Midwestern born Lorna Seilstad grew up on a farm in Iowa. She attended two years of college in Nebraska, receiving an A.A. from York College, and then moved to Texas, where she graduated with a B.S. in Education from Lubbock Christian University.

Lorna soon traded her teaching career for time at home with her children, and “nap time” because writing time—something she’s enjoyed since childhood. Her part-time hobby became a profession in 2010. While Love Stirs is her fifth inspirational romance novel.

Lorna and her husband, David, reside in Iowa, and their three children are now 20, 18, and 13.

What sparked your writing journey?

I was bit by the writing bug in fourth grade when my teacher introduced us to a weekly creative writing assignment. Most of the kids moaned and groaned, but I loved it. After my first son was born, I stopped teaching and did daycare for teachers, but I needed something to keep me sane, so I started writing again. I wrote fan fiction. That’s what sparked me toward publication.

How does your faith play into your work?

Faith plays a huge role both for me as a writer and for my stories. As a writer, I have to have faith that God who began this work in me will be faithful to complete it. In my stories, I want to portray Christians facing real tests of faith. I try to create characters that face struggles we all deal with like self-esteem, truthfulness, and discovering God’s path for our lives.

Detours in life can be frustrating—kind of like plot twists in the stories we write—but the outcome is often more intriguing than our original plan. Can you tell us about a “detour” in your life that taught you something?

When I went to college, I wanted to be a physician’s assistant. I took all the science classes and was doing fine, but when I took college algebra I thought I would die. With the help of a tutor, I passed, but it made me think ’was this really what I wanted.’ I loved English and writing, so why wasn’t I doing that? I changed my major to Secondary English Education. If I hadn’t done that, I doubt that I’d ever have written a book.

Let’s talk about While Love Stirs (Revell, April 2014). Please tell us about it.

While Love Stirs is the second book in the Gregory Sisters Series. After the death of their parents, the Gregory girls make a promise to support each other in fulfilling their dreams. 

The book is a standalone, so you don’t have to read the first to understand this one, but each of the books focus on one of the sisters. This one is the middle sister Charlotte’s story.

As a graduate of Fannie Farmer’s School of Cookery, Charlotte Gregory is thrilled to have the opportunity to travel, lecture, and give cooking demonstrations on the very latest kitchen revolution–the gas stove. And she certainly doesn’t mind that the gas company has hired the kindhearted Lewis Mathis to entertain at her lectures.

Lewis encourages Charlotte’s work, especially her crusade to introduce fresh, appetizing, nutritious food to those convalescing in hospitals. But young Dr. Joel Brooks is not convinced any changes should be made–especially by this outspoken young woman.

When Charlotte and Joel are coerced into planning a fund-raising gala for the hospital, will this combustible pair explode? Follow the second Gregory sister as she looks for true love and makes her way in a rapidly changing world in this breezy, lighthearted love triangle that will keep you guessing.

God often uses our stories to teach us something. What did you learn (about life, faith, and/or even yourself) in the process of writing this book?

That’s a great question! In the book, my characters discuss the story of Elijah, the widow, and the empty jars, so while I was writing this book, I was often struck by how creative God is in the way He provides for our needs. I’ve become more aware of His creative hand in my life, and I often pray that I’ll see that even more.

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?

I absolutely love Oreos. I think they are the best cookie on the planet, but I’ve made a rule not to eat at my computer, so if I have them around, I put them in another room.

This website features musicians as well as writers. Do you have musical, as well as literary, talent?

I sang all the way through high school and college in the concert choir and in small groups. I’m a first soprano (or at least I was). I think the music plays into my writing because I “hear” more of the story than see it. For example, I hear the character’s dialogue, the band playing, and the birds singing, but I have to think to picture it. I think it also affects the rhythm of my sentences and the cadence of the words.

If you were a song, what kind of song would you be?

Hey, I’m a romance writer, so it would have to be a love song. I’m a complete marshmallow inside.

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 think almost anyone would see me as the girl next door with occasional moments of strong, female lead. That part happens when I’m in charge of something. For example, I do some wedding planning and coordinating, so that’s when I have to take the lead. Even when I’m in charge of something, I try to be bossy in the nicest possible way.

I’m a dog lover. Please tell us about your pets, if any, or your favorite pet as a child.

We don’t have any pets right now. As a child, I grew up on a farm, and we had several dogs. The first one was a pom-mix named Fleabit. He was my older brother’s dog, and he had him before he had me around.

My favorites were a border collie named Max and a black lab named Jethro, who chose us. (He showed up one day and never left. We did search to see if he’d been lost, but we think he’d been dumped in the country.) My brother and I also bottle fed a Black Angus calf one time. I named her Snow White. And of course, we had cats. We raised a lot of pigs, but I don’t think we made any of them pets.

Thank you, Lorna! It’s nice to have you as a guest at DivineDetour.

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For more information about While Love Stirs, visit Lorna’s website.

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