can you tell us about Mr. Bingley, your therapy dog, and the Kids Reading to Dogs program?
Mr. Bingley is a sweetheart of a dog. He loves people and has never met a stranger. That’s what makes him perfect for being a therapy dog—it’s impossible NOT to smile when he comes up to you with his wagging tail and huge doggy smile. The Kids Reading program is something that our local library has been doing for awhile now, and it has actually spread to several of the other local libraries in town and in the surrounding areas. The idea is to get kids excited about reading. And what could be more fun than getting to read a story to a dog who loves you?

Finish this sentence... If Mr. Bingley was capable of understanding English, I’d tell him the Bible story of ________________.
Probably my favorite story: Ruth and Boaz. I love how God used their love story to benefit all of mankind, and the trust and love between Naomi and Ruth always touches my heart.

Any parting words?
If you’re a reader, I hope you’ll check out the first chapter of MARRYING MISS MARSHAL at If you’re a writer, I hope you are a part of ACFW and benefiting from all the great programs available to you. My favorites are the online classes and the conference. And of course the Genesis contest. :)

Thanks for sharing with us, Lacy.

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