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Interview With Robin Lee Hatcher

Meet Robin Lee Hatcher
Interview by Lianne Bruynell Lopes

1) Tell us a little about yourself -- age, married/single, children, how many books authored, etc.

I'm 52, married, mother of two adult daughters, and grandmother of four with #5 due to arrive in late September or early October. I've written 43 books (a total of 51 career sales but not all have been written yet, let alone published), and my awards include two RITA Awards and the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction. I'm a native Idahoan and have lived there all of my life. I love to travel, but it would take an act of God to make me leave the state I love best of all; I mourn when I am out of sight of the mountains. I love watching movies and going to the theater, especially Broadway musicals, and I'm a season ticket holder for the renowned Idaho Shakespeare Festival.

2) How did you become interested in writing?

I was a reader first. I fell in love with the written word even before I could read. As a child and teen, I kept diaries, scribbled lovesick poetry on school binders, and wrote long letters to family and friends. I loved to tell stories (i.e. entertain) and wanted to be an actress when I grew up. It never occurred to me to write fiction until just before I turned thirty. As often happens to voracious readers, I one day thought of a story which I believed would be better than the one I'd just finished. So after about six months of pondering it, I sat down and began to write. Three years later it was published.

3) What was your biggest obstacle in regards to writing and/or getting published? How did you overcome it?

I was a single mom of two pre-teen daughters. I did my writing nights and weekends, writing long hand on yellow pads, then typing my pages on the office typewriter during coffee breaks and lunch hours. It took lots of discipline. I did this for nine years, quitting to write full time the month my ninth book was released.

4) What has been the highest moment of your writing career?

God's call on my heart, out of the secular market and into a ministry of writing for Him.

5) Who/What is your greatest inspiration to write? Where do your story ideas come from?

Writing has become an act of worship for me. I seek to know Christ more through my writing.

Story ideas are a dime a dozen. They are never in short-supply. Writing the book, however, is hard work

6) Are you a seat-of-the-pants writer, or do you plot extensively before your fingers hit the keyboard?

Totally seat-of-the-pants. I get bored with a story and don't want to write it if I know the ending. I want to discover what will happen just as my readers will discover it later. I start with the opening scene, figure out who my characters are by writing first person autobiographies of them from birth to the opening of the story, then I start writing the book and keep going until I reach the end. I don't know what I will write the next day, let alone what I will write at the end of a book.

7) What's the nicest thing anyone ever said about your writing?

There is nothing better than hearing from readers who have come to faith in Christ and/or have found emotional or spiritual healing through one of my books. Glory to God because it is Him working through us and not of ourselves.

8) Who is your favorite character in your books, and how did you come up with that character?

I'm sorry. I can't pick a favorite "child." They are special to me in unique ways, each one of them: Miriam because she taught me what faith means; Claire because she let go of bitterness and replaced it with joy; Steven because he discovered the sufficiency of God's grace; Erika because she chose to love; Deborah because she learned to surrender to God's will; etc.

9) You are a big name in the publishing world. At this point in your career, do you ever get publisher rejections, and if so, how do you deal with them?

Well, I don't suppose I get publisher rejections in the way you mean them. Most of my books are under contract before I have a clue what they will be. But rejection is still a part of this business, no matter what stage of your career you're in. Publishers can still reject titles and scenes and themes and cover ideas. I deal with rejection by letting myself hurt or steam for a minute or two. Then I put it behind me and go back to work. I have learned (and am always relearning) that nothing comes into my life that isn't filtered first through God's tender fingers. So I trust Him to take me where I need to go.

10) If you could give a beginner one piece of advice what would it be?

Study your craft and persevere. Write every day. Read, read, read everything!


Thank you very much for your time, Robin. We have loved getting to know a little more about you.

You can find more information at Robin's Website.

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