Not only does God love to create, He also loves His creation. This is the message author Melanie Dobson hopes that her readers gain from her latest release Love Finds You in Mackinac Island, Michigan (Summerside Press) that combines historical romance with her trademark element of mystery.
A story filled with beauty and wonder, Love Finds You in Mackinac Island, Michigan transports readers to a magical place and time. The story begins in the 1890s at the end of the Gilded Age, a golden era of prosperity and growth. As the Gilded Age comes to a close, the kingdoms of many wealthy industrialists begin to collapse, including the once-wealthy Bissette family who has nearly lost its fortune.However, the Bissettes still own a home on the fashionable Mackinac Island, where they will spend one last summer in the hope of introducing their daughter Elena to a wealthy suitor.
Q: Was there any special inspiration for the story? And why Mackinac Island?
I've always been intrigued by Mackinac Island (a very popular vacation destination on the east coast) because I was told time seemed to stand still there. There are no cars on the island so people ride bikes or horse-drawn carriages, and from the moment you get off a boat, you can sense it is a magical place.
Q: Do you decide where the books in the Love Finds You (LFY) series are set, or does the publisher assign locales? How do you decide where the story is set?
Summerside has asked me to write about a specific locale before, but usually I send my wonderful editor a couple ideas of places where I'd like to set a story and we work from there. My book Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana was set in Liberty because they were a major hub on the Underground Railroad, and the name Liberty was quite fitting for their work helping runaway slaves. LFY in Amana and Homestead were set in the Amana Colonies--a place I've been intrigued about since I was a child. I've also been intrigued about Mackinac Island since my early years, growing up in Ohio.
Q: Do you always get the opportunity to visit the places your books are set?
I always visit the locations for my Love Finds You books before I write about the towns because the setting is ingrained in these stories. If you would like to read about some of my adventures, I always post blogs about my visits to the locations once the books are released. http://melaniedobson.blogspot.com
Fortunately, my next novel (Where the Trail Ends, releasing in October) is set on the Oregon Trail so I didn't have to go far to research it.
Q: You’ve written in more than one genre including historical and contemporary. What genre or time period is your favorite and why?
My desire is to write stories that stir people's heart and soul--whether historical or contemporary--but my favorite genres would be to write historical romance and romantic suspense. I love to research--so much so that it's sometimes hard for me to stop and actually write the book. :)
Q: What do you hope readers come away with after reading Love Finds You in Mackinac Island, Michigan?
I hope readers will be inspired by God's majesty and be reminded that not only does God love to create, He also loves His creation.
I've published ten novels now, and LFY in Mackinac Island was one of my favorite books to write. This story (I hope) is filled with beauty and wonder. It's about a magical place, during a magical time, and I hope that readers leave with a sense of God's majesty on this beautiful island where time has seemed to stand still.
Q: As you were writing this book, you were able to travel to Haiti to lead a women’s retreat. Tell us how you were able to tie your preparation and experience there into the book.
I went to Haiti to help lead a retreat for the wives of Haitian pastors. Our whole team spoke on a different name of God, and I spoke about God as Mighty Creator. As I researched God's passion for creating and the love He has for His creation, it was a joy for me to incorporate the wonder and beauty of the universe into this historical novel.
For more about Melanie Dobson and her books, visit www.melaniedobson.com.