Grace is ready for a family of her own, but the widow is left to care for her deceased husband’s farm and her aging father. Her prospects are slim until Robert, a hired hand with three children, steps into her life. Maggie Brendan’s Trusting Grace (Revell) is the finale in her Virtues and Vices in the Old West series. In this Q&A, Maggie shares her goals writing the book, her research into the historical period, and on whom she (sometimes) bases her characters…
WHAT WERE YOUR GOALS WRITING TRUSTING GRACE?
I wrote Trusting Grace hopefully to reveal that allowing God to work out improbable situations is always best for us. Many times we try to control life situations by our own power. God’s power is always greater. My heroine, Grace is a widow who deals with the painful absence and longing for children. But God in his impeccable timing speaks breath into our mundane lives when we least expect it. It’s a reminder to never give up on your deepest heart’s desire since that’s what he wants for us too when he is in the center.
WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO RESEARCH THE PERIOD WHERE YOUR BOOK TAKES PLACE?
Fortunately, I have a great resource library that I’ve accumulated through the years, mostly from visiting and living out West. That’s important in writing historicals for accuracy. I love reading history and how incredibly strong people were and had to be to survive. So unlike our lives now with everything at our beck and call.
WHICH CHARACTER IN TRUSTING GRACE SURPRISED YOU MOST?
Probably Robert because he had so much stacked against him from the very beginning—losing a new wife and her children he didn’t know about. Can you imagine the shock for him? I delve into how he learned that what seemed the worst turned out to be the best for him, but it took his faith and courage to learn to trust again.
DO YOU BASE YOUR CHARACTERS ON PEOPLE YOU KNOW, OR ARE THEY TOTALLY MADE UP?
In some of my novels they are loosely based on historical characters—others from reading about the struggles folks endured from my research. Then I take that idea and form a plot to suit the characters which makes the crafting fun for me.
WHAT DO YOU WANT READERS TO TAKE AWAY AFTER READING TRUSTING GRACE?
A continuing theme I seem to have in all my stories is a reliance on God. I want readers to learn to rely on their faith first as they move along in day to day struggles in this life until the good Lord calls us home. Sometimes it’s not always easy as I know from experience. Hopefully, my story will help others to see how God can take any situation and make it better every time when trouble comes to call and overwhelm you.