Megan's Hero, The Callahans of Texas Series #3Megan's Hero, The Callahans of Texas Series #3
Sharon Gillenwater
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Six months pregnant, unmarried, broke, and alone, Megan Smith doesn't think things can get much worse--and then they do. Stuck on the road without shelter when a tornado appears, Megan barely escapes with her life. And when Will Callahan comes upon her in the road, her life will never be the same. While staying at the Callahan family ranch, she finds herself daring to love again, even while she suspects that Will's affection for her can't be anything but pity. But when she realizes that the townspeople think she's just a gold digger, she can't bear to stay. Can Will convince her that her past doesn't mean a thing when it comes to love?
     

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Sharon Gillenwater

Sharon Gillenwater was born and raised in West Texas and loves to write about her native state. The author of several novels, including Jenna's Cowboy and Emily's Chance, she is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. When she's not writing, she and her husband enjoy spending time with their son, daughter-in-law, and two adorable grandchildren. She lives in Washington.

Proverbs 3:5-6   Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths. NIV, 1984

This directive and promise are true in all areas of life, but especially in the writing business.  Over the years God has opened up opportunities that I never even dreamed of.


 

 Our Interview with Sharon Gillenwater


 

Would you please tell us a bit about yourself?

Though I live in Washington state, I grew up in West Texas and enjoy writing about it.  I love history, especially that of my hometown and the surrounding area, and it often sneaks into my contemporary stories.  I started writing in 1984 and sold my first historical romance in the general market in 1987.  Megan's Hero is my nineteenth full length novel.  I've also written two novellas along the way.

My husband and I have been married for forty-three years and have one son, a dear daughter-in-law, and the two sweetest grandchildren in the world. 

What is your favorite Bible verse?  (Translation) Why?

Proverbs 3:5-6   Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths. NIV, 1984

This directive and promise are true in all areas of life, but especially in the writing business.  Over the years God has opened up opportunities that I never even dreamed of.

How did you come up with the concept for the Callahans of Texas Series? Are you from Texas?

I thought it would be fun to do a series about a powerful Texas ranching family who were a little larger than life and that were Christians.  I was born and raised on Thompson Ranch in West Texas, where my dad was the ranch foreman.  Some characteristics of Dub and Sue Callahan are based on the owners, Charles and Emabeth Thompson.  They were well known and highly respected in the area and throughout the state.  They were also strong, kind-hearted Christians who were very active in their church and local community. 
 
How many books will be in this series?  Are they stand-alone or should they be read in order?

There are three books in the series, with Megan's Hero the last one.  Each story focuses on the romance of a different couple – Jenna and Nate in Jenna's Cowboy, Emily and Chance in Emily's Chance, and Megan and Will in Megan's Hero.  So in that sense they can stand alone.  But there are other elements to the stories that make it better if they're read in order.

Do you have a favorite character in Megan’s Hero? Why?

Megan.  She's strong yet vulnerable, independent yet longs to be part of a loving family.  She's not a believer at the beginning of the story, but after she has an encounter with God, she's totally His.

 

How much research did Megan’s Hero take?

I did some research on tornadoes, and a lot on the stages of pregnancy and how things are handled these days.  My son is thirty-two, so medically things are handled differently now than when he was born.  I probably spent the most time researching bakeries and cake decorating, especially wedding cakes.  The Wilton website is a wonderful resource.

What are the most interesting facts that you learned while researching and writing Megan’s Hero?

One thing is that 3-D and 4-D sonograms, which produce images that look just as good as a photograph or movie, are now available.  Also, that a baby sometimes sucks its thumb in the womb.  Maybe that was known thirty years ago, but I didn't remember it.  I also learned how to make ganache, which can be used for chocolate icing, filling, or even truffles depending on the ratio of cream to chocolate.

What are some of the challenges you face as an author?
 
The biggest challenge I've had the last few years is dealing with back problems.  Sitting at a computer for hours at a time is very hard on the spine.  Ten years ago my doctor told me to get up and move around every twenty minutes.  Yeah, right.  Like that's going to happen when I'm in the zone!  Unfortunately, now I'm paying for it.  I mention this because I know a lot of long-time authors who have back problems.  So for anyone just starting out in this business, I really encourage them to get up every half hour or so and walk around a bit and stretch.  It's an interruption to the flow, but it will be worth the effort.

What aspects of being a writer do you enjoy the most?

I love it when I get into a story and God gives me new insights into the characters or even takes the story in a different direction than I'd planned.  Sometimes I'll be typing away and suddenly do a double-take and think, "Where did that come from?"  Then I'll ask God to guide me where to go from there because I'd never even considered that angle.  It keeps writing interesting.

What clubs or organizations are you involved with helping with your writing?
 
American Christian Fiction Writers is the only group I currently belong to.

What do you do to keep your writing fresh and improve on it each time you write a book?

I try to read a variety of authors and both contemporary and historical stories.  Sometimes when I'm watching a movie or TV I try to mentally describe what a character is doing or a facial expression.  I probably should write those descriptions down because I don't seem to remember my clever words later.

 

What were your favorite books as a child?

When I was real little, my favorite book was The Little Engine That Could.  Later I read a lot of Laura Ingalls Wilder books and Nancy Drew.  Generally I read anything in the house – newspapers, magazines, cereal boxes.  One of my favorite things was to curl up with a volume of World Book and learn about new places or things.

Are there any other new projects on the horizon?

Nothing at the moment.  I'm taking a break and letting some ideas simmer.

What message would you like your readers to take from Megan’s Hero?

That God loves us no matter who we are or what we've done.  That Jesus paid for our salvation, and we don't have to earn it.  And that if we believe in God and put our trust in Him, He will supply our needs. 

What is your greatest achievement?

My husband and I have been married a very long time, and we still love each other.  In today's world, that seems like a pretty big accomplishment.

What do you do to get away from it all?

Read, go antiquing or to the beach.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I'd like to thank the Lord and my readers for giving me the opportunity to do what I love.

 


 

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