Welcome to the first author interview of 2019! Last year I decided I wanted to read more, so I decided to focus my author interviews away from how and why they write to more interesting things, like their favorite books and authors! Regina Rudd Merrick agreed to be my guinea pig and test out the new format. Welcome!
Let’s get started with your early reading years: what was your favorite chapter book as a child, and what did you love about it?
I remember in third grade, asking my school librarian for the novel The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew, because my mother had always mentioned that she loved that book. My librarian, probably thinking that trying such a lengthy book would discourage me, told me that she didn’t think I could read that. Uh-Oh! I DID read that book, and I loved it! I also later became a librarian and made it my goal to NEVER tell a child he or she couldn’t read a book. I guess that was my first favorite chapter book, but of them all? The Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and especially The Long Winter. I’ve read and re-read each one many times, and still do.
What was the first adult novel that you read (not “adult,” but not in the young adult section)? Did you like it?
Since I started reading chapter books so early, it was inevitable that I would have read all the Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew, and Hardy Boys by the time I was around 12 or 13! When I was about that age, my grandmother handed me a Grace Livingston Hill novel Brentwood. I devoured it, and many, many more by this beloved author! My granny introduced me to Christian Fiction before it was even a thing!
Nice job, Granny! Do you remember the first book you read that you couldn’t put down? What did you love about it?
The first book I couldn’t put down was probably Nancy Drew’s Mystery at Lilac Inn. I remember it had a beautiful cover, and once we were hooked, my cousin and I spent every dime we could get our hands on buying Nancy Drew books, always checking to make sure we weren’t doubling – that way we could pass them back and forth! That started me on the road to loving mysteries that lasts to this day!
What about your own books? If you could turn any of your books into a movie, which would you pick? Who would cast as the main characters? That’s an easy question for me. I would choose my first novel, Carolina Dream (hoping, of course, to get sequels for the other two books in the Southern Breeze series!). I thought about my cast of characters long before I imagined getting published, so here goes:
Sarah Crawford – Emily Deschanel
Jared Benton – Yannick Bisson
Lucy Dixon – Kristen Chenowyth
Tom Livingston – a lighter-haired Owain Yeoman
Sarah’s parents – James Garner and Diane Keaton
Sarah’s sister and brother-in-law – Cobie Smulders and Josh Radnor
If you could turn any book into a movie (yours or someone else’s), which would you pick? Who would you cast as those characters?
A book I recently read and completely wowed me was The Lacemaker by Laura Frantz. It takes place in Williamsburg just before the Revolutionary War. Wow.
Lady Elizabeth “Liberty” Lawson (small, perceived as fragile) would be Amanda Seyfried. Noble Rynallt, the tough patriot with a tender spot for a suspected traitor? That’s harder. I have three – Gerard Butler, Colin Farrell, or a dark-tinted Jude Law. This would make an amazing movie!!
It sounds like it! What about your future reads – what book are you most looking forward to reading next?
I’m very excited to read Laura Frantz’s A Bound Heart. It released January 1, and I have it on my wish list! Laura is an author that never disappoints me. I do not read an enormous amount of historical fiction, but hers are always at the top of my list no matter what! I love Laura, Tamera Alexander, Deeanne Gist, and a few others in the historical fiction genre.
If historical fiction’s not your “regular” genre, what is?
My favorite genres are actually Contemporary Romance or Romantic Suspense, and I think that goes back to the question about my first “adult” book! I love a good love story, and the conflict that comes into either type of story only adds to the tension and opportunities for romance. My newest favorite suspense author is Patricia Bradley, and I love anything by Lynette Eason, DiAnn Mills, and several others.
Regina, thank you so much for giving us a look at your reading pile! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Still feeling like the new kid on the block in the publishing industry, I often have to remind myself that this writing thing simply allows me to be a conduit for God to speak to others. There have been times that I felt so inadequate, wondering how on earth anyone could be helped by something as frivolous as a novel, but then I hear from readers and learn that some little thing I wrote helped them at a particular time. That’s golden. That is what it’s all about.
My favorite verse is Psalm 37:4, and it goes like this: Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. That’s all He asks. Delight in Him. Our good, good Father wants to give us good things, and in return, we just have to love Him, and love others. I hope you’ll delight yourself in the Lord today!
More about Regina:
Regina Rudd Merrick is a writer, church musician, wife, mother, former librarian, and grateful follower of Jesus Christ. Having lived most of her life in Western Kentucky, she dreams of the sound of crashing waves and sandy beaches. Married to her husband of 35 years, she is the mother of two grown daughters and the keeper of a 100-year-old house where she lives in the small town of Marion, KY. She is the author of three books: Carolina Dream (Apr. 2017), Carolina Mercy (July 2018), and coming Feb. 5, 2019, Carolina Grace in the Southern Breeze Series (you can pre-order the Kindle edition now!).
First-year Special Education teacher Charly Livingston demonstrates God’s love on the outside, but is resentful that God allowed back-to-back tragedies in her family.
Rance Butler is a top-notch medical intern. He’s on his way to the top, and when he meets Charly, he knows things will only get better. When he discovers family secrets and a dying father he never knew, his easy, carefree life seems to disintegrate.
Even in the idyllic ocean breezes and South Carolina sunshine, contentment turns to bitterness and confusion except for God’s amazing grace.
Publisher Website: https://mantlerockpublishing.com/