Digging for Love by Ramona Cecil
Rose here: I am so happy to introduce Ramona Cecil to my readers today. She is one of my longest friends from ACFW, back when it was called ACRW! She has a lot to tell us about her story idea and location, so let’s get started!
Ramona: When I chose the setting for Digging for Love, I knew nothing about Rochester, New York. As I scanned the names of the towns along the Erie Canal in upstate New York, Rochester jumped out at me. I’m not sure why, but I’m glad it did. I soon learned that Rochester wasn’t just another sleepy little burg along the Erie Canal. Already a bustling town of 2,700 by the opening of my story in 1822, Rochester would come to be known as the Young Lion of the West when the canal finally connected the town to New York City. Split in two by the Genessee River, Rochester required an aqueduct to carry the Erie Canal across the river and I enjoyed working the building of the aqueduct into my story.
I love using family names in my stories. In Digging for Love my heroine, Emily, is named for my fifteen-year-old granddaughter. Since my Emily loves animals, especially dogs, I, of course, had to give my fictitious Emily a dog. My granddaughter’s hobby is taking pictures. Since photography hadn’t been invented yet in 1822, I decided that the Emily in my story would be an artist. I knew my hero would be an Irish immigrant working on building the aqueduct. For his name, I settled on Seamus, which is Irish for James—my husband’s name.
Another thing I love is when what I call “God moments” or “God winks,”—I don’t see them as coincidences—happen while I’m writing a story. I can think of a couple that happened during the writing of Digging for Love. I’d already stated that my hero, Seamus, hailed from Dublin, Ireland when I discovered that a part of Rochester was named Dublin and settled by Irish immigrants. It not only turned out to be the perfect place to house my hero, Seamus, but brought Terrance and Iona Maguire, two unplanned characters to my story. Iona becomes an important friend and confidant to both Seamus and Emily. A second “God wink” was when I learned that a traveling art exhibit had come to Rochester a couple years prior to my story, which fit beautifully into the narrative of my budding artist heroine. Perhaps a third “God wink” happened at the very beginning when I searched for a setting for my story and the name Rochester captured my imagination. Like I said, I don’t believe in coincidences.
When I write I begin by staring at the blank white computer screen, then I give it all to God and I’m always amazed at what He does. “Glory be to God, who by His might power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare ask or even dream of. . .” Ephesians 3:20 NIV Rose again: That is my favorite Bible verse Ramona!
And my Emily? She’s loving Digging for Love. She says she especially likes the character Seamus, which makes me smile.
Ramona K. Cecil is a wife, mother, grandmother, freelance poet and award-winning inspirational romance writer. Now empty nesters, she and her husband of 46 years make their home in southern Indiana. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers and American Christian Fiction Writers Indiana Chapter, her work has won awards in a number of inspirational writing contests. To date, she has fourteen published novels and novellas. Over eighty of her inspirational verses have been published on a wide array of items for the Christian gift market. She enjoys a speaking ministry, sharing her journey to publication while encouraging aspiring writers. When not writing, her hobbies include reading, gardening, and visiting places of historical interest.