I am delighted to host author Candee Fick on my blog today. I’ve been a huge fan of her contemporary romance series, the Wardrobe Dinner Theater series, and when I discovered in 2019 that she’d ventured into historical fiction–and that those books are AMAZING–now I’m an even bigger fan! Even more, she’s a wonderfully pleasant and fun author to chat with!
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Don’t forget, Candee has a giveaway! Be sure to comment on the blog post and then enter through the rafflecopter link below.
Tell me about your newest release.
Finding Home is the latest from the Within the Castle Gates series and is partially inspired by a combination of Cinderella and the Goose Girl (before taking a huge detour!). This Regency Romance is the story of two hearts torn apart by circumstances and betrayed by those closest to them… but still longing for home. Be prepared for plenty of twists and turns as their story ranges from the Lake District in north England to the African coast with the Napoleonic wars in between.
This book is part of a series. What has inspired this series?
On the surface, this series was a chance to tell the few historical romance ideas I had rolling around in my head and could not ignore any longer. But on a deeper level, the series is all about embracing our true identity in Christ. Because as believers, we are adopted into God’s family and joint heirs with the King of Kings, making us virtual princes and princesses. And what other setting illustrates that truth better than a castle?
You also write contemporary novels. (I love the Wardrobe Dinner Theater series.) Tell us more about those!
I’d love to! It started with the story of an orphaned actress looking for her long-lost brother as well as a place to belong on the stage. Her search led her to a family-owned dinner theater where I got to indulge in my love of musical theater while developing a unique setting. But as the cast of characters grew to include a spunky roommate and a spoiled diva, their stories also begged to be told. And then readers demanded to know more about what happened after “The End” so I added two Christmas novellas. The series ended up exploring the idea of fame from multiple angles as some characters craved the spotlight…and others avoided it like the plague.
What’s your favorite romantic trope and why?
Hmm. I think the friends-to-lovers is my favorite since it automatically includes a solid foundation for any relationship. But there’s a risk involved in crossing that line away from “just friends” and the additional slow burn of a growing attraction creates a lot of romantic tension. A close second is the enemies-to-lovers trope since there’s still an existing relationship (of sorts) and once the misunderstandings are cleared up, you know they can survive future conflicts.
Are there any significant elements in this cover? If so, what are they and why are they significant?
Like the other covers in the series, I tried to include a historically-dressed woman who resembled the main female character in the novel plus a castle indicative of the regional setting. For this cover, I hoped to include a picture of the real castle in the story, but couldn’t get the rights to use any of the decent images I found. So, sorry to say, the cover contains a stock photo of a different castle instead.
Who is your favorite character in Finding Home and why?
Susannah is probably my favorite, simply because I could relate to her the most. The childhood crush, the years of wishing and hoping for something more, and the impossible task to get along with everyone. But even though she learns to be content despite her circumstances, she’s not a door mat. When the time comes to take a stand, she’s ready to speak up boldly.
Who is your favorite side character and why?
I’d have to say the Muncaster castle’s cook edges out the rest of them, mostly because she’s a mother figure to both Susannah and Nicholas. Plus her protective nature just serves to underscore her loyalty to the rightful heir…while unapologetically interrupting a sweet romantic moment. With friends like her on your side, you’d never feel alone in the battle.
Are there more planned for this series? Or do you have a new series in mind? What’s next?
I’ve got one more planned for the castle series, but it’s actually a contemporary featuring a castle tour guide who spends too much time in other people’s stories…until she meets a real-life hero who challenges her to live in the present. After that, I have several other ideas percolating and will have to see what rises to the top of the brainstorming pile first.
What is something you’ve learned about yourself or about your writing process, through writing and publishing this story?
Writing this story was a challenge because my whole process got disrupted by COVID. I have two main creative times: my “turtle power hour” every morning before the household gets up and the three-hour blocks at Starbucks while my special needs daughter is at work across the parking lot. When everything shut down, I no longer had the time or the space and instead had to scramble to find new routines. Writing this particular story took about three times longer than my usual pace…and that was only accomplished with the help of two writing retreats where I was able to get the momentum of 10,000-word weekends. Now that things are opening up, I’m adjusting routines again. (Although I’m sure having a contemporary setting requiring less research will also help speed up the process!)
What is your favorite social media platform and why?
A year ago, I would have said Facebook, but after fighting their algorithm to be seen by my followers plus the increase of politicization and censorship of conservative voices, I recently discovered Gab and have started investing my self-limited social media time there. I’m loving the truly free speech aspects and how the ownership echoes my Christian beliefs.
Where can people find you online?
I always point people to my website first (https://candeefick.com) where they can find my blog, books, special deals, and sign up for my email list where I regularly interact with readers. I’m also on Gab, MeWe, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and LinkedIn (to decreasing degrees).
What are you giving away today?
I am giving away the reader’s choice of series: either books 1-4 of Within the Castle Gates OR the Complete Wardrobe series boxed set. Ebook only. That way historical and contemporary fans are both happy if they win!
I have really enjoyed both of these series! Thanks for such a great giveaway!