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'The Lady's Mine' - the latest novel by Francine Rivers

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'The Lady's Mine' - the latest novel by Francine Rivers
Anne Rogers speaks to award winning novelist, Francine Rivers, on her new book The Lady’s Mine

Francine Rivers’ new novel The Lady’s Minereleased on 8 February 2022, is set in a California gold rush town. Kathryn Walsh is a city girl newly arrived from Boston. Matthias Beck is one of Calvada’s leading citizens. Neither is impressed with the other. 

                                                                 

I asked Francine about writing and her new release. You write fiction and nonfiction but are best known for being a novelist. What is it about storytelling that keeps you coming back to it?

I love reading good stories. Every writer has a unique way of looking at characters and the world. Every time I dive into a book, I’m diving into the creative mind of another writer. There are only so many plots and yet there is no limit to the way we tell stories. In my opinion, the best stories teach us lessons, and almost every project I’ve tackled has been a personal quest to find answers to faith questions. It’s an exciting process to create characters who voice different points of view, with one, like me, seeking God’s perspective.

I also love nonfiction, not all from a Christian perspective. It’s important to learn how other people process issues we all face. The Bible is nonfiction and I read through it every year. Scripture is God-breathed and alive and provides information, inspiration, and transformation.

Which character in The Lady’s Mine did you most enjoy crafting? Why?

Kathryn Walsh! She has strong faith, seeks the Lord, and does what she believes is right. She’s fiery, opinionated, earnest, and determined to make the town she lives in better (whether men agree or not). Though she has few resources herself, she shares what she does have. She doesn’t judge anyone (except Matthias Beck!), though she is frequently judged by others. Frankly, I enjoyed getting to know her during the Covid lockdowns. And, of course, Matthias Beck also had his fascinating character traits.

In The Lady’s Mine we see two sides of love—that which is possessive and controlling and that which supports, protects, and encourages. Many of your books are love stories, but many are non-standard, such as Elvira’s peripheral story in The Lady’s Mine. What is it about these folks, whom Jesus spoke to but many ‘religious’ people through the ages condemn, which makes you want to include them, and do they come into your stories unbidden, or do you plan them?

The main characters are always the first to arrive in my head. It’s one of the highly entertaining things about writing: the imaginary friends and enemies that inhabit my mind over the course of months and sometimes years. I loved the movie The Man Who Invented Christmas because of the way Dickens’s characters followed him around, talking to and arguing with him. Peripheral characters, in my case, are seldom planned. They appear and start to tell their story. Sometimes, as in Elvira’s case, her story links to that of another character. That wasn’t planned either, but it worked out well for the overall message.

Everyone, from conception to the last breath, has great value to God. We are all sinners in need of a Saviour. The new order of the day seems to be pitting one group against another. But God doesn’t think like mankind. He sees each of us as precious, redeemable, a child to be wooed into a full, loving relationship with Him. And I strive to see people in the same way He does, through eyes of love.

Finally, you mentioned in the author note that this story has been with you for decades, and that the pandemic was the catalyst for writing it. What was the origin of this idea, and how were things added to it over time?

The starting point of this novel came from one I wrote in the general market years ago. When I glanced through it to jog my memory, I realised how many opportunities for character development and coping with real-life issues I had missed. And I thought: Why not rewrite it? Why not show the difference God has made in my life over the past thirty-plus years as a Christian? With life so heavy and serious, I wanted the story to have humour in it. People need to laugh. I hope readers will enjoy.

 

* The book is also available in hard cover

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Products mentioned in or related to this blog post
The Lady’s Mine (Hard Cover)
Francine Rivers, Francine Rivers
Retail price: £22.50
Your price: £22.50

The Lady's Mine (ITPE)
Francine Rivers
Retail price: £13.50
Your price: £9.99

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