India’s life has always gone according to plan. But when she decides to call off her high-profile wedding and take time off from her network television job, everything turns upside down. A tranquil resort in the moody Smoky Mountains of Tennessee was supposed to be a place she could hide out and lick her wounds. Instead she finds herself questioning everything she ever thought she wanted.
Wyatt is a man with scars that run deep. He’s built a careful life for himself, and he has no intention of letting anyone get close to him . . . again.
But what happens when two people who are running away from love run right into one another? Will the intense chemistry they feel be enough to overpower their fears? Or will their time together in the Smoky Mountains end with broken hearts?
*The resort that I reference in Walland has asked me to make it clear that I am in no way affiliated with them. I want to respect those wishes, but to be clear, Walland is a love letter to this area in Tennessee that I love so much. I hope you enjoy these personal photos from our travels to Tennessee over the years.
Photos © Andrea Thome
1. What inspired you to write your book?
I’ve always enjoyed writing, but it was the death of my mom two years ago (she was a writer) that spurred me into action. I sat down on January 1 this year to start writing, and just began at the beginning. Ironically, I finished the book on what would have been my Mom’s 70th birthday in March.
2. What is it about?
Walland is a contemporary love story about two people who have always put their careers first, each for different reasons. They meet unexpectedly during a photography workshop in the beautiful small town of Walland, Tennessee, and find out that sometimes life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. It’s a story about priorities, and discovering what is really important in life.
3. What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers who finish your book?
I hope that Wyatt and India will be unforgettable characters; two people with stories and motivations that readers will think about long after they’ve finished their story. Walland is the first book in the Hesse Creek Series. Readers will be able to read the second book in the series, Seeds of Intention, available on September 5, 2017. I'm already started working on the third book, due out in 2018.
4. What advice do you have for writers?
Treat it like a job, but find the joy in it. I write every day, mostly when my children are in school. (They are 9 and 14) It’s about finding a quiet space and motivation, even on the days when you can think of a thousand reasons not to sit down and begin.
5. Where do you think the book publishing industry is heading?
I don’t presume to know enough about publishing to know where the industry is headed. I will say I very much enjoyed the process of self-publishing my first novel. I learned so much, and I know that it will only make me better, whether I continue to self-publish or go a more traditional route in the future. When I worked in television, I started out carrying my own camera, shooting my own footage, editing my own stuff. It made me a better broadcast journalist. I think the same principles apply to writing and publishing. Know what you’re doing, inside and out. And if you don’t know, learn.
6. What challenges did you have in writing your book?
Finding the time to write when my children were home for the summer was a challenge, but I made it a priority, even when it meant some late nights and early mornings. Writing is my job. Second only to being a wife and mother. And it’s the best job in the world. You can take it with you wherever you go. I write on airplanes, in my car, in cafes, but mostly in my screened-in porch.
7. If people can only buy one book this month, why should it be yours?
The world is an every-changing place, and we live in particularly turbulent times right now. I want people to have a reason to close their eyes at night after they’ve been reading my book with a smile on their face and love in their heart. I hope I can make them laugh every now and then too. Life is too short to take it all too seriously. Love always wins.