We are delighted to have author Colleen Hall on our blog today, giving us insight into her newest release, Warrior’s Heart, book 3 in the Frontier Hearts Saga. Welcome, Colleen!
Congratulations on your new release!
Give us a quick one paragraph summary of Warrior’s Heart.
Recently widowed Della Hunter struggles to define her new position in life and be a single parent to her young son. Her world is complicated when the man she almost married seven years before comes back into her life. Wild Wind, her late husband’s half-brother, is a Cheyenne chieftain and a Dog Soldier of fearsome reputation.
Wild Wind has ceased to fight the soldiers, but he can’t tolerate a life on the reservation, so he makes the dangerous trek into the white man’s world. He comes to the Slash L ranch looking for work. As he takes his brother’s place training horses on the Slash L, he must navigate two cultures and make his way in a society hostile to the tribes. During the years they were separated, his love for Della never wavered. While she grieves for Shane, he determines to woo and win her. Can he bridge the gap between his two worlds, and can he find it in his heart to love Della’s God as she does?
Is this book part of a series, or a stand-alone?
Warrior’s Heart is the third book in my Frontier Hearts Saga.
How did you hear about Anaiah Press?
After I completed writing the first book in my series, Her Traitor’s Heart, I googled “Christian publishers that take new writers.” Anaiah Press was one of the publishers that came up. Anaiah seemed like a match for my manuscript, so I followed their submissions guidelines and sent off Her Traitor’s Heart.
How did you get the idea for your book?
I can honestly say that Warrior’s Heart was the book that I never intended to write. After I finished Wounded Heart (book 2), I planned for book three to feature a grown-up Flossie, who is a toddler in Wounded Heart. I tried to lay out her story, but nothing really came to me. Instead, Wild Wind, a strong character from Wounded Heart, was in my head insisting that I write his story. He wouldn’t leave me alone—he kept at me all the time–so finally I abandoned Flossie and gave in to Wild Wind. With such a strong character involved, I feel that he really wrote the story, not me. I just recorded the life he lived in my head.
Tell us why we’ll love your book.
Wild Wind took over the story in another way once I started to lay out the storyline. I created a love interest for him, a blonde-haired beauty named Rose, but Rose wouldn’t come to life, and Wild Wind absolutely refused to love her. I couldn’t make him love her, no matter what I did. He loved Della from their days together in Wounded Heart, and he refused to love another woman.
Because Wild Wind refused to go along with my story line, I had to make Della a widow in book 3. This creates a lot of tension between her and Wild Wind, which I greatly enjoyed playing up as the plot developed. Also, being Native American in the 1870s, Wild Wind believed in animism, while Della is a believer, so there’s tension there. Wild Wind and Della’s story was so real to me that I felt as though I was living in their world. I hope I made them come to life and my readers will experience their struggles.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I’m definitely a plotter, but my outlines are organic. I’m not wedded to the outline. Although I have a pretty good idea of where the story is going and how it will end, the characters write the scenes, so the details develop as I follow the basic storyline.
What’s more important: characters or plot?
I have to say this one’s a tossup. Characters are extremely important. When I’m reading a book, likeable characters are a must. I have to relate to the main characters, or I lose interest. However, these characters must function in a believable world (aside from the fantasy genre), or the book loses its appeal. If scenes come across as contrived or unrealistic, I toss the book aside. In my books, I try to integrate appealing characters with a believable “world.”
Are you working on anything new? Tease us a little bit!
Anaiah Press already has the manuscript for Wild Heart, the next book in my Frontier Hearts Saga, and I just completed the final book in the series, Valiant Heart. Wild Heart and Valiant Heart tell the stories of Wild Wind and Della’s two sons, Cole and Rafe. Wild Heart features Cole and takes the reader into the Colorado mountains for the uranium mine boom during the Titanic era. Valiant Heart is set right after WWI, when Rafe Wild Wind was a “flyboy” ace during the Great War.
Where can readers find you online?
My website is colleenhallromance.com. If readers would like to receive my newsletter, they can sign up on my website.