Saundra Staats McLemore

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How did you get the best-selling authors Richard Paul Evans and Janette Oke to endorse your first novel Abraham and Anna?

A: First of all, both of these authors have been favorites of mine, and my 95-year-old mother for many years. I have enjoyed the books of Richard Paul Evans clear back to his first novel The Christmas Box. I have enjoyed Janette Oke's books beginning with her Love Comes Softly Series.

I met Richard Paul Evans at his book signing in November, 2008. I told him I was having trouble finding a literary agent and/or a publisher for my new novel. He gave me a name to call. It did not work out, but we did stay in communication with emails and I kept him updated on my progress. When I found a publisher, he agreed to read and endorse my book.

I wrote Janette Oke. I informed her that my mother and I were two of her biggest fans. I asked her if she had time, if she would read and possibly endorse my novel. She agreed. I could not be more thankful to both of them. They are both blessings to me and their readers.

Q: How do you pronounce Staats? What is the nationality?
A: It rhymes with bats. It is Dutch-German.

Q: How do you pronounce McLemore? What is the nationality?
A: Mack le (sound as in lit) more. It is Scotch-Irish.

Q: Why did you decide to start writing so late in life?
A: That’s a good question. All my life I have had a passion for reading and history. I love historical fiction, which is the genre I most like to read. The inspiration for Abraham and Anna began to build for ten years. I felt the need to tell a story. The story simply turned into 75,000 + words! Then its sequel Joy out of Ashes was published in 2012, and then the Christmas Hotel series, Christmas Hotel, Christmas for Lucy and Christmas Redemption followed in 2012, 2013, and 2014!

Q: Who are your favorite authors?
A: I have many favorites, but I will put three at the top of the list. They are Richard Paul Evans, Janette Oke, and Francine Rivers.

Q: How do you decide on your characters’ names, and do you base them on real people?
A: Many of the names I make up, but some might come from friends and family. However, the names I have used have nothing to do with the real life person. Some names I split; for example, I have an Anthony and a Robert in Abraham and Anna (the first names of my son and husband), but the characters do not have the same last name. In the Christmas Hotel series I have Jerilyn Marlene; the combination of my brother's nickname Jerry and my sister's middle name Marlene.

Q: Is Abraham and Anna a biography or a work of fiction?
A: Abraham and Anna are real people that lived two and a half centuries ago; however, the story is completely fiction.

Q: What bible verse sums up the Abraham and Anna story?
A: I am going to have to say two verses. The first would be: 
Proverbs 3: 5-6 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.
The second would be: Romans 8:28: And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.

Q: What are you hoping your reader’s will take away from the Abraham and Anna story?
A: I hope they will realize the importance of family values. Abraham and Anna demonstrate responsibility, dedication, morals, faith, obedience, love of God, family and friends. I hope my readers will see the importance of genuine love, not just physical attraction. I hope my readers see that a personal relationship and a trust in Jesus Christ, is what will bring to their lives that inner peace which so many are seeking. If even one reader is led to the Savior, then my mission was accomplished.

Q: What age group are you targeting?
A: I started out targeting tweens, teens and young adults; however, the persons who read early drafts, and enjoyed the Abraham and Anna story, were ages 33 through 90!

Q: How might a reader’s life change from reading Abraham and Anna?
A: I hope that my young readers especially will desire the same family values as Abraham and Anna. I pray that my unsaved readers will find salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Q: How do you sum up the Christmas Hotel series?
A: Each book has a theme.  Christmas Hotel: death, depression and hope. Christmas for Lucy: child abuse, alcoholism, and the loss of a child. Christmas Redemption: the humanity of the unborn child and the path of redemption for three young women. Christmas Pact: love, loss, and deception. Christmas Love and Mercy: loneliness, dealing with a deadly disease, faith, and love. Christmas Hotel Reunion: love, devotion, Alzheimer's, heart disease, trauma, and faith.

Q: What church do you attend?
A: I am of member of Landmark Baptist in Dayton, Ohio.

Q: With what ministry/ organization are you affiliated?
A: I have been involved with the Dayton Right to Life Society since 1978. I even wrote and announced two television commercials for them in 1978.

© 2019