A whirlwind romance, amidst the natural splendor of Yosemite National Park. A spur of the moment wedding near Bridalveil Fall. A young bride who awakens the morning after to find her new husband gone with the mountain wind.
Songbird Hannah Johns supports the child born of that ill-fated union by singing in a dinner lounge. Her dream of someday owning the elite establishment and turning it into a venue more suited to her Christian values is shattered when an unexpected transaction places it in the hands of Brock Ellis, the handsome biker who abandoned her in their honeymoon suite.
Ensuing sparks fly high, revealing buried secrets and forgotten pasts. Seeking to find peace in her painful past, Hannah returns to Yosemite, and Brock follows hard on her heels. Back where it all began, she finds herself in danger of losing of her heart yet again to the man who shattered it the first time around.
One of the first things I’m sure our readers would like to know – who is Delia Latham and why does she like to write inspirational romances?
Delia Latham is a California gal gone Okie. I was born and raised in the area in and around Bakersfield, California—or, to be more specific, a little agricultural community called Weedpatch. I love God and my family. I write romance because I just love love, and I write inspirational romance because it was God who gave me the talent to write. I kinda feel like He must have wanted my writing to glorify Him and to encourage and uplift His people…my readers.
“Just love love.” Not sure I’ve heard it put it that way before but I can’t think of a better way to describe it. Speaking of love, is Yesterday’s Promise your first novel?
Actually, it is, in a roundabout kind of way. It was published in 2006 with the title Almost Like a Song. For reasons I won’t go into here, that publishing experience (my first) was not a positive one. I was able to reclaim the rights to my book in 2008. It’s being re-released now as an electronic book through White Rose Publishing. New title, new cover, a great deal more editing, and voila — my first novel becomes my third release!
We’re glad that it’s being re-released and as I’ve mentioned before, I absolutely adore the cover art. Who or what was the inspiration behind Yesterday’s Promise?
I think this book was divinely inspired. Seriously, I had no plans to write it. I was deep into Goldeneyes (which would later become my second novel), and I had hit a seemingly insurmountable wall. I could not write the book! I’d been on my knees a lot, trying to find the inspiration to get on with it. One day, I came across an online advertisement for National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo), an annual event in which writers commit to writing 50,000 words during the 30 days of November. It caught my attention, and I decided to go for it, even though it was already very late in October. When November 1st rolled around, I laid aside my dead-in-the-water work-in-progress (Goldeneyes), opened a blank document and started writing. I had no plot, no storyline in mind, no idea what I would write about. But 30 days later, I had the barebones skeleton of Yesterday’s Promise. And when I returned to Goldeneyes, God broke down that immovable wall, and I finished it without a problem.
The “insurmountable wall” or the proverbial “writer’s block”. Many authors have talked about that struggle and how difficult it can be to climb out of. You’ve handled it well. Besides Nanowrimo, what else inspires you to write? (people, music, nature, Scriptures, art, etc)
People. Emotions. Headlines. Events in my life and the lives of others. Ideas are everywhere.
Speaking of ideas, Yosemite National Park has a crucial role in this novel, with vivid descriptions of its breathtaking scenery. Where did you get that idea and why did you choose this setting for the novel?
I didn’t think about it too much, as I said earlier. But a good friend of mine had recently moved to Oakhurst, which is pretty much the “gateway” to Yosemite. I was so impressed with the natural beauty of the area, even though I’d never actually been inside Yosemite National Park. That must have been on my mind, because somehow that’s where the story wound up going. (Incidentally, my friend invited me up to spend a week with her, and insisted on taking me to Yosemite. That visit made my descriptions in the book so much more vivid than I could have accomplished by researching online. I will be forever grateful to Reta Fields-Cortines for being my tour guide, and for relinquishing her pretty little office to me during that week.)
In Yesterday’s Promise, there is a character who suffers with amnesia. What made that condition of interest to you?
I’ve always been fascinated with stories and movies about amnesiacs. Can you imagine waking up one morning and not remembering a portion of your life? So. I had come up with this bridegroom who disappears without a trace after his wedding night. I needed a really good reason for him to have done such a horrible thing to his innocent little bride. Amnesia seemed like a feasible reason, and it gave me the opportunity to research a subject I was already interested in.
The bridegroom, Brock Ellis, is a very confident character despite his medical issues. Hannah and the rest of the clan are also memorable (my personal favorite is Hannah’s friend, Lori) and the dialogue flows smoothly. What is your secret?
Thank you. I try to write dialogue in a very natural manner, the same way I talk. Lori is one of my favorite characters as well—she has her own book coming up. She’s actually very much like a friend of mine who died of cancer several years ago. My friend Lori was a singer, as well, and quite the character. I adored her, and Lori Mahoney was created in her honor. I don’t know that I have a secret. I just try to create my characters as people really are—I don’t like cardboard characters.
I’m so glad Lori will have her own book coming out! The spiritual depth of her character left me wanting to read more about her. In addition, she was a great help to Hannah in the romance department, so Hannah had the best of both worlds. As an author, why is writing romance with faith important to you?
As I mentioned, I know that God gave me the talent to write. I certainly couldn’t do it without His inspiration. The least I can do in return is to use that talent as a ministry. There’s no law that says a reader can’t be entertained and ministered to at the same time.
Wow. I hope you won’t mind if I quote that from time to time. However, as far as entertainment and books go, I haven’t met an author or writer yet who didn’t have a love of reading or an appreciation for books. Is there one book out there (with the exception of the Bible, of course) that has totally transformed your life?
No, not just one book. I did read a lot of Grace Livingston Hill as a young girl, and her writing influenced me greatly. I wanted to be like her heroines, who were most often sweet Christian girls. In particular, I liked those sweet Christian girls who also had a generous dose of spunk. lol Though I don’t think any one book transformed my life, I do believe Grace Livingston Hill definitely helped mold it.
And Lori definitely had her own side order of spunk, which made it easy for me to connect with her. Besides her upcoming novel, are there any other projects you’re working on?
I’m working on a couple of follow-up stories to Yesterday’s Promise. Pru’s story is coming, and then Lori’s. And I’m working on a series of three books based around a Christian dating agency. The first one is finished, and I’m hoping to find a home for it very soon. Right now, I’m about halfway through the second book in that series.
My“stay curious” question of the day: There is a theory out there (okay, okay. Yes, it’s my theory) that you can tell a lot about a person by what they like to snack on. What do you like to snack on when writing?
Chocolate, of course! Actually, I don’t snack a lot when I’m writing, but I always keep a tall glass of ice cold Dr. Pepper nearby. When I do snack, it usually is a couple bites of luscious Dove milk chocolate, or Hershey Bliss. Mmmm!
Mmmm, is right! Let’s see. According to the my long held and well embraced theory (she writes, clearing her throat shamelessly) Chocolate lovers are warm and passionate people who also like to step over to the adventurous side of life every now and then (skydiving, bungee jumping, kayaking down Niagara Falls). For me, a can of Pringles and a hot cup of Bigelow Blueberry tea. Sounds odd I know. But you mix those two ingredients with an early sunrise, and I’m inspired. Not exactly sure what digesting carbs that early in the morning says about me, but on with the interview…how may our reader’s contact you?
I love to hear from my readers!
Kara, thank you for inviting me to stop in at your blog! I’ve enjoyed chatting with you.
Thanks for stopping by Delia. It’s been great talking with you!
My Fiction With Faith Review – Yesterday’s Promise is a very interesting and enjoyable read. Hannah Johns, a single mom makes the best of a very bad situation. Abandoned after a very romantic, but very brief marriage, she chalks it up to a lesson learned and strives to put the past behind her, but soon realizes that will be impossible. That impossibility comes in the form of Davey, a son born as a result of that union. Nevertheless for four years, she manages to take care of them both by singing in a dinner lounge, with the hopes of one day owning it and turning into a Christian cafe’ of sorts. But that dream comes to a screeching halt when the owner decides to sell it a lot quicker than she anticipated. The new owner? None else than Brock Ellis, her estranged husband and Davey’s father. And oh, by the way – he doesn’t remember a thing.
The word that stood out to me after reading this book was forgiveness. As Hannah and Brock’s paths come together, a lot of things are said and done that leaves them feeling frustrated and misunderstood. Though Brock had long ago let go of his faith, Hannah clings to hers which makes this whirlwind romance very inspiring right up until the end.
Yesterday’s Promise is laced with colorful characters, humor and Godly insight. If you like Inspirational Romance, you’ll love this book.
Recommended. I look forward to reading other novels by this author as well.