Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Marcia Gruver is the author of the Texas Fortunes series and the upcoming Backwoods Buccaneers series, as well as numerous articles, short stories, and poems. Marcia’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW); the Christian Authors Network (CAN); Faith, Hope, & Love (FHL)-the Inspirational Outreach Chapter of the Romance Writers of America; Fellowship of Christian Writers (FCW); and The Writers View. Lifelong Texans, Marcia and her husband, Lee, have one daughter and four sons.

When did you decide to be a writer?

I owe it all to my fifth-grade teacher. As a gawky, insecure ten-year-old, I wrote a story then shyly slipped the pages, scribbled in jagged lines with a lead pencil, to Mrs. Garcia to read. After class, she squatted to eye level, took my hands, and said, “Honey, your story is really good. You should write more often.” What power lay in those simple words! How amazing the depth of influence she held over my life with her gift of encouragement. I’m convinced that she sprinkled seeds of possibility into my heart, a crop that many years later came to fruition. I decided to write a book because no one said I couldn’t. On the contrary, Mrs. Garcia seemed thoroughly convinced that I could.

At what point did you stop juggling suggestions and critiques and trust yourself (as a writer)?

Hmm, has that ever happened? By nature, writers seem the most insecure of professionals. I suppose it’s because we’re never satisfied with our finished product. We press on to higher and higher degrees of perfection. If I crack the cover of any of my published novels, I find myself still editing, wishing I’d written a line a different way or twisted the plot in a different direction. No matter how comfortable I become as an author, I don’t see that part changing.

Are you a disciplined writer or do you just write when you feel like it?

Deadlines force discipline. I’ve learned what it takes to turn in a well-written manuscript, so I have a choice—I can start early and work diligently to give myself plenty of breathing room, or put off and procrastinate and wind up pulling grueling write-a-thons. The latter method is no fun, so I’m learning to pace myself and get it done.

What kind of activities do you like to do that help you relax and step away from your deadlines for a bit?

We travel so often that I’ve developed a love for being at home playing amateur chef and couch potato. Hearth and home has become my new favorite place to be. I still love watching movies and playing games on my PS3. I’ve recently added a Wii and the Wii Fit software to my list of toys, which helps to alleviate the damage caused by too many hours playing PS3, amateur chef, and couch potato.

How do you think reading the work of others helps you as a writer?

Nothing lifts my writer spirits or gets my creative juices flowing quicker than a well-turned phrase or a winsome line of prose. On the flip side, nothing drives me to strive for greater perfection than to read a pretty good novel that could’ve been great with a little more effort on the part of the author.

Tell us a little about your latest release:

Emmy’s Equal, book three of the Texas Fortunes series, jumps to the year 1907. When a high-spirited girl lands in country thick with cattle, cactus, and cowboys, the South Texas border may never be the same. Emmy’s finding obedience to God a bother, and sure won’t take orders from a hardheaded wrangler. But as hard as she pushes God and the cowboy away, they continue to pursue her with equal fervor.

Diamond Duo, book one in the Texas Fortunes trilogy, opened in 1877 with the rousing adventures and humorous exploits of young Bertha Maye Biddie and Magdalena Hayes. Chasing Charity hops forward a generation to follow the life of Bertha’s daughter, Charity Bloom. Emmy’s Equal, the closing chapter of the series, delves into the life of Magdalena’s spitfire daughter, Emily Dane. Readers following the series and those reading about the family for the first time will love watching Emmy meet her match in the handsome vaquero, Diego Isi Marcelo.

Where did you get your inspiration for EMMY’S EQUAL?

My husband’s job landed us in Carrizo Springs, Texas, for many months. While there, I fell in love with the locals and the region. Before long, I knew my next book would be set amid cactus, cattle, and a rich Hispanic culture. As I plotted the book, a poignant thread of broken parent/child relationships emerged alongside a theme of reconciling ourselves to God, and I realized I’d wound up in South Texas for a reason.

Which character is most like you?

I want to say the beautiful Melatha Rhona Flynn in Emmy’s Equal is patterned after me. Melatha is Diego Marcelo’s gentle, insightful, and deeply spiritual Choctaw Indian mother. Unfortunately, I’m more of a Bertha Bloom, the bungling, snaggletooth, country girl who blurts inappropriate comments and detests wearing shoes.

Did you know how EMMY’S EQUAL would turn out? Were you surprised by any of the plot twists or characters?

I’ve learned how important it is to plot my novels carefully. It saves time in the end and keeps me on the right track. That said, I’ve also learned the value of allowing the characters to surprise me along the way. I know how strange that sounds (except to other writers), but there’s a logical explanation. As the characters grow and develop during the writing process, they bring along with them interesting quirks and personality traits that demand further exploration. Sometimes the characters know more than we do about what needs to happen next. In Emmy’s Equal, Diego Marcelo surprised me the most. I intended him to be a hard-shelled, disillusioned cowhand, but he finally convinced me of his true nature—that of a gentle, softhearted ranch foreman who loves two things with all of his heart: Melatha, his little Choctaw mama, and Carrizo Springs, Texas, the rugged land he has adopted as his own.

What is the main thing you hope readers remember from this story?

I’m touched and humbled to consider that God set up parent/child relationships on the earth and then established the same dynamic between Himself and his creation. Since this earthly bond is intended to be the picture of God’s deep desire to love and protect us, it’s a tragedy when things go awry. I pray parents reading Emmy’s Equal will put their own needs aside and remember to model God’s love to their children every day.

What kinds of things have you done to market this book? Have you found anything that works particularly well?

I tend to set my books around real people in real places, so the best marketing tool I’ve found is to draw the locals into the process by letting them know I’m writing a book set in their hometown, usually a tale woven around the exploits of one of their heroes or legends. I use them for research and send them signed copies after publication. I make sure to get them talking about the book in the local library and in the cafes and coffee shops in town.

Tell us what new projects you’re working on.

Barbour Publishing recently granted me another three-book contract. The series title is Backwoods Buccaneers, and it’s the story of three generations of land pirates--a quirky band of crooks who make their living by raiding and stealing in the aftermath of the civil war. The story begins in Scuffletown, North Carolina, and makes its way down the Natchez Trace to Uncertain, Texas. In some ways, it’s quite different from Texas Fortunes, but I love these new characters, and I think my readers will too.

Do you have any parting words of advice?

I’m not sure I’m wise enough to offer advice, except for the following, which I’ve learned to rely on through first-hand experience:

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones. Proverbs 3:5-8 (KJV)

Readers may contact me through my website, or my blog at I’d love to hear from them. They can also find me on Facebook and Shoutlife. For an autographed copy of any of my books, they can go to and search for me by name or title.
Want more? Be sure to stop by The Borrowed Book on Thursday for an excerpt from Emmy's Equal by Marcia Gruver.


  1. Hey Marcia,
    Can't wait to read the new series. I'm sure it will be as wonderful as your first!

  2. Couldn't agree more, Aaron! Thanks for stopping by.

  3. I'm on the road, but I wanted to stop in and thank Lisa for having me on her great blog. What a treat to run into my buddy Aaron! Thank you for stopping in.


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