You can’t fix a blank page.
“This is an excerpt from A Lancaster Love, my Amish romance novel. This scene is between Flynn Munro, the heroine’s love interest, and his little daughter, Molly.” ~Mary Lingerfelt
“Now, Miss Molly, would you like to watch your Da make dinner?”
Molly dimpled and nodded, and stuck a finger into her mouth.
“This is a dish your mother used to make,” he told her gravely. “It was a favorite of hers, though not so much of mine. She used to make it when she was too tired to cook fancy, because it’s easy. It’s called Bubble and Squeak.”
Molly giggled, and Flynn tapped her nose. “Now―we go to the fridge, and see what we have on hand. There’s some corned beef hiding in the back of the milk. So we just chop that up with the potatoes and carrots and toss it in.
“And then we fry them up, like so.” He reached down to turn up the heat, and the pan soon began to make small bubbling sounds.
“Hear it?” Flynn smiled, and Molly nodded vigorously.
He took a wooden spoon, and rubbed it against the greased pan. Squeak, went the spoon, and Molly squealed with laughter.
“Now, Miss Molly―you sit on this stool, right here, and hold the spoon. I’ll let you stir, this time.”
He lifted Molly from the counter and set her on a stool, and she sat beside him and stirred the meat and potatoes, and made the spoon go squeak, squeak, squeak.
“That’s right, my girl,” he told her softly. “Just like your mother used to do.”
Molly looked down into the pan, and her eyes went somber. She stood there in silence for a moment, and then blurted, out of nowhere:
“Da―why did Mommy die?”
Flynn sucked in air, as if he’d been punched. He stood in stunned silence, and cast about for an answer.
“Why―Molly―your mother was―”
He pulled a hand over his mouth and hesitated. Something inside told him that now was not the time for a merciful lie―that the truth was important, if he wanted to keep his daughter’s trust.
He lifted her up in his arms, and sat down in a chair. He looked down into her face soberly, tried to read her eyes, wondered if she was old enough for the truth.
“Molly, you remember what I told you about the fighting back home, don’t you?” he asked gently.
Molly nodded solemnly.
“It’s been going on for a long, long time, and it―it never really goes away. You understand that―that the fighting was why we left our home, and came to live here.”
Her big eyes held his.
He swallowed, and went on: “Chickadee, sometimes―sometimes when there’s fighting, innocent people get hurt.”
He closed his eyes, trying to hold it back, but the memory roared over him. Instantly, he was back there again, kneeling on the corner in front of the Whistle. He was holding Maggie in his arms as her blue eyes fixed themselves on a point just past his shoulder. The panic swept him again.
“Maggie?―somebody call an ambulance!” he’d screamed. But the rugby players who’d come running out of the Whistle had only crouched down beside him in silence, and glanced at the broken glass and groceries scattered over the sidewalk.
One of them put a hand on his shoulder.
He’d launched himself out into the street, swinging for the nearest chin he could find and screaming at the top of his lungs.
Flynn closed his eyes and willed that day to fade back into the past. He slowly came to himself, looked down at their little daughter, and thanked God; because it was only the mercy of God that Molly hadn’t lost both her parents that day.
“Chickadee,” he whispered, “your mother died by accident. The police are our friends, they’re there to protect us, but sometimes…accidents happen. There were police standing on the sidewalk across from our house that day, and some bad men drove by in a car, and fired their guns at the police. The police fired their guns back. Your mother was hit…by accident, as she was walking home from the market.”
Molly looked up at him, with her round blue eyes, and to his helpless regret, his own sadness slowly spread across their innocent depths.
Then she lifted her arms, closed them around his neck, and buried her face in his shirt.
Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I’ve written all my life. I was that weird kid with the glasses who always had her nose in a book. Other kids looked at the playground and wondered whether they wanted to play on the monkey bars or the swings. I looked at it and wondered what happened there when we all went home.
So I was an English major in school, and worked as a small town newspaper reporter out of college — best job ever, BTW — everyone should have that pleasure — and then on the staff of several regional trade magazines and newspapers in Atlanta before starting my own copywriting business.
Are you an Introvert or Extrovert? How does this affect your work?
It really depends. I think my default setting is introverted, because solitude recharges my batteries, but I can be very extroverted if I like what I’m doing at the time. A guy I once dated told me “You looked like you might be shy, but then you opened your mouth, and you didn’t sound shy at all.” Lol.
How do you relax?
I love going out into nature, especially if there’s water. I love river recreation like tubing and rafting and kayaking. I love sailing. I have a romance coming out that’s set in a small coastal town in Maine.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just to see where an idea takes you?
I start with a skeleton outline and a list of characters, and I do plan it out, because you have to make sure that your plot is at least possible, given the realities of that place and time. Then I start writing, and I usually find that the story suggests itself to me as long as I ask, “What would this character likely do or feel here? What makes sense here?” And if the character does something that doesn’t make sense at first glance — why?
I see you write in the Christian/Inspirational genre. What draws you to this genre?
This is my life. I’m writing what I’ve experienced myself. All of my stories have God as one of the central characters, and my heroines’ actions are always at least partly motivated by their consciousness of his presence. Their relationship with God may be complicated, or even angry at times, but they always break through to a new level of closeness to him, in the end. I see that relationship as a kind of romance, and just as important, if not more important, than the romance between the heroine and her love interest.
What is your favorite motivational phrase?
“You can either work to fulfill your own dreams, or work to help someone else fulfill theirs.”
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
I still am an aspiring writer, lol. But to new writers — my advice would be, learn marketing. That’s a drag, and none of us want to do it, but it’s so important. You can write like a genius, but if no one reads your book, you’re stuck.
Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
This is my website: http://www.marylingerfeltauthor.com/
This is my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/marylingerfeltpage/messages/?threadid=1067635493×tamp=1503810882574
Join me Saturday when we read an excerpt from Mary’s story, A Lancaster Love. ~Tina
Writing novels has been a life-long ambition. I wrote fiction stories in elementary school, but only after retirement did I complete a novel for publication. Both series, The Wades of Crawford County and Highland Treasures, came from genealogy research. The Wades series was inspired by my ancestors who immigrated from Tennessee to Missouri before the Civil War. The Highland Treasures series sprung from research into my Sots ancestry.
Q: Why did you decide to write Christian/Sweet Historicals?
My writing is part of a Christian ministry my husband and I co-founded. I enjoy reading and writing sweet romances that have an exciting plot and storyline. I have a teaching field in history and enjoy the research, then imagining the circumstances of those living in the era I’m studying.
Q: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The message I want to readers to grasp from my novels is—ordinary people live extraordinary lives, and I want to tell their stories.
Q: What is your writing process? Do you outline, fly by the seat of your pants or a combination of both? Do you use mood music, candles, no noise, when you write?
I use a combination of outline and fly by the seat of my pants. Sometimes while I am writing a scene, the characters take off in a completely different direction from the one I have planned. I can’t do a thing to stop them. I like quiet while I write so my mind is not distracted and can concentrate on the story.
Q: Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
When I have writer’s block on occasion, I sit down and begin a scene in the story. Soon, the characters start conversations and the action begins. I may go back and edit then rewrite, but the writer’s block is replaced with all sorts of thoughts about the direction for the action in the storyline.
Q: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
I belong to a local writer’s guild, and they have been instrumental in encouraging my writing and helping me get established as an author.
Q: If you weren’t writing, what would you be doing?
If I weren’t writing, I would be looking for something else to do, piddling, and generally wasting time.
Q: What do you feel is the most important aspect for all new authors to remember when writing or creating their own stories?
Let your imaginations run wild, because a storyline and characters will emerge out of the chaos. Sometimes our minds and thought processes are too inhibited by everyday life and expectations.
Q: Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
I love to hear from my readers. Connect with me here:
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/JV31xY
Join me on Saturday as we read an excerpt from Brenda’s latest release Highland Ruby. ~Tina