When Love Calls, Gregory Sisters Series #1When Love Calls, Gregory Sisters Series #1
Lorna Seilstad
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Determined to make it, three sisters promise to help each other in life and love! Working the telephone switchboard as a "hello girl," Hannah Gregory insists on reimbursing the charity of lawyer Lincoln Cole. After a run-in with the law, she's forced to accept his help, but When Love Calls, how will she answer?


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Lorna Seilstad is a history buff, antique collector, and freelance graphic designer. A former high school English and journalism teacher, she has won several online writing awards and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives in and draws her setting from Iowa.

Favorite Verse: Romans 8:38-39: For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


  Christianbook.com Interview with Lorna Seilstad


Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I’ve called Iowa home my whole life. I received her B.S. in education from Lubbock Christian University and married the love of my life two years after graduating. After my first child was born, I stopped teaching high school English and became a professional wiper. I wiped noses, tears, skinned knees, and baby's bottoms every day. But at naptime, I wrote.

Today, I write historical fiction with a generous dash of humor. My husband and I have three children—two in college and one still at home. Besides writing, I do wedding planning and floral designs, and I’m known as the “Cookie Lady.”

What sparked your interest to write about a switchboard operator?

Actually, I ran across a Youtube video about switchboard operators and was fascinated. Immediately, I thought about fitting it into a story.

How much research did When Love Calls take?

I do a lot of research on the setting, which is this book is Des Moines, Iowa. I also research the character’s jobs, like the switchboard operator, and research the details. This book involves an arson, so I had to discover what arson investigation entailed at this point in history.

Do you have a background and passion for history?

I am certainly passionate about it. While most families watched or played ball on Sunday afternoons, my family attended antique auctions. My dad expected us to know what things were worth. My parents also took us on day trips to any place with a historical significance. They really instilled a deep appreciation for history.

How much of the story is factual information?

Most of the things that happen to Hannah while at the switchboard are factual things switchboard operators faced or humorous moments I read about in newspaper articles from around the country. Most of the details in the book are factual, but the plot and characters are original.

What are the most interesting facts that you learned while researching and writing When Love Calls?

Switchboard operators had over 200 rules to follow, including raising their hand to blow their nose, but the telephone companies really tried to create a nice place for them to work. I also read about the electrical home treatment machines that people bought to treat everything from melancholy to baldness.

What other new writing projects do you have on the horizon?

Right now, I’m working on book 2 in the Gregory Sisters Series. It will release in May of 2014. I have some other ideas I’m looking at as well.

What message would you like your readers to take from reading When Love Calls?

I hope readers see the impossibility of things when you try to do them without God. For me, at the root of those attempts, I often find pride and stubbornness.


Will you please give a bit of a preview about your next book in the Gregory Sisters Series?

I’d love to! The next book features Charlotte Gregory, the middle sister, after she attends Fannie Farmers School of Cookery. No one will hire a female chef, so she takes a job teaching women how to cook on their brand new gas stoves. She also has a passion for changing the food service used in hospitals. She runs into a doctor that thinks all she is doing is stirring things up. They mix like oil and vinegar.

Will you be writing in the same time period for the next two books in the series?

Book 2 is set in 1910, two years after this book, and book 3 will be set in 1912. Both of those books will be set in St. Paul, Minnesota.

What organizations are you involved with?

I’m a member of ACFW, the Inkspirational Messagers, and our local ACFW chapter—the I.N. Group. (Iowa/Nebraska) Hasn’t everyone always wanted to be part of an “in” group?

What are some of the challenges you face as an author?

Organizing my time is always a challenge. Besides writing, I’m a 4-H leader, Bible class teacher, wife, and mother. Like any mother, balancing it all is never easy.

Who is the person who most influences your writing?

I don’t know if I can name only one because I’d have to say it’s my critique partners—Judy Miller, Shannon Vannatter, and Brenda Anderson. They make sure all my characters are wearing clothes.

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

I love the creativity, brainstorming part. I also love it when the scene just comes together. It’s a great feeling.

What do you do to get away from it all?

Honestly? I read. It’s my favorite escape. I like baking, too.

What were your favorite stories as a child?

I loved the Little Golden Books. My favorite was Heidi. My favorite novel was A Wrinkle in Time. I even wrote and received a response from Madeleine L’Engle.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Thank you for allowing me to share some things about When Love Calls and about myself. I hope this story blesses others as much as it has me.



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