I have long admired Robin Lee Hatcher’s novels, especially her historicals. Today I’m thrilled to share news of her newest book, a contemporary novel that grew out of her own marriage that was first shattered by alcoholism, and then restored by faith. Robin recently sat down to share the background and insights into her lovely new book, A Promise Kept.
DL: Robin, can you talk a bit about A Promise kept and specifically how your own life inspired this story?
RLH: A Promise Kept opens as Allison Kavanaugh arrives at the house her aunt Emma bequeathed to her–a log home in the mountains. Her marriage of more than twenty years has ended in divorce because of her husband’s alcoholism. She was so certain God had promised to save her marriage, but obviously she was wrong. Now she is moving from Boise to Kings Meadow to start life afresh and find a way to heal from her heartbreak.
Like Allison’s marriage, mine ended in divorce because of my husband’s alcoholism. I was devastated because I’d been so convinced God had promised me He would save our marriage. I had believed in His promise through many difficult times, but it hadn’t come to pass. I knew God didn’t lie. Therefore I must have misunderstood. But God had many things to teach me in the following years including that He answers prayers in totally unexpected ways and in His own time, not mine. One of those unexpected ways was realized when my husband and I were remarried more than five years later. God used the divorce to save our marriage!
DL: What a beautiful story. I’m wondering how much of Allison’s situation is based on yours. In her,will your readers see a portrait of you?
RLH: While my characters are never me–I allow them to be individuals and allow their lives to unfold in their own way–there are always pieces of me in them. Allison’s life is not the same as mine. I didn’t retreat to a mountain cabin, nor have an aunt whose journals helped me discover truths I needed to know, nor did I withdraw from God as Allison does. But every lesson God teaches me eventually makes it way into one of my stories. That was certainly true of A Promise Kept.
DL: God never seems to answer prayers the way we expect or even in the timing we wish for. What advice do you have for those who are in the waiting period?
RLH: Waiting is hard, especially for those of us in the Western world. We want and expect immediate gratification. Dinner from the microwave. A mug of coffee in seconds from a single serve K-cup. Sometimes we treat God as if He were our personal Santa Claus that we give our wish list to and expect Him to fulfill it immediately. And even if our wish list is full of good things that God wants to give us, His timing can remain a mystery to us. But He has a beautiful promise for those who learn how to wait on him. Isaiah 40:31: Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength, They will mount up with wings like eagles. They will run and not get tired. They will walk and not become weary.
DL: What gave you the strength to continue to pray for your spouse even when no answer seemed to come?
RLH: Strength comes from believing deep down in my soul that God is in control and that HE wants the best for me and my husband. I don’t always know what that “best” is but He does.
DL: A Promise Kept is such a personal story. What do you hope each reader takes away from it?
RLH: I hope readers will be encouraged to keep walking forward. I hope, if they are in a troubled marriage, that they will seek God with their whole hearts and not act out of selfishness but out of obedience. I hope reading A Promise Kept will deepen their faith in a God who answers prayers in His own way and in His own time.
DL: Beautifully stated. Thanks, Robin.
Readers: Robin will be hosting a Facebook party on February 6th, 2014 at 8:00PM EST to chat with readers about this new book, give away copies of the book and reveal the grand prize winner of a social media giveaway. More details will be available on her Facebook page: www.Facebook.com/robinleehatcher or follow her on Twitter @robinleehatcher