Today I get the pleasure of introducing you to my friend and fellow author, Grace Hitchcock. We met at the American Christian Fiction Writers conference a number of years ago, and it has been a huge blessing to watch her career blossom and grow. She is a fun and witty author with dashes of suspense depending on which book you read. She’s super talented and I’m so excited to have her on the blog this week.
Grace Hitchcock is the award-winning author of multiple historical novels and novellas. She holds a Masters in Creative Writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in History. Grace lives in the New Orleans area with her husband, Dakota, sons, and daughter. Connect with her online at GraceHitchcock.com.
You can connect with her through:
Now for the fun stuff! I have to admit I am partial to my Fast Five. 🙂 So settle in as I hit Grace with rapid-fire.
CC: Milk or Dark Chocolate?
GH: Dark chocolate!
CC: Print or E-book?
GH: Love the feel of a print copy in my hands and seeing it on my shelf! I recently got a paperwhite kindle and I have to admit, I love that I can read at night again!!
CC: Cat or Dog Person?
GH: I’m allergic to both sadly, so I’m more of a Holland Lop bunny person!
CC: Morning Person or Night Owl?
GH: Totally morning, which is great because my kiddos wake up before six most mornings haha!
CC: Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter?
GH: Spring! Not only are the flowers bursting all around, but it’s King Cake season in Louisiana 🙂 And if you haven’t had a King Cake before, you should definitely order one! Heavenly.
Now for a couple of fun personal questions:
What are you reading right now?
GH: Currently, I am listening to Regina Jenning’s A Most Inconvenient Marriage and reading Gabrielle Meyer’s When the Day Comes. I recently finished Erica Vetsch’s The Gentleman Spy and LOVED it!!
CC: Oh girl. I can’t rave enough about The Gentleman Spy and The Debutante’s Code by Erica Vetsch! AMAZING. And Gabrielle Meyer’s is on my TBR. I haven’t read Regina’s but I know it is on my shelf. 🙂
What do you like to do when you aren’t reading or writing?
GH: I love to bake! I will take any excuse to make a pie or cake from scratch, or create new cookie recipes. I have been branching out into the pastry world and enjoy the challenge. In my current work-in-progress for Kregel Publication’s, the heroine is a baker, so I have the perfect excuse to try out her Regency recipes as well 🙂
CC: I am a baker as well, except my family rarely eats the types I like to make. LOL I cannot wait to read your book and maybe find a way to sneak to your house and try some of those Regency recipes.
What has been the biggest challenge on your writing journey?
GH: I’d say the biggest challenge is the ever-changing schedule of my writing days. With a Pre-K son, toddler, and almost-here infant, writing time happens in the little moments throughout the day and at night. Being flexible with writing time is difficult, but I’ve learned to focus during those spurts of time and have studied how to become more efficient with my writing speed while leaning heavily on the knowledge that the Lord will give me time and inspiration. I’m ever thankful to have a supportive husband who entertains the kiddos at the end of his work day and makes sure I have time to write each day if I wasn’t able to get to it.
CC: Having a supportive family is so huge, and I could definitely use some of your tips and tricks for focus during those snippets of time.
Let’s talk about your first indie release, The Finding of Miss Fairfield.
When an engagement of convenience becomes anything but convenient . . .
Forced into a betrothal with a widower twice her age, Charleston socialite, Sophia Fairfield is desperate for an escape. But, while her fiancé is away on business, he assigns his handsome stepson, Carver, the task of looking after his bride-to-be. Much to her dismay, Sophia finds herself falling in love with the wrong gentleman—a man society would never allow her to marry, given Sophia was supposed to be his new stepmother. The only way to save Carver from scandal and financial ruin is to run away, leaving him and all else behind to become a Harvey Girl waitress at the Castañeda Hotel in New Mexico.
Carver Ashton has had his life planned out for him since birth, but when he encounters Sophia Fairfield, he glimpses a new life—apart from his overbearing stepfather’s business. But, when the woman he loves disappears before he can express his devotion, Carver abandons all to find her. However, his stepfather has other intentions for Sophia and will stop at nothing until she is his bride . . . even if it is against her will.
CC: What was some of your favorite research in preparing for The Finding of Miss Fairfield?
GH: As an avid Harvey Girl fan, I read just about every Christian Historical Fiction work I could find as well as several non-fiction works on the subject. One of the craziest things I discovered while researching was that Fred Harvey originally had waiters serving in his houses, but one of his managers thought that if the houses were run by waitresses, the male guests eating at the Harvey House would be better behaved. Fred Harvey agreed and thus, the Harvey Girls were created!
CC: That is so cool. It is generally true that men behave better around women. Or at least that used to be true and is still true of my boys. But that may be that they just better behave FOR Mom so they don’t get in trouble.
How did this story affect you as you wrote it? Did God teach you anything through the writing?
GH: It is always funny to me that the themes written about in my novels are reflected in some form in my life. For The Finding of Miss Fairfield, the heroine deals with fear and I found as the release date for this novel approached, I was allowing myself to fall prey to fear as well. There is a healthy fear in writing in wanting to do your best and pushing yourself, but if that fear keeps you from taking a step that you know God has called you to take, there’s a problem. I had to laugh when it came time to send out my ARCs to my street team and NetGalley because I literally put it off for a few hours because I was so nervous about sending out my official first Indie published novel. Closing my eyes in prayer, I hit send. I’m praying the readers will find it entertaining!
CC: That fear can be a killer! You have not idea how proud I am of you for following God’s call and taking that step of hitting send.
GH: Usually I pick the names first and when I find the right name, I at once begin to see the person I am writing about. For this novel, I changed the heroine’s name several times to fit the woman she had become throughout my drafts. The hero’s name has stayed the same though 🙂 I use Names Through the Ages to pick accurate names for the region and the era. It’s an AMAZING resource!
CC: Oh girl, I am so excited about that resource! THANK YOU!!! I cannot wait to use it.
Thank you so much for joining me today and providing all of us with a wonderful distraction. As my final question, I have my usual “Fun Question”.
GH: This is a hard one! I have several places on my travel list, but I’d have to say that I want to go back to Paris and from there, I’d take the train and visit all the palaces and castles I could reach, filling a journal of writing research as I went!
CC: Sigh. Paris! One day, and YES to all the castles. How much story fodder there must be in those places!
Thanks for getting to know Grace Hitchcock with me. Don’t forget to check out her book, Miss Fairfield, and answer the question below to let us know where you would travel. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for an autographed print copy! (Sorry, open to US mailing addresses only.)
The giveaway runs until August 23rd at 11:59 EST. Open to US mailing addresses only due to the cost of shipping.