Author Interview | Speaking with Lauraine Henderson on behalf of her novel “Building A Life”

Posted Friday, 20 July, 2018 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts, I have a special post for you today!

As you might have noticed, I’ve been reading offline a bit more this month than in the past – this is because I’ve been re-building my stamina to read print books, whilst happily off-setting my time spent in print with #AudioReads as a way to continue to offset my chronic migraines which truly affected my health and well being this past Spring [2018]. As a result, this July – my posts have been on the leaner side, whilst I’ve continued to micro-blog my reading adventures via my feeds on Twitter!

I previously disclosed I am participating in an INSPY self-directed reading challenge this month, where I have had the pleasure of JOY following in my Mum’s footsteps whilst we both are nearly tag-teaming our readings of the #LoveINSPIRED Suspense series! The authors I’ve read thus far and feel are wicked good for stirring my heart with their suspenseful pen are Laura Scott & Lenora Worth! Next in line is Elizabeth Goddard, as I’ve heard so many lovely things about her series from Mum, she makes you itch to get inside them yourself!

As I was pulling together which blog tours I wanted to join this Summer, I saw this INSPY novel was going on tour – I decided to switch things up a bit – hosting an interview & a behind-the-scenes insight post to compliment the convo!

I’ve been a hybrid reader of both mainstream & INSPY Lit my entire life, as I find literature rather remarkable for how brilliantly diverse the stories are to be found to cross our readerly path! INSPY Contemporary is definitely the one I am eager to discover even though the Historicals will always have a sweet spot in my soul as I’m a girl wicked addicted to reading Historical Romances and Historical Fiction narratives! (as well you all know – if you’ve spent time here on Jorie Loves A Story!)

I hope you will enjoy your visit today – learning more about the writer’s (Ms Henderson’s) writing process, a few insights into her story (‘Building A Life’) and perhaps, you’ll pick up a new read you hadn’t found previously! I appreciate your visitations and I appreciate your patience as I re-strengthen my health – I’ll be blogging a bit more regularly soon, as with each story I’ve been reading or listening, I’ve found my way ‘back’ into the niche of stories I love most to read! I feel thankful I could take the time to heal & find a new rhythm of reading which works best for me.

May your #SummerReads be as thrilling as mine have been!

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Author Interview | Speaking with Lauraine Henderson on behalf of her novel “Building A Life”Building A Life
by Lauraine Henderson

Sara Castleton resolved to make better choices now that there was a new life growing inside her. When her husband, Peter, plowed through that stop sign and left this world, he left a mess behind. Picking up the pieces of her shattered life and finishing the house Peter started could be the answer to her future, but she needed help.

When Nicholas Bradford was asked to step into Sara’s unfinished house project, he reluctantly agreed. He didn’t always see eye-to-eye with Peter’s friends and business associates, but one look at his pregnant widow and Nick couldn’t say no.

Before they know it, they aren’t just building a house, they’re Building a Life.

Genres: Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Women's Fiction

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-0998310817

on 19th April, 2018

Pages: 234

Published By: Books You Can Trust Publishing (@BOOKSYOUTRUST)

10 Behind the Scenes Facts about the Book

1. My husband, a builder by trade, built two houses for us during the writing and revision process of this book. To make sure I had the facts right, I would sometimes stop him in the middle of working on our house to clarify details.

2. Nick’s two soccer goals in the book were taken directly from my son’s high school soccer experience as a center forward. Nick’s love of the game beyond high school and college stemmed from my husband’s experience playing on a city league when we were dating.

3. Nick’s neglected drafting table in his home office was a salute to my late father-in-law who was a professional draftsman before the days of computer aided drafting programs.

4. Brenda’s house that screamed with bright light was originally supposed to be a house that was immersed in darkness. I had stayed with some friends who lived with the drapes drawn, the blinds closed, and the TV room dark like a theater and found it terribly oppressing. I thought it played well into her dark nature, but I was afraid this friend would see themselves in the book if they read it and changed it to the opposite. I felt it still worked well, showing Brenda as a woman who lived in fear of the dark instead of embracing it.

5. Nick getting beat up was a complete surprise until the day I wrote the scene. In my notes and outline, there was no mention of Nick being attacked. When the story headed that direction, I followed along, interested in seeing where it would go. I was impressed by how well it fit into the story.

6. I didn’t dwell on the many opportunities for complications during the birth of Sara’s baby, but the part where she held Nick’s hand and squeezed it so hard she almost broke his fingers happened for real during the birth of my second child. It was my first natural delivery and my husband shook out his hand and offered two fingers for me to squeeze instead so I would hurt him. It’s amazing how much strength a woman delivering a baby has!

7. Nick and Josh’s experience with the welcoming attitude of people in the LDS church when they were investigating various churches was much like every ward I’ve ever visited or moved into. I wanted to show the openness that the church demonstrates to people who are new.

8. When Sara described Nick’s maneuvering in the trusses as a slow dance, it was exactly how I feel watching my husband when he sets trusses on a house. When the crane operator knows what they’re doing, it can be as smooth as I made it sound and just as riveting.

9. The name of Peter’s friend, Mitch, was just a name when I started writing the book. During the course of revision, I met someone named Mitch who turned out to be the boyfriend of the daughter of people who were living with us. (another story). While I was describing the storyline to the mom of the daughter (to pass the time while we painted the house), Mitch (the boyfriend) joined us. I immediately apologized for the name and explained that the Mitch in the story wasn’t a good guy. He reassured me it was okay and kind of liked the idea that his namesake was the bad guy.

10. Nick’s smile is a direct correlation to Josh Turner’s smile on the cover of his album Haywire. It’s a breathtaking sight to behold and truly swoon-worthy! (Or you can watch the video of Josh’s song Firecracker for more of that Hollywood smile.)

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You enjoy writing INSPY (Inspirational) Fiction stories – what do you love most about creating gentle romances built upon a relationship-based Romance with a strong balance of faith interwoven into the context?

Henderson responds: Initially, I wanted to write stories that showed the LDS faith as part of the Christian community because I believe many people misunderstand the church. In addition, too many romances are all about sex and not about a faith-based relationship of love. I know there is an audience for faith-based sweet romance. Is it the uplift of showing how life is better in balance and in sync with our spirituality or is it the hopefulness of finding stories which seek to help us see pieces of our lives through a lens of faith-based living?

Mostly, it’s because there is too much immorality and irreverence that spurs me to write to an audience that still holds high standards and wants to see people find or rediscover their faith as they find love. Each of my stories centers around a particular spiritual theme (repentance, forgiveness, finding faith, trust). I try to make them real, with real problems and faith-based solutions.

I can appreciate your inspiration to tell stories which show readers insight into the LDS Faith, as being a non-LDS Protestant myself, I started reading LDS stories (via Cedar Fort) as a way to read a new branch of INSPY Lit I hadn’t come across previously. This is one reason I like to refer to ‘faith-based stories’ as INSPY, as it is the main heading for all faith-based literature (Inspirational Lit) which encompasses all religious backgrounds and origins of faith; not limited strictly to Christianity.

As I have blogged about the LDS Authors I’ve appreciated discovering, I hope my words on their behalf will inspire more readers to pick up their stories. LDS stories are dearly misunderstood – I have seen this myself – which is why I am thankful to be a beacon of joy to shine a positive light on them myself.

In deference to your other points, I do read secular Romances – as mentioned, I’m a hybrid reader and I believe in the power of stories told from every person’s perspective and lifestyle. I do have my own strong opinions about Romance as a genre which is why I can appreciate yours – however, I would never dismiss a story if the characters were living a life outside of my own, as that has always been my main inspiration to read – to read about people who are living a life I am not living myself. It helps bring the world to our doors and hearts – to grow in empathy and to see the world as life is being lived.

As a regular reader of INSPY Romance, I do attest to the beauty of the uplifting feelings you feel as you read the stories – their a hug of cosy comfort. I simply would not forsake mainstream stories for INSPY or vice versa – my bookish heart has room for both styles.

You previously disclosed the inspiration behind Nick’s infamous smile was the charisma of Josh Turner (country singer) – do you oft listen to certain genres of music whilst your writing?

Henderson responds: I don’t usually listen to music when I write, but I listen to it a lot when I’m not writing and it inspires me. I have recently discovered a love of relaxing jazz while I write now. It doesn’t really inspire me, but it curbs the silence and still allows my mind to create.

I must have misread a previous disclosure of yours – as I thought it was implying you were listening to music as you were writing. We all have our individual process to find solace in the hours in which we develop our stories, if jazz works to calm the quay of your thoughts, it is a good choice to be listening too. I find solace in ambient electronica for this same reason – my favourite radio station is Hearts of Space (

If so, which ones do you find the most inspiring towards envisioning your story and bringing it to life?

Henderson responds: My playlist is full of love songs, a couple break-up songs, but mostly happily-ever-after songs.

I love the emotional keel of all romantic songs – the joy with the anguish as it shows the dynamics of our living experiences. HEA is brill but sometimes it’s nice to tuck into the harder emotions which paint a light of truth towards our overall journey whilst we’re alive. The same reason why I move through Sweet Romances to harder hitting dramatic Realistic Fiction stories which are a blend of Women’s Fiction & Romance.

Do you switch genres for each new story or keep the same one?

Henderson responds: I don’t’ switch genres. I love my playlist and can use it for any of my stories. Sometimes, I think about writing a story around a particular song, but that hasn’t happened yet.

Ooh my! I couldn’t do that! I regularly switch-up my musical stations! On Spotify, I’m finding it’s easier to be an audiophile as you have a wide base of music to pull from which is slightly now easier than Pandora or iHeart Radio! I move through generations of musical history and the different styles of music help keep me hugged close to each person’s individual interpretation of how to sing the songs of our lives.

When I’m writing though – songs speak to me on behalf of the characters I’m fleshing out and as the plot moves forward, the story itself has it’s own self-generated playlist.

As the title eludes, this novel has a metaphor about how to build lives and homes – what do you think is most important for readers to recognise within this metaphor as it cross-relates back to their lives?

Henderson responds: I think the important thing for readers to recognize is the effort it takes to give ourselves over to God and that with Him as our companion, we can have a life of love and joy. The story is meant to leave the reader with hope that God is always there for us, protects us, and loves us. Building a good life requires strength of character that comes with faith.

Hmm… I suppose I interpreted the title of this story a bit differently as I was going in a different direction than your response is leading. I do agree with you about having a living relationship with God – however, I was contemplating the metaphoric inspiration between ‘our lives and our homes’ and how the two are simultaneously being built.

How did you deal with the shattering vacancy of loss and premature death whilst showing how a grieving widow can heal as she moves forward?

Henderson responds: Well, without telling any spoilers, my grieving widow wasn’t exactly grieving. Hers was not a good marriage. In fact, she was already planning to leave her husband when she discovered she was pregnant and only decided to stay long enough to have the baby; a baby her husband didn’t want. His accident left her unprepared for a life alone but determined to make a better life for her child.

Ahh, wells without being able to read the story ahead of formulating my questions – sometimes I hit a few stumbling blocks as I’m having to do research online to pull out the key points of the plot and the overall arc of the characters’ lives. Forgive me for falling a bit short here – I hadn’t realised it was a story of a second chance to live free of a husband she was already planning to divorce. All women have to make the choices which are right for them and their child. It is better to acknowledge this than to stay in a bad marriage for the sake of the child which never pans out very well – at least by what I have observed from friendships in my youth.

What did you want to focus on through Sara’s recovery after her husband’s tragic death?

Henderson responds: I wanted to focus on the fact that although she was trying to figure out a better life for her and her child, she needed help from God to find peace and direction. She was trying to do it all on her own, but Nick introduced her to the idea that she could have heavenly help.

Definitely, true! We need to help ourselves but not without leaning on our faith – if someone is knew to the concept, it can take awhile to understand what this means and how it can aide them in their times of need. How lovely Nick was around to guide her and help her reconstruct her life.

Do you think you’ll set a story in a place you haven’t previously lived or do you enjoy writing from your own experiences rather than opt to envision a place you haven’t experienced directly?

Henderson responds: It’s always easier to set a story in a place I’ve lived. I would be worried if I set a story in a real place where I haven’t been and I wouldn’t get it right and readers from that area would be offended. If I haven’t been in a location, such as my current WIP, I simply leave the place vague enough that it could be anywhere. That was also the case in my Christmas novella, The Spirit of Christmas. It took place in a town that experienced snow in the winter, but that’s all you really know about the place. That way, it’s more relatable to the reader.

Hmm. This is an interesting response as a lot of the authors I regularly read write about places they don’t always get to visit but through their research into the setting and locales their writing about – they get an inside vibe and are able to articulate it for us to experience. I have the tendency to be the same way – I don’t always like stories which feel like any old place, as it is harder to insert myself into that particular story as you don’t always feel you have a good idea about ‘where’ you are – the same is true for when a time period is more nebulous than defined. I guess it boils down to personal preferences – I just love to be a time traveller who gets to tuck into a new time and setting I’ve not previously visited.

If so, where would you like to set a story?

Henderson responds: I tend to favor the west coast since that’s where I’ve sent most of my life. I recently returned from a trip to Japan and would love to set a story there, but it would be tricky. It would have to be just the right story for that to work.

Japan would be lovely! This is why I am wicked addicted to Susan Spann’s #HiroHattori novels!

As you love being artistic – what is your favourite medium of choice if you had to pick between fibre arts (ie. knitting, crochet), fabric (ie. sewing) or fine art (ie. watercolours, oils or acrylics)?

Henderson responds: At this point in my life, I would always choose painting, either watercolors or oils.

I used to adore using oils but with chemical allergies, it proved to be too hard to continue. I love the watercolouring styling of Stephanie Law (of whom I follow on Twitter, as she is so very gracious with sharing her WIPs) – if I could follow in her footsteps and curate my own ethereal and fantastical style of art, I’d be pleasantly thrilled. She’s a master in her field – I don’t intend to reach that height of execution as I spent more years developing my photography style but just to be able to create and feel the joy of the creative spirit as I find my imagination fusing to canvas, I’ll be properly happy!

What are your favourite pieces of art to create and has art been a key component in your life all along or is it something you picked up along the way?

Henderson responds: My favorite subjects are close-focus flowers and children. I have watercolors of each of my children when they were 2-3 years old hanging in my bedroom and that’s the first thing I see every morning. I have always dabbled at art but was frustrated for years because of an art teacher in junior high who gave me a ‘B’ in his class. As an ‘A’ student, I took that to mean I wasn’t any good and didn’t continue any art education or creation for many years. When I was in my mid-30s, I rediscovered art and pursued it for my own enjoyment.

When my daughter (a fabulous artist) started high school and took AP art classes, she inspired me to do more and actually let people other than family see what I had done. Eventually, I had the distinction of having four of my paintings hanging in an art gallery in Hawaii. Although they didn’t sell, that was a pretty big deal for me. In fact, accomplishing that gave me the courage to pursue publishing my first novel.

Oh, my! Rather tragic this teacher robbed you of studying art and of pursuing a passion you had! I felt bad reading you misunderstood the grade – I had a friend like you though in high school who put too much weight on her GPA; it led to anxiety and stress, where like you, she never realised her potential and had issues with self-worth. I wasn’t raised like her where your GPA was something to live/die by – my parents would rather I took something out of what I was learning vs trying to strive for an impossible bar which was subjective per each teacher’s spin on how to interpret a student’s academic achievements. The knowledge isn’t measurable through tests or grades – our knowledge is something we generate ourselves and continue to advance throughout our lives.

I’m thankful you were re-inspired by your daughter to take up art again – no one has the right to destroy a joy you have for being creative. Never let anyone deter you from your own passions and dreams – their yours and yours alone.

What can you share as a preview of what is yet to come in your next story Daisies in the Driveway?

Henderson responds: It’s about two unrelated grandchildren who take over their grandparents’ bed and breakfast and campground so the grandparents can retire and get married. The story centers around the younger generation learning the ins and outs of running the Inn and the campground and the various problems along the way as they fall in love with each other.

OOh, sounds like the kind of story I’d adore reading!!

When your not researching or writing a story, what do you feel uplifts your spirit the most?

Henderson responds: I love to spend time with my daughter, even if it’s only over the phone. We have a lot in common and support each other in our endeavors. She is often my muse for witty dialog and bantering and her successes have inspired me to strive for more for myself. When I can’t be with her, I like to read the same kind of sweet romantic books I write.

I love celebrating the closes daughter and Mum relationships I enjoy having with my Mum – this is why I was thrilled to bits seeing Bindi tweeting loving shout-outs of joy on behalf of Mrs Irwin’s birthday yesterday! Mums and daughters happily become each other’s best friend as adults – I am hopeful more can be blessed with this kind of connection as it truly is an uplift of joy for those of us who can experience it. Many blessings to both of you and continued joy in your lives!

About Lauraine Henderson

Lauraine Henderson

Lauraine lives with her husband, dog and cat on 68 acres of woodland 40 miles north of Portland, Oregon. After growing up in Oregon, they moved their family of three children to Utah. From there they moved to Hawaii and Arizona, finally coming back to Oregon in 2015.

Their three children, two girls and a boy, are all grown and live across the United States. After being a professional bookkeeper for over twenty years, she turned her hobby of writing into her first published novel in 2016.

She loves to write inspirational romance and hopes her readers will be both entertained and uplifted by her stories. When she’s not writing, she loves to paint (watercolors, oils, and acrylics), sew, knit, crochet, and read (of course!).

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This Blog Tour Stop is courtesy of SLB Tours:

Singing Librarian Book Tours blog tour hostess badge is provided by SLB Tours and is used with permission.

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Similar to blog tours where I feature book reviews, as I choose to highlight an author via a Guest Post, Q&A, Interview, etc., I do not receive compensation for featuring supplemental content on my blog. I provide the questions for interviews and topics for the guest posts; wherein I receive the responses back from publicists and authors directly. I am naturally curious about the ‘behind-the-scenes’ of stories and the writers who pen them; I have a heap of joy bringing this content to my readers.

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{SOURCES: Book cover of “Building A Life”, synopsis, author photograph of Lauraine Henderson, author biography, as well as the 10 Behind the Scenes revelations, the blog tour banner and SLB Tours badge were all provided by SLB Tours and used with permission. Post dividers badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets were embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Conversations with the Bookish and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2018.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Friday, 20 July, 2018 by jorielov in 21st Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Contemporary Romance, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Modern Day, Romance Fiction, Singing Librarian Book Tours, Small Towne USA, Sweet Romance, Women's Fiction

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