LAURIE: Welcome, Laura. I’m so glad you could join us today to talk about your new book and your writing journey.
LAURA: Thank you, Laurie! I appreciate the opportunity to discuss my work.
LAURIE: First, can you tell us about your book and what inspired you to write this story?
LAURA: Remember Texas (set in 1891) is about a young woman named Abigail Horton who helps her mother run a boarding house in Moccasin Rock, Texas. On the last night of a week-long revival two men arrive near the end of the service: a Texas Ranger and his prisoner. At first, Abby is focused only on the ranger, until she realizes that he’s handcuffed to her father. The father she believed to be dead. The book was inspired, in part, by research I did for newspaper stories, particularly historical features. Small Texas towns are rich in history: gun-toting preachers who presented the gospel in brush arbors and tabernacles, train-robbing outlaws, once-thriving towns where there’s nothing left but a cemetery. I didn’t want to use those specific stories, of course, (and most of the time there wasn’t much information available, anyway). So, I asked myself two questions when I read something interesting: “What if?” and “What Now?” Then I let my imagination run wild.
LAURIE: You’ve said you love going to museums and doing research for your books. Which museums did you visit for this book?
LAURA: Most of the ones I visited for this book were historical museums close to the small Texas town I call home. I also attended several “living history” events, including one at a military post from the late 1800s. I was primarily interested in the day-to-day life of this area’s early settlers. I studied household furnishings, clothing, cooking and laundry, etc. One museum was housed in an old jail, so I was also able to study the structure itself.
LAURIE: When you were researching the time period, was there something that spoke to you about the plight of women or children that made you want to tell it in the book?
LAURA: Not specifically women or children, just for the citizenry in general. Life was tough back then. Even though I honestly yearn for the “good old days” at times, I recognize that there are many things I wouldn’t want to live without—including health care and modern transportation.
LAURIE: What advice would you give to other writers trying to break in to the Christian market?
LAURA: I recommend following the blogs of Christian writers you enjoy. Most of them are generous with their advice and information. Also, look for contests where there’s a Christian/Inspirational category. The feedback is so beneficial.
LAURIE: What hobbies do you like to do when you’re not writing?
LAURA: I enjoy photography, researching and writing non-fiction articles about Texas history, watching old black-and-white movies, and doing genealogy research. But my favorite way to spend time is with my family. My husband and I have two daughters, two wonderful sons-in-laws, and five grandchildren. No matter what we’re doing, even if it’s just having dinner together, there’s so much joy and laughter.
LAURIE: Readers, here is Laura Conner Kestner’s gorgeous cover and Back Cover Blurb for “Remember Texas”. It’s available on Amazon.com at: https://www.amazon.com/Remember-Texas-Laura-Conner-Kestner/dp/173275620
AND Laura is giving away ONE e-book to a lucky commenter today! So, feel free to leave a comment as Laura will be popping in and out all day to enjoy conversation with you all. I'll announce the winner tomorrow on Facebook.
Abigail Horton’s life is turned upside down during the last night of a week-long revival when her father—believed dead—shows up in the custody of a Texas Ranger. Abby is thrilled to see him, and equally devastated to learn he’s been living the life of an outlaw.
Texas Ranger Caleb Calhoun stops in Moccasin Rock to let his prisoner, Bob Horton, visit briefly with family before transporting him to Austin for trial. Caleb takes a room at the family’s boarding house, planning to be in and out of the small town by morning. But within hours he’s kissed Abby Horton, made an enemy of her naïve suitor, and let his prisoner escape.
As Caleb searches for the missing outlaw, and Abby struggles to keep the man’s whereabouts a secret, they also battle a growing attraction to each other.
Throw in a Calhoun family mystery, an elderly preacher on a mission, an old flame of Caleb’s, a secretive spinster, a team of surveyors, and Abby’s mother and brother—and you have a compelling story of faith, family and forgiveness.
LAURIE: This sounds right up my alley! And finally, how long do we have to wait for your next book?
LAURA: The next book is scheduled for release in April 2019.
LAURIE: I can’t wait for it! And where can your readers find you on social media?
On Twitter: @LauraConnerKest
My website: lauraconnerkestner.com
I'm a military wife who's raised two wonderful special needs children to adulthood. We've lived all over Canada and are still on that journey. When I'm not writing, I can be found spinning, knitting, and hanging out with my dogs.