I’m excited to be interviewing another Author that I had the joy of discovering last year during my searches of Amazon’s great depths of independent authors.
Her name is Ms. Melanie Wilber and she is joining us today to talk to us about her Garden of Love Series! In particular the first book in the series Lily Fields
Welcome to the blog Melanie Wilber!
Hello Melanie! Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to join us. For those of us who are not familiar with you or your work could you tell us a little about yourself and your writing?
Thank you for having me. I appreciate the opportunity to share. I have been writing for twenty years, and I love it. Writing a novel was one of those things I always thought about doing when I was growing up, and when I was in my early twenties, I started writing one. I haven’t stopped writing since. I am married to my college sweetheart, and we have three children. We have been involved in ministry together since we met, and writing is my primary outlet for sharing the message of God’s unconditional love.
What would you say is your biggest influence in your writing?
Reading the works of other authors during my childhood and college years first inspired me. I always enjoyed a good story, particularly those about people living everyday life. Girls like Ramona Quimby from bestselling author Beverly Cleary, and Jeanette Oke’s pioneer characters were some of my favorites. I enjoyed reading about people who seemed very “real”, and I enjoy writing about those same types of girls and women facing everyday joys, struggles, challenges, and hopes for the future.
I have also been greatly influenced by my family and friends. Every story I write has a little of someone I know in it, and there is some of me in all of my female lead characters.
The book I wanted to highlight today is your book Lily Fields. What was your inspiration for this story in particular?
This might sound odd, but the inspiration for Lily Fields came from the main character herself. Lily was originally a supportive friend in my second book in this series, Baby’s Breath, but I became so inspired by her sweet and caring spirit I had to write Lily a story of her own. Because she was already married in Baby’s Breath, her romance tale took place earlier, so Lily Fields became Book 1 in the series when I published it.
Another source of inspiration came from the teachers and aides who work with my autistic son. Lily is a special education teacher, so that part of her character is especially personal to me.
Like Lily, I have struggled sometimes in my walk with God. What would you have readers take away from this story for encouragement?
Lily is like me as well in this aspect. Waiting on God is the central theme of the book, and I’ve had to do a lot of that! From waiting for my man, to waiting on family members and friends to believe the message of God’s love, to waiting on God for publishing opportunities, I have often lost hope but seen God come through at the perfect time, usually exceeding my expectations with his marvelous ways. I hope readers take away the unfailing truth of God’s faithfulness, even when we are faithless.
What is your favorite scene in the book and why?
If I told you that, Shineka, I’d give too much away! So, more generically speaking, I enjoy the scenes of Lily in her role as a special education teacher because she emulates the gifted teachers who have worked with my son. I also enjoy scenes with the three different men Lily has to choose from. They are each unique and suited to her in different ways, but ultimately she goes with her heart in selecting the man she believes God has for her to marry.
I saw on Amazon that you have 14 books in this series. What would you say is the underlying theme that goes throughout the series?
God’s love and faithfulness. These elements are so crucial to my own life, I can’t write a story that doesn’t involve depending on God and trusting Him in everyday life and crucial moments. All of my main characters face this question eventually: Do I really believe that God loves me and I can trust Him?
Melanie, I like to ask my guests a personality question for fun. So with that being said: Who is your favorite historical figure and why?
Mary, the mother of Jesus. She allowed God to do the most extraordinary thing of all time through her. She didn’t understand what was happening. I’m sure she was scared, confused, and often felt alone, but she believed when the angel told her, “Nothing is impossible with God.”
I really appreciate you coming and talking with us today. Before you go though, is there any advice you’d like to leave to any aspiring writers who may be joining us today?
If you enjoy writing, don’t stop! Keep writing, keep learning, and keep following your writing dreams prayerfully, whatever they may be. Research writing opportunities and create your own through blogs, writing for family members and friends, and using your gift however you feel God leading you to.
Amazon provides wonderful opportunities for independent authors through their direct publishing programs, so if you are at that point with having finished works, you should check them out and see if they might be right for you.
Lily sees herself as the perpetual wallflower doomed to a life of singleness. In her frustrated cries to God she thinks her prayers may have been answered when not one, not two, but three men come into her life at the same time. An ex-boyfriend, her co-worker crush, and the brother of her best friend’s boyfriend, who will Lily choose?
Will she have the strength, courage, and faith to wait on God and his plans for her life?
You’ll definitely have to read this poignant yet beautiful story for yourself!
One of you Romantics will win a free Kindle copy of Lily Fields from Melanie! Just leave a comment at the bottom of this post telling us your favorite historical figure and why? We will pick a winner next Wednesday! And if you can’t wait to win a copy go to the link below to download the book for yourself!