MARION UECKERMANN's passion for writing was sparked when she moved to Ireland with her family. Her love of travel has influenced her contemporary inspirational romances set in novel places. Marion and her husband again live in South Africa, but with two gorgeous grandsons hanging their hats at the house next door, their empty nest's no longer so empty. As our Author of the Day, she tells us all about her book, Choose Me.
Please give us a short introduction to what Choose Me is about.
Without giving away anything of the plot and spoiling Choose Me for readers, real estate agent Julia Delpont transfers to the small town of Chapel Cove where nobody knows her after having had her heartbroken at the altar. With a one-date policy, she’s determined no man will ever break her heart again.
The hero of this story, Dr. Hudson Brock, has also moved to Chapel Cove, although more recently, seeking a quiet life, a wife and a family. But Julia is afraid to open her heart to the handsome doctor whose deepest desires she cannot fill.
What inspired you to bring a real estate agent and a former army surgeon together?
Well, Hudson was the new doctor in town, and he needed a house. What better person for his heroine than the woman who would sell him the perfect property?
Tell us more about Julia Delpont. What makes her tick?
Work makes Julia tick. And her love of reading. But only because she won’t let a man get close to her. She’s done with having her heart broken.
What makes Julia and Hudson such a great match?
Ah, you just have to look at the book cover to see that they are perfect for each other. What makes them special though is that they each put the other’s needs above themselves.
Why did you pick a small coast town in Oregon as the backdrop for your book?
This book is part of a series with two author friends, Autumn Macarthur and Alexa Verde. We saw a need for stories with characters in their forties, or close to, and so we created Chapel Cove which kicked off in the first three books with three childhood friends all returning home for their fortieth birthdays. We scoured the coastal areas of the USA, but Oregon held an undeniable attraction for us all.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
Until I gave up my day job to write full time, I was a PA in the corporate world for several decades (we won’t mention how many). My superpowers lay in organizing and events. My other skills, although not a secret, is being a wife to my hubby of 34 years, mom to my two sons, and “Ouma” (grandma) to my two grandsons. I’m looking forward to adding a granddaughter to that mix somewhere between November 11-18th, and then my secret superpower of shushing a baby to sleep in my arms will come out to play once again.
This is Book 4 of a series. Can it be read as a standalone? How does it tie in with the other books in the series?
It can absolutely be read as a standalone, as can all our Chapel Cove stories, although the series is best enjoyed reading from book 1. You’ll often find characters from previous books (or future books) popping up in each story. In Choose Me, Hudson’s brother and the love of his life from book 1, Remember Me, feature a bit, as do some characters from Marry Me (book 6) which is next to release this December.
Does this book have an underlying message? What do you hope readers would take away from it?
I hope that through Choose Me, readers will come to realize that sometimes life may not give us what we dream of, but that even when life doesn’t make sense, we can trust that God does—He always makes things beautiful in His time.
Do reviews and reader feedback shape your work? Or do you feel like it's better to avoid the feedback—both positive and negative—so that it won't interfere with your vision?
I love reader reviews. It always makes my day when I get positive feedback from readers and often I’ll share those with family and friends. It’s great to see how God uses my books to touch people’s hearts. When I do get a negative review (thankfully they’re few and far between), I chalk it up to the reader not being my target market. After all, I can’t expect everyone to like everything I write.
Do you have any interesting writing habits? What is an average writing day like for you?
Not really except for the fact that I have a summer office downstairs in my house, and a winter office upstairs.
So twice a year, I pack up my computer and screens and switch locations. When I was still working full time, I’d start writing anywhere from 9-11 p.m. and head for bed around 2-3 a.m. Now, I usually tackle admin / marketing / creative stuff in the mornings (I design my own covers and for several other authors), then I try get some writing in in the afternoons. I really do need to switch the two around and write in the mornings before I tackle anything else. One of these days …
What are you working on right now?
Right now I’m working on Accept Me, book 7 of the Chapel Cove romances. Life has been disruptive, however, so it’s taking me way longer to write this story. To make matters worse, my external hard drive crashed a week ago, and I’ve lost 90% of my work, including everything I’ve written on Accept Me. Unfortunately, I had no backup of my work in progress. Hopefully I’m handing my drive over to someone this weekend who will try to recover the files. I have faith…
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?