Lacy Williams is a wife, mom, Jesus-follower, dog-lover—and now a debut author. Her first novel, Marrying Miss Marshal, was released by Love Inspired Historical on August 2.
Lacy lives in Oklahoma with her husband, her daughter, and their dog Bingley.
You once worked in the accounting/financial field. What sparked your writing journey?
I actually wanted to “be a writer” way before I started working. When I was deciding what to major in for college and strongly considering an English degree, my mom (a schoolteacher) insisted I think about the possibility of other fields. So I did, and found that I really liked my accounting classes.
I actually really liked my job as an auditor—I got to visit different businesses, meet a lot of people, and travel a little bit, all of which sparked different ideas (most of which are still in my idea file!).
But my dream of writing wouldn’t go away. And one day I realized, if I don’t do this now (try to pursue publication), when will I “get around to it”? That’s when I decided to join the American Christian Fiction Writers and that really started me on my road to publication.
How does your faith play into your writing?
So far my stories haven’t had any deep conversion scenes—but that doesn’t mean future stories won’t. Basically, I believe that for any person to really be happy with themselves and their lives, they need to be following God’s will. So that’s usually what shows up in my writing.
Let’s talk about your new book, Marrying Miss Marshal (Love Inspired, August 2, 2011). Please tell us about it.
This book is about a female town marshal who is having some trouble keeping order (for some reason the men around town think just because she’s a woman she can’t do the job). A tenderfoot detective arrives in town hunting cattle rustlers, but he runs into some problems too; namely that he’s from the big city and everybody knows it. So marshal and detective team up, only they end up in more trouble than they ever thought—married to each other!
Marrying Miss Marshal is your debut novel. It was also the ACFW Genesis winner in the Historical Romance category two years ago. How did winning Genesis affect you as a writer?
Well, first, my manuscript got in front of my future editor because of the contest—she was one of the final round judges. So, in effect, the Genesis contest really facilitated my sale of this book.
But second, initially it really made me question myself. I thought, “well, I know I can write the first fifteen pages really well. But what about the rest of the book?” At first, I was scared to finish the manuscript, thinking it wouldn’t be “good enough,” but with some nudging (read: “bootie kicking”) from my critique partner and my husband, I was able to finish and submit the book and here we are today.
Speaking of being “good enough”… that’s one of my main struggles as a writer. I worry about what the editor will think or what readers will think… and sometimes I get a wake-up call from God that will remind me I really need to care about what He thinks and no one else. Sometimes it takes a metaphorical 2×4 to whap some sense into me.
Detours in life can be frustrating—kind of like plot twists in the stories we write—but the outcome is often even more intriguing than our original plan. Can you tell us about a “detour” in your life—or in one of your character’s lives—that taught you something?
The one that comes to mind first is when my husband and I decided we were ready (yes, you can laugh) to have children. I just thought, “okay, here we go. We’re doing this and we’ll get pregnant right away and everything will be great.”
Yeah… um… didn’t happen that way. We “tried” for a long time before we conceived my daughter. During that time I went through a lot of emotions, including frustration, anger at God for not doing things on my timetable, worry… and then when I finally decided I couldn’t do it on my own anymore and I gave all those burdens to God… we got pregnant the next month. It was a hard period of waiting (I am NOT good at waiting), but now that it is over I see many blessings in that time, including growing closer with my husband and also some financial blessings while I continued working. For me, the lesson learned was just one I have had to re-learn and re-learn: “wait for the Lord” (Ps. 27:14).
A few fun questions…
When the words aren’t flowing—or when you want to celebrate if they are—what is your favorite comfort food and why?
Ice cream. We have a wonderful chain here in Oklahoma called Braum’s Ice Cream and Dairy (they also serve hamburgers and some stores have a small grocery in them) and I am hopelessly addicted. Mint chocolate chip and rocky road are my favorite flavors, but they also have awesome chocolate shakes and mixes (frozen yoghurt with candy in it).
This website features musicians as well as writers. Do you have musical, as well as literary, talent?
Not officially. I love singing in church but have no musical training so I have to learn all the songs “by ear.” But I love singing and always have. I hope I’m passing this on to my daughter, whose favorites right now are Wheels on the Bus and If You’re Happy and You Know It and Jesus Loves Me.
If you were a song, what kind of song would you be?
Probably a love song. I listen to a lot of Christian rock, but I have a secret love of sappy old eighties music and country music (the love songs not the depressing ones). I also prefer reading stories and watching movies with happy endings (yes, I read the end of the book first and will look up movie spoilers online), so I guess I am definitely a cheesy love song.
Are you a major or a minor chord?
Okay, since I am not a music person I had to Google this—I think I would be a major chord. I like being in sync with those around me and one site described major chords as “brighter and cheerier” than minors, so since I am usually a positive person I’ll say that.
In the story that is your life, are you the strong, female lead; the girl next door; the mysterious woman behind dark glasses; the super heroine; or the little girl trying to walk in high heels?
I am probably closest to girl next door. I really enjoy getting to stay home with my daughter (and son-on-the-way) and watching her grow up and teaching her things. I can be pretty stubborn and opinionated sometimes, but I am happiest being around my family and close friends.
I’m a dog lover, and I know you are too. Please tell us about Mr. Bingley! I understand that he’s a very special canine.
When my husband and I first got Mr. Bingley five years ago, I immediately knew he was special. For one thing, he has never met a stranger. He loves people and loves to be petted. Secondly, you cannot rattle this dog. Sirens, other dogs, loud noises, thunderstorms… nothing scares him. Sure, he might look to see what is going on but he doesn’t freak out. Between those two qualities, I knew he had the makings of a therapy dog.
For anyone who doesn’t know, a therapy dog is one that is certified by a reputable organization (Bingley and I are certified by Therapy Dogs International) and can visit hospitals, libraries, nursing homes, places of business, you name it. The dogs have to meet a certain level of obedience training, be kept up-to-date on all their immunizations and health stuff, and re-register each year. But that’s the boring stuff.
The fun stuff is that Mr. Bingley and I get to go hang out with a bunch of kids at the library about once a month and they read stories to him. Mostly he sits on the floor and tries to lick their hands or feet or elbows or whatever part he can reach… but I know he’s listening because whenever anyone mentions a cat (his nemesis in life), his ears perk up. He loves getting to see the kids and being petted (he’s an affection hog) and I love helping kids fall in love with reading.
Thanks, Lacy! It’s nice to have you at DivineDetour.
Thanks for having me! It’s been a pleasure!
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For more information about Lacy, visit her website at http://www.lacyjwilliams.com/. She has a special contest going on during the month of August at www.marryingmissmarshal.com.
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