I love “opposites attract” stories, so I’m delighted author Callie Hutton is here to talk about her historical romance, A Wife by Christmas.
Moriah Densley: Welcome, Callie! Ellie and Max in A Wife By Christmas seem to have almost nothing in common. Tell us more about the heroine and her complicated relationship with Max.
Callie Hutton: Ellie is a woman on a mission. She wants to break free of the ‘ties that bind’ her to what society in 1906 deems is appropriate for a woman. She is a free thinker, a Suffragette and has no use for man. She thinks.
On the other hand, her attraction to stuffy, old-fashioned Max is annoying and unwanted. At first.
Max has ambitions beyond his current position as a high school principal. And having a wife would slow him down. He needs to keep on the move to attain his goals. In order to move up, he has to put up with his daily demon who arrives each morning in the form of an attractive, irritating woman who needs to be put in her place. That place is in some man’s kitchen cooking his dinner.
That is his first goal. He thinks.
On the other hand, his attraction to stubborn, troublesome Ellie is annoying and unwanted. At first.
MD: I’m curious about the historical setting in 1906 – a unique choice. What’s important for the reader to know about the historical world you created in this story?
CH: A Wife By Christmas is the second book in the Oklahoma Lovers series. The first book takes place during the Oklahoma Land Run in 1889, when Ellie Henderson is a child. So when she is all grown up, the early 1900’s have arrived, and she’s ready for them. Women are starting to seriously question their role in life, and Ellie is right there with them.
MD: It sounds like Ellie is a handful. What kind of trouble does she get into, and why is it such a problem for Max?
CH: Max is the new high school principal where Ellie is a teacher. He has certain ideas about teachers and women. The other teachers at the school bow to his wishes, but Ellie goes her own way, and does her own thing. And if she can’t get the principal’s permission to do so, well . . .
MD: Tell us more about the Oklahoma Lovers series, and how A Wife by Christmas fits in:
CH: In the first book in the series, A Run For Love, Tori Henderson is thrown into the role of parent of her four nieces and nephews, ranging in age from ten to sixteen. A teacher herself, she is unable to find a job, and with them all facing eviction from their home, she decides to enter the Oklahoma Land Run. Ellie is the youngest of her crew, and I just knew from the start of the series she was going to be a problem to someone, and her story just screamed to be told. So A Wife By Christmas is the second book. The third book, A Prescription for Love, is Ellie’s oldest brother, Michael’s story, also set in the early 1900’s. Next year, book four, Anyplace But Here, will tell the tale of Hunter, Ellie’s other brother. Hunter gets himself into serious trouble that requires Tori’s husband, Jesse, to travel to Texas to help. Look for that one most likely mid-2014.
MD: What do you do when you’re not writing?
CH: Read. Besides a news show each day, the only TV I watch is Downton Abbey, which doesn’t start until January. I have three adult children living at home, and they keep me quite entertained.
MD: If you could meet any historical figure, actual or fictional, who would you choose?
CH: Queen Elizabeth I. The original women’s rights crusader.
MD: Any writing “rituals” to help you get in the zone?
CH: Not really. When I’m working on a book, I make myself write each day, whether the ‘zone’ is there or not. Sometimes it flows like a river, other times it feels like Death Valley.
MD: What authors inspire you?
CH: Sandra Brown; Jude Deveraux; Stephanie Laurens; Jodi Thomas; Linda Lael Miller. I could go on for pages.
MD: What influences your style and voice?
CH: I’m not sure that anything does influence me. I’ve been writing my whole life, for newspapers, magazines, and at various jobs. When I look back at my work, my style and voice have always been the same.
In 1906 Guthrie, Oklahoma, History teacher, Ellie Henderson, has been a thorn in High School Principal Max Colbert’s side ever since he took over three months ago. When she’s not flying by his office, late for her class, with books and papers jumbled in her arms, she’s attending Suffragettes meetings against his orders.
Because of her family connections, he can’t fire her, but he can certainly find someone to marry her, and keep her busy in the kitchen. And far away from his school. Max soon finds that what seemed like a good idea can turn into disaster when Miss Ellie Henderson is involved. The woman is a master at getting into trouble.
With the Christmas season in full swing, he has many opportunities to introduce her to prospective husbands. However, the uncomfortable feeling is growing that no one is worthy of the minx…
About Callie Hutton:
Callie has been making up stories since elementary school, and writing gave her a way to turn off the voices in her head. After having a number of articles and interviews published in newspapers and magazines, she took on what she’d always dreamed of. Writing that book. She currently has a number of both historical and contemporary romance books published. Visit her website for more information. http://www.calliehutton.com
She currently lives in Oklahoma with her husband and adult children who move in and out with alarming regularity. Add three rescue dogs and the household is complete—and full. She enjoys hearing from her readers, and would love to have you visit her on Facebook.
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