Author Interview with Lucie Ulrich
Why did you become a writer…was it a dream of yours since you were younger or did the desire to write happen later in your life?
Definitely later in life. My first goal was to work for an airline and travel—which I did. My next goal was to be a stay-at-home mother—which I did. The idea of writing didn’t hit until I was part of a small drama team at my church. Once I wrote my first skit, I was hooked. Novels didn’t come for a number of years later. While substitute teaching, and later teaching drama, the desire to write more than skits became a reality. Not having a clue what I was doing, my first story came in at roughly 150,000 words. I head-hopped throughout and struggled with tense and punctuation, but I had a complete work on paper, and that was all I needed to encourage me to learn more and keep writing.
What was the inspiration for your latest work of fiction?
Finding Hope is a sequel to The Rose Ring. It wasn’t a book I intended to write, but readers asked, so I answered.
Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
For the most part, my characters come from my imagination. There might be a snippet or two of someone I know, but I prefer to make them up. I wouldn’t want friends or family thinking one of my less-than-likable characters was modeled after them. 😊
How do you go from an idea for a book to the birth of the story? Is the process the same for every book you write? How long does it take you to write a book?
Most of my ideas for my books come during the wee hours of the night/morning when I can’t get back to sleep. I often find myself thinking of the same scene/scenario night after night. I don’t outline my stories ahead of time, but keep a record of each chapter as I write it. That way I’m able to go back and check on time frames and such. It can get confusing otherwise. A book can take me anywhere from six months to two years to write. I was slower in the beginning. These days, it’s closer to six to nine months. A lot depends on the length and complexity of the story.
Are you currently working on any new book projects?
I’m always working on new books. Unfortunately, a lot of them never get finished. There are two in the works, however, that I feel certain I will complete. The first is a novella called Mountain View Lodge. This book will bring back, Tillie Spencer, a secondary, but very important, character introduced in The Starlight Inn.
The second one is women’s fiction—a first for me. I always have a romantic theme to my books, but Inconceivable will deal with the lives of two women who love the same man. It’s a clean, inspirational read, as are all my books.
Who is your favorite contemporary author? Are you currently reading any contemporary novels?
Sadly, I don’t read as much as I used to. At the moment, I can’t say I have a favorite at the moment. I’m part of a street team with Heather Gray, Elizabeth Maddrey and Felicia Rogers, so I love reading their books. There are a few well-knows writers I enjoy reading, but these days, I’m giving a lot of new authors a go.
What’s your writing schedule like? When do you find time to write?
Since I no longer work outside the home, I’m free to write whenever I please. There are days I’m on my laptop for ten or twelve hours, and other days when I might check my email. I don’t have a set writing schedule, but find I do my best work earlier rather than later in the day.
I'm more of a night owl and get most of my writing done at night. How have your friends and family received your career as an author? Are they supportive?
My family and friends are super-supportive of my writing. My family is very artistic—my husband is a fabulous photographer, my daughter is a dancer/teacher, and my son is a graphic novelist/online cartoonist. We love to support each other in whatever way we can. My husband, who doesn’t read romance, reads every one of my galley proofs for me. I have one friend who is convinced my books will be made into movies, and another who promotes my work every chance she gets. My sisters are also very supportive. I’m very blessed.
That's awesome. It's great to have such a supportive family and friends. What’s the most challenging aspect of writing for you? ~ POV issues; using too much passive voice and not enough active voice; trouble creating active and engaging dialogue; using too many similar words in starting sentences; or something else?
I honed my craft while being part of a large, online critique group. I had no idea what a POV was when I started writing, but learned quickly. I’m a bit of a dialogue queen. I love dialogue and have been told it’s realistic. That being said, I sometimes get so caught up in the speaking aspect of the story, I forget to allow the reader to “see” what’s going on around the characters. Once I have the first draft finished, I always have to go back and add additional details in order to paint a more vivid picture for the readers.
POV was my major issue when I started writing. I had some awesome editors who helped me work through that. Thanks for chatting with me.
Let's share more about Finding Hope with readers.
About Finding Hope
Finding Hope – Though a standalone, this book is a companion or follow-up to The Rose Ring.
Genres: Inspirational, Romance, Family Drama
Nearly sixteen years after relinquishing the rights to his unborn child, Noah Cooper is stunned to discover his daughter, Hope, wants to meet him. With the love and support of his family, Noah sets off from Elk Flats, Montana to Albany, New York, having no idea what changes are in store for him.
Cancer survivor and widow, Beth Peterson, is more than a little nervous to meet her daughter’s birth father. Their initial meeting goes well, but things decline in a hurry when Noah invites Hope to spend time at the ranch without speaking to Beth about it first.
Determined to meet her new family, a battle of wills ensues between Hope and her mother. While Hope longs for a connection, Beth fears losing her daughter to virtual strangers—strangers who live two thousand miles away.
Struggles and misunderstandings abound between Noah and Beth, despite their growing attraction for one another. Noah is ready to commit, while Beth can’t let go of the memory of her husband and the imperfections cancer has forced her to live with.
Will hope, patience, and prayer be enough to pull this family together?
Find "Finding Hope" Online at Amazon and other online sites
Excerpt from Finding Hope
Noah Cooper brushed down his horse and left him in the corral. He strode across the expanse of property and entered the house through the mudroom. Removing his hat, he scrubbed a hand through his sandy-blond hair. It was time for a haircut. The aroma of beef stew wafted from the kitchen. “You in there, Annie?”
“I am, and I washed the floors this morning, so take your boots off.”
“Yes, ma’am.” Chuckling, Noah sat on a bench to do as ordered. In the five months since he’d discovered the woman he believed to be his aunt was actually his mother, Noah had experienced a new kind of love. They were still working out the kinks, but life was good. Noah stepped into the kitchen, kissed Annie on the cheek, and sat at the oak table that was older than he was. “I picked up the mail. Nothing but bills and junk.” He held up a square envelope. “Except for this.” Annie reached for it, but Noah pulled it back with a smile. “Sorry, it’s addressed to me.”
Annie wiped her hands on a dishtowel, her inquisitive gray eyes staring down at him. “Who’s it from?”
“I don’t know. There’s no return address.” He tore open the flap and pulled out a floral note card. A small photograph of a young girl, maybe thirteen or fourteen, spilled out. She had golden-brown hair that fell past her shoulders, large green eyes, and a slightly crooked smile that mimicked his own. He turned the photo over to find the name Hope and age fourteen written on the back.
“Who’s this?” Annie took the photo from him and studied it.
Tingles ran up Noah’s spine. “I’m not sure.” Could it possibly be? Before reading the note, he zeroed in on the signature at the bottom. The breath escaped his lungs in a whoosh.
“You okay?” Annie sat next to him and put a hand on his arm.
It took a moment before he could answer. He hadn’t heard from his first love in nearly sixteen years. Not since the day he’d signed the adoption papers relinquishing any rights to his unborn child. “It’s from Amanda.”
Annie let out a long, slow whistle while holding up the picture. “So this is…”
Noah took the picture from her. “My daughter.”
Let's Meet the Author
Lucie Ulrich is an award-winning author of inspirational fiction. Her books are filled with stories of faith, family and forgiveness. She was honored to receive a RONE Award for her second novel, “The Rose Ring.”
A former performing arts director, Lucie now enjoys going on photo shoots with her husband, and taking long (or short) road trips. She continues to find inspiration as she and her husband explore the four corners of the United States.
Connect with Lucie
A special thank you to Lucie Ulrich for guesting at Pandora's Box Gazette today.
Lucie is doing a book giveaway today. She's offering e-copies of The Rose Ring, and Finding Hope—to a single winner. That way the winner will get the whole story. 😊
If you'd like to enter Lucie's giveaway, comment below. Be sure to leave your email address in your comment.
We have a winner!
Congratulations to Teri DiVicenzo, winner of Lucie's book giveaway.