I’m so excited to have one of my fellow Seekers here for a visit today! Even before we had the pleasure of working together on Seekerville, I was reading (and adoring) Erica Vetsch’s stories like her novellas in Seven Brides for Seven Texas Rangers Romance Collection (and I still am)!
about the author
Best-selling, award-winning author Erica Vetsch loves Jesus, history, romance, and sports. She’s a transplanted Kansan now living in Minnesota, and she married her total opposite and soul mate! When she’s not writing fiction, she’s planning her next trip to a history museum and cheering on her Kansas Jayhawks and New Zealand All Blacks.
five favorite authors
(who have influenced my writing)
Erica: Laura Ingalls Wilder. My third-grade teacher read the entire series aloud to us in hour-long sessions after lunch recess each day. And in fourth grade, I was rarely seen without one of the “Little House” books in my hands.
At recess, I would take my book outside, lay in the grass and leave Hageman Elementary behind, inhabiting Laura’s world, living her adventures. Her writing was so accessible and timeless. Children can fall into her stories, and adults still treasure every word. A rare gift.
Beth: I missed out on the LHOTP during my childhood but I have read them aloud to my children!
Erica: Walter Farley. When I received my first Black Stallion book, it was the start of something big. This was my first encounter with a “Book Boyfriend.” I had such a crush on Alec Ramsey. (Psst…I still do!) I read every book in the series…I own every book in the series.
I was thrilled when my son began reading through them, taking them one at a time from the bookshelf and returning them to get a new one. Walter Farley was the first author I read who didn’t write from a Christian worldview. It was my first time reading about a character who was Muslim, and a horse named Satan? Oh my!
Beth: My daughter went through a horse-crazy stage and enjoyed some of those stories.
Erica: Essie Summers. Essie is the reason I dreamed of someday being a writer. Essie was a Presbyterian minister’s wife from New Zealand, and she wrote 50+ books set in her lovely country. Essie wrote for Mills & Boon, and their sister company, Harlequin in the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s.
Her stories feature wonderful characters, especially her heroes, who are strong, handsome, resilient, and have a love for literature and poetry. I love Essie’s writing, which is rich and detailed and vibrant. She is a great dialogue writer, too!
Beth: Oh interesting! I’ve never heard of Essie Summers!
Erica: Dick Francis. The first time I read a Dick Francis mystery/thriller, I think I was too young. His stories, all set in some way within the British Steeplechasing World (Dick Francis was a champion steeplechase jockey before retiring and turning his talents to journalism and writing fiction.) are tales where the hero is more interested in justice than in the law. Justice for the victim, which his heroes often feel are short-changed by the legal system.
As I matured, I fell in love with Francis’s literary style, the fast-paced, pithy, first-person narrative that pulled you through the story. It was Dick Francis who first made me understand Author Branding. I was in a bookstore in 2008, and I saw a new DF on an end-cap. I grabbed it up without even knowing what it was about, because I knew what it was about. A hero would be put in a moral dilemma where he would have to choose between what was lawful and what was justice, he would be put in physical peril at the end, and he would have to act on his beliefs.
Beth: Great observation on author branding!
Erica: Elizabeth Peters. Her Amelia Peabody series was a revelation in showing, not telling, subtext, and letting the reader ‘get it.’ It taught me about going deep into a character’s POV, to live through the character and only give to the reader that character’s thoughts, ideas, and perceptions—Whether those turned out to be true or not! Humor, mystery, and Egyptology make the perfect blend.
Beth: Every story needs a least a little humor!
Erica: There are LOTS of other writers who have influenced my writing…Anne Perry, Ellis Peters, Virginia Lanier, Louis L’Amour, Zane Grey, Wilson Rawls, James Herriot…and so many more. I love that authors that I read become mentors. I get to enjoy their stories, and I get to learn from them through their writing. #DoubleBlessing!
Beth: You are what you eat… er, read!
Tell us about your latest release
Erica: This month sees the release of 7 Brides for 7 Texas Rangers! Squee! This collection of novellas is a bit different from the norm in that it is a continuity series. Each of the stories overlap and feature characters from the others in the collection. They’re all located in the same fictional town, and they all take place over the course of one year. As a bonus, it’s a bit of a continuation of the continuity series 7 Brides for 7 Texans. Characters from 7 Texans show up in 7 Texas Rangers.
Beth: I simply adored the Seven Brides for Seven Texans romance collection!
Seven Brides for Seven Texas Rangers Romance Collection
Join seven Texas Rangers on the hunt for a menacing gang, who run straight into romances with women who foil their plans for both the job and their futures.
#7. Guard Your Heart by Erica Vetsch
When Constance Spanner witnesses a murder, Branch Kilborn is tasked with protecting her until she can testify against Cass Markham. This is the Ranger squad’s chance to abolish the Markham gang once and for all, but Branch soon finds that protecting Constance has become about more than just the job.
Beth: I’m reading this book right now!
Take a peek at Erica’s next release…
Beth: I’ll share more about First Love Letter Romance Collection in a couple of weeks when it releases!
What is your go-to drink?
Erica: I am a coffee-shop writer. Which is odd, because I don’t drink coffee. I am a tea-girl all the way. Earl Grey. Hot. J I find that I am much more productive when I write away from home, sitting at my local Caribou Coffee shop, earbuds in, tea at hand, fingers on the keyboard. If I stay home, I piddle-dink the day away, messing about here and there, not concentrating.
Beth: There’s a super adorable coffee shop in my hometown and I’ve been itching to spend a day in there with a cup of hot chocolate and a book!
What am I reading right now?
Erica: I just finished The Blue Castle by L. M. Montgomery. A departure from her ‘coming of age’ series like Anne of Green Gables or Jane of New Moon, The Blue Castle is a romance set in Ontario. I belong to an online book club, The Dewey Decimators, and The Blue Castle is the March 2018 selection. I am so glad, because I loved it! I stayed up until 5 am one night reading it! Ridiculous at my age, but it was worth the bleary eyes and dragging brain!
Beth: I’ve been there with the bleary eyes! I’ll have to pick that one up, I love Anne with an e! Thank you so much for hanging out with us today, Erica!
Erica has generously offered to send one Faithfully Bookish reader friend a copy of Seven Brides for Seven Texas Rangers Romance Collection! (print US only, ebook international)
Have you read any books by one of Erica’s favorite authors?
Have you read and of Erica’s books, reader friends?
Be sure to add both Seven Brides collections to your tbr!