Is there a story behind Helsinki Sunrise?
Two years ago my husband and I visited Finland to attend my youngest son’s wedding to his Finnish fiancée. I never knew that seven months later I would write a romance novelette set in this country. I drew on my experiences of the culture and wove much into the details of this story.
Although I did not think of my son, Kyle, and his wife, Tiia, when writing this story—my hero and heroine totally have their own personalities—I did get much inspiration from Kyle. Kyle was a Visual Effects whiz kid before he gave it all up and became a full-time missionary. My hero, Adam, is also a South African, and also a missionary. Eveliina, the heroine, is a Finnish Visual Effects artist living and working in Helsinki, the design capital of the world.
What was really special for me was when, through a turn of events, Kyle and Tiia became the cover models for Helsinki Sunrise, especially because I’d dedicated this book to Kyle. He had inspired the story in many ways, after all.
That is so sweet. What a wonderful story. What distracts you from writing the easiest?
Facebook and email.
Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote? Why?
It would have to be Adam just because this is a romance novella, and romance novellas are always about the hero. Seriously though, I loved Adam’s character—a missionary passionate for God, and yet, still just a man who struggles with temptation, although determined against all odds to keep his integrity intact. Perhaps there’s a little more of Kyle in Adam than I thought.
Smile. What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Eaten a mopane worm whilst up in Zimbabwe. I did get a certificate for the crazy deed. It was quite a feat for me because I grew up in a small town that was overrun by these large black and blue hairy horned worms (which are actually large caterpillars of the Gonimbrasia belina species, commonly called the emperor moth, and are known as mopane worms because they are found chomping the leaves of mopane trees after they hatch in summer). They’re sought after by the local Africans for food and are apparently highly nutritious. They’ve become a delicacy in many up-market restaurants in South Africa and are even found in African restaurants in Paris. I wish I could say they taste good—they don’t….not for me anyway. It was kind of like eating a piece of bark.
Double yuk! But who am I to talk with some of the things we've tried? Lol. What is your strangest habit?
I hate standing still in the bathroom while brushing my teeth. I have to walk around the house. My two boys seem to have picked up this habit, too. I wonder why.
Lol. Sorry, that's funny. What makes you smile and/or laugh out loud?
My two grandsons. Especially when four-year old Phoenix comes and has an adult-sounding conversation with my husband and me.
What is your favorite season of the year?
Summer. Not because of the sunny, warm weather, but because I live in a summer rainfall region of South Africa and I love a rainy day—they’re perfect for curling up on the couch with a good book.
Has some place you have traveled inspired something in your writing?
I’ve been writing novellas set in Europe and the UK for the Passport to Romance series by Pelican Book Group. My travels to numerous countries in the northern hemisphere—Ireland, Scotland, England, France, Switzerland, Hungary, Romania, and Finland—have definitely inspired this style of writing. These countries are so rich in culture and traditions that are interesting to weave into stories. I’m planning to write further stories set in Brazil and Australia—both on the Passport to Romance required stories list, and both countries that I have visited.
I'm drooling and jealous. How blest you are. Share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you. (and why it's special)
Psalm 139. It’s just an awesome reminder of how big God is, and how intimately involved He is in my life. And when Michael W. Smith sings it…well, it’s just that much more special.
I’m a night-owl, and my creativity seems to spark after midnight. Most of my writing gets done between midnight and three AM. I guess it’s because that’s when the house is its quietest. I tend to procrastinate if I write during the day.
When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
I currently have my second Passport to Romance manuscript under review with Pelican Book Group. Hopefully I’ll know whether it’s accepted before this blog publishes. If it is, publication would probably be around April 2015. The story is set in Oslo, Norway, and is about wingsuit pilots, those crazy daredevils dressed in flying squirrel-type suits who jump off the side of cliffs and out of airplanes and fly through the sky.
A highlight in writing this book was having a coffee date with probably the best woman wingsuiter in the world when she visited South Africa earlier this year.
It sounds great. I've just learned of a new author whose books I'm anxious to check out! Thanks for joining us today.
Check out these links:
Watch the Helsinki Sunrise book trailer on YouTube.
Watch the Passport to Romance book trailer on YouTube.
Buy the book here:
Barnes and Noble:
Pelican Book Group:
MARION UECKERMANN’S passion for writing was sparked in 2001 when she moved to Ireland with her husband and two sons. Since then she has published devotional articles and stories in Winners, The One Year Devotional of Joy and Laughter (Tyndale House Publishers), Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miraculous Messages from Heaven, and her debut novelette, Helsinki Sunrise (White Rose Publishing, a Pelican Book Group imprint, Passport to Romance series). Marion blogs for International Christian Fiction Writers and Beauty for Ashes. She belongs to Christian Writers of South Africa and American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives in Pretoria East, South Africa in an empty nest with her husband and their crazy black Scottie, Wally.
Connect with Marion here:
Website : www.marionueckermann.com
Amazon : http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00KBYLU7C
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/Marion.C.Ueckermann
Twitter : https://twitter.com/ueckie
Pinterest : http://www.pinterest.com/ueckie/
A Pebble in my Pocket : http://apebbleinmypocket.com/
Foreign Affaire : http://foreignaffaire.com/
International Christian Fiction Writers : http://internationalchristianfictionwriters.blogspot.com/
Beauty for Ashes : http://beautyforashes.co.za/
Marion is giving away an e-copy of Helsinki Sunrise. So the giveaway is not limited to any location. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.