It’s my pleasure to welcome author Kelly Goshorn today. If you love Christian fiction, historic fiction, and romance, you’ll enjoy getting to know her. Kelly, welcome, and thank you for sharing your story in this novel.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Truthfully, I never saw it coming! So many writers I’ve talked to have wanted to be a writer since they were a child. Many have drawers full of half-written manuscripts. Me? Not so much. I had always enjoyed writing papers for my college history classes, but I NEVER considered writing fiction. I’d been a successful in-home childcare provider for nearly twenty years, but I knew in my heart it was time to move on to something new. My husband and I began praying for God to give me a new direction, a new passion in my life I would undeniably know He’d planted in my heart. On a whim, I began tinkering with story writing and it didn’t take long for my secret hobby to become my God-given passion! Seeing A Love Restored in print is the answer to many, many prayers that all began with an earnest desire to seek God’s will and direction for my life.
When did you begin writing? I started writing in 2010. When I first began writing, I tinkered with a story about Irish mail-order brides (the whole mail order bride thing just fascinates me). Hubby read it, told me it “wasn’t bad,” then suggested I write our story. Skeptical, I questioned him. “Are you sure. I mean you don’t look so good in that story for a long time.” He grinned and responded, “Yeah, but I think it turned out all right.” I’d have to agree. We celebrated our 28th wedding anniversary in June.
Is there a particular author whose work motivates you?
Oh, that’s a tough question. How do I choose just one when there are so many amazing authors who have inspired me? So, I’m going to be rebellious and choose three! I love the passion of Julie Lessman, the humor of Karen Witemeyer and the incredible description of Tamera Alexander. When I read these ladies, I’m in awe and am incredibly challenged to get better and better.
What’s your favorite novel?
There you go again, making me choose just one! LOL! If I have to pick one and only one, I would have to say Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. What an amazing picture she paints of God’s enduring love for us. But since I’m being rebellious today, A Passion Most Pure by Julie Lessman is not far behind.
What inspired you to write A Love Restored? A Love Restored is based on the true-life romance between my husband and myself with all its ups and downs, including our tumultuous break up. Like my full-figured heroine, Ruth Ann, I’ve struggled with weight issues my entire life. That struggle plays an important part in our story. My own journey to self-acceptance, as well as what a loving God will do to grab a stubborn woman’s attention, are pivotal to the story line.
What do you hope your readers take away from this novel?
A Love Restored is not only a story of love, romance, heartache and restoration, but also a story about the power of words over our lives. It is a story about the struggle each of us faces to take our thoughts captive to the truth of Scripture so we may experience the fullness of God’s unequivocal love for us. As my husband and I discovered, it is only then that we are truly able to give and receive love, unconditionally.
My prayer for you and your lovely readers is that you will not allow the enemy to steal the joy that is rightfully yours as a child of God. Speak the truth of the gospel over yourself every day and ask God to give you His eyes to see yourself as He does.
“For the LORD sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7b
What type of schedule do you use when writing? How many hours a week do you write?
I am a reformed night owl, believe it or not. Much of A Love Restored was written in the evenings and the wee hours when I’d return from closing shifts at my local Target. Now, I rise early in the morning, usually between 4:30-5:00 a.m. to write. I have doubled my productivity and discovered how much I like getting up before the sun. I try to write a minimum of 1000 words/day five days a week, so on average I spend about 8-10 hours a week putting down new words when I’m in drafting mode. In addition, I spend another 10-12 hours each week on other writerly tasks like editing and marketing.
What do you do if you experience writer’s’ block?
When I get stuck, I call in reinforcements. I’m fortunate to have a very dear writing friend, Debb Hackett, live a little more than a half hour from me. She has been known to drop everything and drive to my house, with my favorite chai tea latte in hand, to help me brainstorm.
How long did it take to write A Love Restored?
From start to contract in 2015, about 4.5 years. During that time A Love Restored went through three major rewrites, dropping from a very robust 116,000 words to a much trimmer 92,000, two title changes, and two publishers before finally being released last June.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?
I love reading, primarily historical romance (no surprise there)! I also enjoy playing Euro-style board games with my hubby, taking long walks with my dog, Levi, watching BBC period dramas, and meeting up with friends/family for coffee or lunch dates.
What’s next for you?
Currently, I’m working on a new series, also set in Virginia. Surrendered Hearts follows the Ashby family as they struggle to survive as the nation and their family are torn apart by America’s Civil War. Characters are called to sacrifice their dreams and ambitions, their pride, and ultimately their hearts as God recklessly pursues each of them. Hearts and wills are challenged, and lives transformed as characters experience restoration with one another and with God. Readers can visit the Surrendered Hearts page on my website to read the back cover copy for each of books in the series.
Tag Line and Blurb
She was nothing like the woman he’d envisioned for his bride, but he was everything ever dreamed of—until a promise from his past threatened their future.
With pert opinions and a less-than-perfect figure, Ruth Ann Sutton doesn’t measure up to society’s vision of a perfect lady. When she accepts a position teaching in a Freedman’s School, it threatens the only marriage offer Ruth Ann is likely to receive. She’s forced to choose between life as a lonely spinster or reinventing herself to secure a respectable proposal.
Determined to rise above his meager beginnings, Benjamin Coulter’s reputation as a fast learner and hard worker earn him the opportunity to apprentice with a surveyor for the railroad—a position that will garner the respect of other men. After a chance encounter with Ruth Ann Sutton, Benjamin is smitten with her pretty face, quick wit, and feisty personality.
When others ridicule his choice, will Benjamin listen to his heart or put ambition first?
Goshorn weaves her affinity for history and her passion for God into uplifting stories of love, faith and family set in nineteenth century America. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. Kelly has been enjoying her own happily-ever-after with her husband and best friend, Mike, for 28 years. Together they have raised three children, four cats, two dogs, a turtle, a guinea pig, a gecko, and countless hamsters. Thankfully, not all at the same time. When she is not writing, Kelly enjoys spending time with her young adult children, scrapbooking with friends, board gaming with her husband, and spoiling her Welsh corgi, Levi.
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Thanks for allowing me to visit with your readers, Kathy. It’s such a joy to meet new people, especially those who love Christian fiction as much as I do.
Kelly, congratulations on your debut and for tackling a subject that was even more taboo in those times than these — body image. You are right, the Lord DOES look at the heart first.
Looking forward to reading this and your Civil War series. There’s a story for every family that survived that conflict.
Hi Kathy, struggling with body image is something every woman can relate to I think. Thank you for visiting the blog today.
The power of words is a passion of mine. Can’t wait to read this!
Hi Jody, mine too. I think the words we speak to ourselves are even more devastating to our spirit than those others say to us. I hope you enjoy the story if you get a chance to read it.
This is such a great story. It’s always so encouraging when people trust God with big life decisions and we all get to see the blessings from doing so.
Hi Erin, Thank you for your kind words about A Love Restored. I’m in awe that God has not only restored our relationship but all these years later He continues to use what was a very painful experience to minister to others.
What courage to write about your own story, featuring a full-figured heroine. Cheers for A Love Restored!
Hi Mary, Ya know God told me years ago that I would share our story. I just always thought it would be as testimony in a ladies Bible study or something similar. I never thought it would be in a book! God always has a plan that is bigger and better than anything we can imagine.
God often does present us with surprises as we round another turn in life. Glad you followed His leading and wrote your story! What a blessing to your readers.
So true, Carol. Thank you for the kind words and for visiting the blog today.