Monday, April 29, 2013

Shattered Lives, Forgiveness, and Restoration: An Interview with Inspirational Romance Author Lucie Ulrich

1) Please tell us about Broken Vessels. 

Broken Vessels is set in Colorado Springs, Colorado, one of my favorite places. It’s a story of shattered lives, forgiveness and restoration, revolving around a man and women, once childhood friends, who have each suffered great loss. They meet again after being apart for ten years, and rekindle their friendship. There is plenty of family dynamic, with a good dose of love/hate relationships, secrets and betrayals. Though the story is faith-based, it’s far from sweet and sappy. I won’t deny that my beliefs run throughout, but I worked very hard not to sound preachy.

2) Please tell us about your main characters.

Emma Brody is a former fashion model who bears not only emotional scars, but physical ones as well. Her struggles to make a new life for herself as a potter are impeded by a lack of self-esteem, an overbearing mother, and a brother whose main goal in life is to restore peace between Emma and their mother, Louise. Sadly, Louise can’t forgive her only daughter for what she considers “the sins of her past.” Emma is one who not only keeps secrets she’s one to run when things go wrong. And it terrifies her that Luke is getting too close.

Luke Connors has spent two years in therapy dealing with the loss of his wife and two young sons. He’s traded in his life as a high school counselor to take over his father’s landscaping business. He’s not looking for love, but his life changes when Emma moves back to their hometown. It doesn’t take long for them to become friends again. Like Emma’s brother, Jimmy, Luke is a fixer. His desire for Emma to see beyond her scars causes friction, and threatens to derail the unexpected feelings he’s feeling for her.

3) One of the main themes of your novel seems to be forgiveness. Why did you choose that as one of your main points of thematic focus?
About fifteen years ago I read a book by John Bevere called The Bait of Satan, which speaks of the effects of holding onto a grudge, or offence. It changed my mind-set, and made me realize how important forgiveness is for spirit, soul and body. I wanted Broken Vessels to reflect that by showing different degrees of conflict, and allowing the characters to make their own choices where forgiveness is concerned, and to live through the consequences of their decisions.

4) What, to you, fundamentally defines a romance book?

Great question! For me, a great romance is a story of love and commitment. It doesn’t matter if the couple is already married, or finding each other for the first time. A friend and fellow writer once said that for her, romance had to include sex. I don’t necessarily agree with that assessment. I do believe there needs to be sexual tension, however. I suppose the degree to which it’s shown depends on whether a book is classified secular or inspirational.

Strong characters are a must for me. I can’t stand wimpy women who wait for their hero to ride in on a white horse and save the day. That isn’t to say there shouldn’t be emotional conflict or angst. That’s vital to a good romance. A typical romance is a story of love – loss – love again. A happy ending is preferable, but not necessary. Nicholas Sparks has certainly proved that happy endings are not mandatory.

5) Do you have any links to any excerpts you'd like to share? 

There are sample chapters on my website

6) Where can readers find out more about you?

 On the above mentioned website, and on Twitter  @LucieUlrich 

7) Where can readers purchase your book? 

 My book is available at Amazon, Vyrso, B&N, ibooks, and Google Play.


J.P. Lane said...

Great interview, J.A. and Lucie. Lucie, Jane Austen would have agreed with you that a romance doesn't have to include sex. She was a master at creating passion without so much as a kiss.

J.A. Beard said...

Thanks, J.P.

Lucie Ulrich said...

J.A. Thank you for hosting me on your blog, and for putting up with my delay. Much appreciated.

Well said, J.P. Lane. Thanks for your comment.

J.A. Beard said...

You're welcome.

Anonymous said...

Nice interview, J.A. I like your thoughts on forgiveness, Lucie. There's a message there for all of us. Well done to you both.

Lucie Ulrich said...

Thanks very much, historywithatwist!