Sunday, 1 June 2008

Interview with Robin Lee Hatcher

In the best sense possible, Robin Lee Hatcher is a veteran in the writing world! She has written 29 books for the CBA market since 1999 and many ABA novels since she was first published in 1984. I count it a privilege that Robin spent some time answering questions for Relz Reviewz ~ enjoy!

If you could have chosen your own name, what would it be?

    I like my given name a lot, although I used to say that I wanted to find a husband with the last name of Hood so that I could be Robin Hood. Still, Robin Lee Hatcher seems to fit me, and I’m content with it.

Your first pet’s name?

    Gretchen, a calico cat who I dressed up in doll clothes and pushed around in a baby carriage.

Your best friend’s name in primary (elementary) school?


Did you have a special toy that went everywhere with you when you were young? Please describe.

    I had this wonderful brown Teddy bear that was so soft and squishy. I still had him when I got married but somewhere along the way, through moving to new homes, he got lost.

If you could be an animal for one day, what would you be and why?

    A horse, the most noble of God’s creatures, IMHO. I have been in love with horses since I was very small. As I child, I collected miniature horses that I would move in herds across the bedroom floor. At 14, I saved up and bought my first horse. I’ve never lost my love for themseeing them, riding them, being around them. Although I haven’t owned a horse in twenty years, I’m pleased to say that my oldest granddaughter acquired my passion for horses, and she is becoming an accomplished horsewoman.

If you could meet a famous person, who would it be?

    Abraham Lincoln. The man and his presidency have always fascinated me. I am currently reading (on my fabulous Kindle ebook reader!) Abraham Lincoln, a Man of Faith and Courage: Stories of our Most Admired President. It is impossible to read about Lincoln without wishing you could know him and ask him about his life and the people he knew and the decisions he made.

If you were stranded on a desert island what one object would you want with you? (Besides your Bible of course)

    My iPhone. That’s assuming I’m on a desert island with electricity.

If you could only have one favorite food to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be?

    That sounds like torture to me. Variety, after all, is the spice of life. But I’ll say spaghetti. I can eat it several days in a row without minding at all.

What's your favorite ice cream flavor?

    Cookie dough ice cream.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

    An actress. I did theater work in my teens and twenties, but when I started writing, I didn’t have the time to do both (plus be a mom and work full time).

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

    Ireland, England, and Scotland.

Besides God, who has influenced you the most?

    My mom.

What's your favorite book?

    I’m assuming that this, too, is “other than the Bible.” I don’t have just one favorite. I have lots of favorites. But if forced to choose, I will say Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers because God used it to plant the desire in my heart to begin writing for Him.

What part of your daily routine do you enjoy most?

    Reaching my word goal for the day!

What's your favourite movie?

    This is a lot like the favorite book question. I have lots of favorites in various genres. Simply cannot name just one. An Ideal Husband, Gone With The Wind, Sense and Sensibilities, Shrek, Return to Me, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Mansfield Park, About a Boy, Pride and Prejudice (the BBC version), etc., etc.

Where's the most interesting place you have been?

    Ellis Island in New York’s harbor. You can breathe in the history, and it is fabulous. Although visiting Japan was an interesting experience as well.

What's your most fervent prayer?

    For those I love to know the Lord and live for Him.

What's the bravest thing you've ever done?

    Become a mom. Motherhood isn’t for sissies.

What gift have you received that you will always treasure?

    The greatest gift I’ve ever received is the gift of God’s forgiveness. I just cannot compare anything to that.

What is your favorite Bible verse (or "one" of your favorites) and what does it mean to you?

    “If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” Daniel 3:17-18

    I have tried to live my life by this passage. I know that God is great and He is good and He can deliver me from anything. But no matter what, even if He doesn’t deliver me and I must walk through the fiery furnace, I will praise the Lord and serve only Him.

What was your most embarrassing moment in High School?

    Good grief! I cannot think of a single thing. I’m sure I was embarrassed more than once, but apparently not enough to have it make an impression upon me all these years later.

Wagered Heart

Please share the inspiration behind this story

    The idea for this book began simply with “what if my heroine made a bet that she could get the hero to do something, and then what would happen if the hero learned of that bet and made one of his own?” I could see all kinds of complications that would come of something like that.

How did you create Bethany and Hawk’s personalities?

    To be honest, I don’t ever create my characters’ personalities. They tell me who they are. Of all the parts that go into writing novels, characterization comes the easiest to me. I don’t use tools such as Meyers-Briggs profiles or The Spirit-Controlled Temperament. Once I’m ready to begin a book, I sit down and write first person autobiographies of the main characters from their birth to the moment the story opens. I do this in a “stream of consciousness” style, writing without stopping or correcting or changing. In this way, I discover them.

What do you hope readers take away from this story?

    My first goal with any book is to entertain and to make readers feel as if they know my characters. I hope that they will put down Wagered Heart and be sorry that it is over already. I hope that they will think about Bethany and Hawk sometimes and wonder how they are.

    And I always hope to point readers to the One who has the answers for whatever is happening in their own lives.

You have written historical and contemporary novels. Do you have a preference?

    No, I really don’t have a preference. I enjoy both. In my contemporary women’s fiction, I tend to grapple with more serious social topics (alcoholism, marriages in crisis) and issues of faith (trusting in God even when your world falls apart, growing in Christ). My historical romances tend to have a slightly lighter tone and are, of course, romantic at their core.

    I am settling in for two or three years of writing historicals, mostly because I was in the mood for it. But I will always want to write the story idea that grabs my own imagination and won’t let go.

What are you working on now?

    I am currently writing the first of a new series about heroines who have unusual jobs for their time. In A VOTE OF CONFIDENCE (set in 1915), Gwen Arlington is a determinedly-single young woman who is running for mayor of Bethlehem Springs. Her opponent is a wealthy newcomer to the area, Morgan McKinley, who is building a health spa near the town. Problems and romance ensue.

You have been in the industry for many years and no doubt seen many changes, especially in the CBA market. Please share some of the positive changes that have occurred over the past 10-15 years.

    When I started writing my first novel in 1981, there was very little Christian fiction published in the CBA. Prior to the 80’s, many general market publishers released what we would today call Christian fiction, although it wasn’t labeled as such back then: Ben Hur, The Silver Chalice, The Robe. But there was an attitude prevalent in some Christian circles during the 1970’s and 1980’s that if something wasn’t “true” it wasn’t good for a Christian to read it. However, some really wonderful authors came along (Brock and Bodie Thoene, Francine Rivers), not to mention the fabulous editors who (I suspect) fought hard to get to publish them, and suddenly the doors opened. Now readers can find high quality Christian fiction in just about any genre that they wish to read.

    Today I believe most Christian publishers and booksellers, not to mention readers, understand the importance and power of storytelling and how Christian fiction can encourage, uplift, and even edify. I love the verse that says: "Jesus always used stories and illustrations like these when speaking to the crowds. In fact, he never spoke to them without using such parables." (Matt 13:34). Jesus used “the power of story” to help His listeners get the point. That’s what a Christian novelist tries to do as well.

Any last words?

    Thanks for the interview and the opportunity to tell others about my books. I appreciate all my readers so very much. To learn more about my past, present, or future releases, I invite readers to visit my web site at

    Thanks so much, Robin, for giving us a glimpse into your world and your writing. It has been a delight :)

Relz Reviewz Extras:~

Review of Robin's Wagered Heart and Return to Me

Robin's website

Robin's blog, Write Thinking

Buy Robin's books at Amazon or Koorong (Aust)


Ausjenny said...

I enjoyed the interview Robin and Rel.
and i remember on other interview Rel you mentioned americans have interesting Ice creams and I think that comes out again this interview.
thanks for taking the time to let us get to know you more.

Tracy said...

Thanks for the little peek into the woman behind the books! I'm again fascinated by the whole character/author relationship. Like Ausjenny, the ice cream flavours astound me LOL.

Jenny said...

Great interview - and the new series sounds like it'll be a good one.

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine what it would be like to wrie a book, I have enough trouble just putting pen to paper to write this comment.The interview was great Robyn and I agree that novels are a wonderful tool to spread the Christian message Wendyb

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