It's always a pleasure to have one of my fellow Scrivenings Press authors on here for an interview. Today, Michelle de Bruin is joining us, talking about her newest book, which sounds amazing, and some of the fun research that went into it. Read on!
Michelle, congrats on the recent release of your fourth book. Can you tell us if this book is connected to your last series or is this a completely new series?
This book starts a new series, but the characters in this book are people we met in my first series of books.
Your characters in this book are older than the ones in your last few. Was that easier or harder to write? Why?
Even though these main characters are older than the ones in my first book, they are actually close in age to myself, so creating them and writing their story came pretty easy because I thought about how I would handle the situations that came up in the book. Some of the events, like second marriages and the arrival of grandchildren have happened to people in my era of life. I could develop these characters with an accurate level of maturity because of the realistic responses I've witnessed to these sorts of circumstances.
What was one of the most interesting things you uncovered when you were researching for this story?
Writing this story required research of the first airplanes ever invented. Here are some interesting facts I learned about the Wright Model B pusher biplane while writing this story:
The biplane required 100 yards to take off.
It was produced between the years of 1910 and 1914.
It had a 39 foot wingspan and a 4 cylinder engine.
It's speed was on average 44 mph.
President Theodore Roosevelt was the first American President to fly. In October 1910, a man by the name of Arch Hoxsey took the President as a passenger on his Wright Model B.
Speaking of planes, I know one of your characters flies a biplane in this novel. Do you have personal experience with flying? How did you come up with the idea to make him a pilot as well as a doctor?
Interesting question. The use of a biplane in this story is a metaphor for my spiritual journey. The Lord has given me the image of an airplane for ministry, based on the passage from Malachi 4:2 that says, "But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings." I wanted to incorporate that idea into a story about a person who ministers healing through their vocation.
What is one of the strangest things medicine-wise you've uncovered that they used to do back in the 1900s when your story is set and people wouldn't dream of doing now?
Just the whole concept of doctors who practiced medicine in the rural areas going to people's houses to treat them. We would never do that today. People come to town to the clinic or for a stay at the hospital. But 100 years ago, women gave birth at home. Medical procedures were conducted in the kitchen. Funeral visitations happened in the parlor or the dining room. The country doctor had a unique place in the community he served and also an exhausting job that never let up. I attempted to show that in the story when Dr. Kaldenberg got called to help at the orphanage with the fever outbreak. Instead of going home for a day off after missed nights of sleep, he had to put in a full day of delivering a baby and working in his clinic.
Can you give us a sneak peek into something you're working on for the future? Got any fun stories planned to come out down the road?
More stories I'm working on are the second and third books to this series. In my first series of books, we met Lacy Jones and Agnes Harper. Lacy was a student in the country school where Karen Millerson taught. Agnes was a little girl that Karen and Logan De Witt saved from pneumonia. They are grown up now, and travel together to Oswell City, the town where Coming Home to Mercy took place. Lacy enjoys photography, and receives a Kodak camera for her eighteenth birthday. On the way to her destination, she meets Conrad Van Drunen. Conrad is a widower of two small children, and friend of Dr. Matthew Kaldenberg. In the third book, Agnes, who wishes to be called by her middle name of Rose, meets Timothy Ellenbroek. Timothy is the son of Oswell City's mayor, and has been serving as a chaplain in World War I. He returns to his hometown and starts his life over, which includes a relationship with Rose.
And, as always, what is something fun very few people know about you that you can share with us today?
Something fun that very few people know about me is the fact that I have learned how to paddleboard this summer. Our family went to Door County, Wisconsin on vacation in 2019 and rented paddleboards one afternoon. It was so much fun. My sons and I like to kayak, so picking up this new skill of paddleboarding fits well into our enjoyment of the water. My husband bought me a paddleboard for my birthday last fall, and this spring, I finally got to use it. We live near a lake with lots of calm water inlets, so I've found a few places to take it where there are no waves. Such a good time! Paddleboarding is the closest I will ever get to walking on water, hee hee.
That sounds like a lot of fun! Thanks so much for sharing with us today!
To learn more about Michelle's newest book and how to keep up with her, keep reading below.
Coming Home to Mercy
A society woman leaves her comfortable lifestyle so that she can help her daughter adjust to the arrival of twin sons in a small town where the courageous doctor teaches her about taking risks.
Wealthy and sociable Margaret Millerson has always thought of her brother’s Chicago mansion as her home. But when she receives the telephone call that her daughter has given birth to twins three weeks ahead of the expected due date, Margaret must leave her comfortable home, her family, and her friends to travel out of state. While she is helping her daughter care for the infants, Margaret becomes reacquainted with the town’s doctor, Matthew Kaldenberg.
Dr. Matthew Kaldenberg stays busy caring for the health of the citizens of his small town. His profession offers him daily practice in defeating death, his greatest enemy. During the twenty years since losing his own wife and baby in childbirth, Matthew has saved his money for the purchase of a flying machine. But when Matthew takes Margaret for flights on his biplane, he learns that his dreams of rising above the griefs and losses of his past come with a cost. He doesn’t want to lose the trust of the people he cares about most, or the chance at a relationship with Margaret.
Both Matthew and Margaret must make difficult decisions to hold on to the love they have discovered. Will Matthew’s heart recover from sorrow? Will Margaret find her true home?
Michelle De Bruin lives in Iowa with her husband and two teenage sons. She has a bachelor’s degree in Religion with a Christian Ministry emphasis, and in Music. Michelle is the spiritual services provider for an organization that offers services for people with mental and physical disabilities. In this role, Michelle teaches Bible studies, leads retreats, and writes a weekly devotion for the staff. Michelle is also a chaplain for the local hospital, Pella Regional Health Center. She has been a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) since 2015. Michelle writes inspirational historical romance about people who live in rural communities. Characters that bring to life the delights of farm and small-town living, whispers of Dutch heritage, and Christian faith make Michelle’s stories distinct. A romantic at heart, Michelle is always on the lookout for glimpses of God’s love through the window of a good story. Visit Michelle’s website to learn more about her books, read devotionals and book reviews, and to join her newsletter. https://michelledebruin.com
This is a place for me to tell you about what I'm writing, talk about the process or where some of my ideas came from, or even have other authors come in and talk about their books.
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