Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Day One with Mildred Colvin

Route 66photo © 2009 indichick7 more info (via: Wylio) When I was asked to write a blog about my newly released book, Redeeming Sarah's Present, I thought about the ideas authors get for books and how they evolve into the stories that will be read. The process of writing a book can be as varied as the number of authors, or even the number of books written. I do believe each of my books take a different path before arriving at the final story. Sarah began as a minor character in another book. In fact, she wasn't mentioned much at all in the first book. Then she got a little bigger role in the first book of this series, Facing Tessa's Past. That was when Kevin Nichols received his first mention by name.

Sarah Maddox and Kevin Nichols are characters in a series of three books set along Historic Route 66. I started these stories within a single thought of Route 66. I believe once, the setting even crossed the state line. As the characters settled in Illinois, and Heartsong Presents editor, JoAnne Simmons, suggested that the setting for the series be regional rather that confined in one state, I then considered placing each along Route 66 but still in Illinois. The next thought was that three stories, not limited to one state, could and probably should stretch out to include the entire length of the road. Since I grew up not far from a portion of that old road, I've always been interested in the many stories that must have happened along the entire length. So I welcomed the chance to make up and tell three of those stories.

Redeeming Sarah's Present, the second book, is set in Chicago, Illinois, where Route 66 began. Many years ago, I visited Amarillo, which is the setting for the first book in the series. Then a few years later, I visited Chicago and remember stopping at the beach by Lake Michigan. My, how impressive that huge lake is! Just as Sarah has never seen the ocean, neither have I, but looking out across that vast body of water, I imagined how the ocean must look. What I didn't know at that time was that I had been at the beginning of Route 66. We drove along South Lake Shore Drive where the Mother Road began just as Sarah did in her story. And while the beginning point of the road has moved as much as the rest of it has over the years, making it very hard to pinpoint, we were in the right area.

While I'm a small-town girl and usually set my stories in small towns, I must say that Chicago holds a wealth of potential for an author to write about. You will notice that Buckingham Fountain is mentioned more than once in Redeeming Sarah's Present. Sarah and Kevin visit the fountain twice with the second time being their most memorable. I can't believe how close I was to that fountain during my visit there, yet I didn't see it simply because I didn't know it existed. Sarah and Kevin had lived in Chicago without running into each other partly because they didn't know the other was there and partly because they were afraid of the emotions such a meeting would bring out. Maybe we miss wonderful experiences in life by not talking the time to learn new things or to step outside our comfort zone. That's something to think about.

What do you think? Do we miss out because we are unwilling to step outside of our comfort zones?


  1. I believe that we can sometimes miss out by not stepping out of our comfort zones. I truly believe I am the ultimate example of this, as if I had not stepped out of my comfort zone, I would not currently be in England, experiencing a new culture.

    And yay for Route 66! I'm from Illinois, and my college town is right near the historic route :)

  2. I'm an introvert living in a house full of extroverts. They drag me out of my comfort zone daily and I'm usually glad for it.

    We took old route 66 on part of our vacation to the Grand Canyon last summer. We had a great time.


  3. Hi Kaitlin,
    Yes, England would certainly be out of my comfort zone, too. I'm such a homebody! I'm wondering if your college town is mentioned in Sarah's story? She went to college in Springfield. :)

    Jamie, I'm glad you're here! My family does the same to me. And you're right. Sometimes it can be fun. A trip on Route 66 to the Grand Canyon definitely sounds like fun.

  4. Most definitely. Just think, if Peter would have stayed in his comfort zone and continued fishing he would not have seen the feeding of the 5,000 thousand. None of the original 12 disciples would have seen Lazarus raised from the dead or had the privilege to have seen and walked with the risen Christ.

    The best experiences in life that we have are when we take a chance and go wherever God is calling us to go. Africa? Sure, harships and culture shock is a guarantee, but friendships with people that you wouldn't trade for season tickets for the Chicago Cubs (Go Cubbies!!!)....God is asking us to trade what we want and in return we get an adventure of a lifetime!!!

    P.S. I work with your daughter :):) She told me about your blog and that you wrote books and so I had to check it out :)

  5. Hi Luke, I'm glad you popped in with some very true observances. Hard as it is, we've got to move outside our comfort zone at times. Tell my daughter she earned a bowl of beans next time she's home. LOL!

  6. I moved from county I lived in 70 yrs......to the "country".....it is different!!!

  7. Rebecca R.April 06, 2011

    I agree. Sometimes it is very hard to get out of that comfort zone. I am a shy person and I have a hard time opening up to new people, and/or new things. I feel that I am missing out on some things in life because of it. I am working on it though. :)

    I also work with you daughter. :)

  8. I enjoy new experiences. Travel is something I enjoy. Other areas of my life are different. I don't want to lead a big group, I want to follow and help the leader. Speak in front of a big group? Forget it, I have done it before, but completely uncomfortable. Sometimes, I just have to grit my teeth and fall back on God to push me out of my comfort zone.