Name: Verna Hargrove (aka Summer Lee)
Age: 76 on Nov. 3rd.
Where are you from? Fullerton, California. I raised my children there.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life ect
I was born in Boulder City, Nevada in 1937. It was at the time that the Hoover Dam was being built. My father helped build it until the elevator fell on him and crushed his leg. Shortly after that, he died of cancer. With three small children, my mother was happy to remarry a year later.
I graduated from high school in Moses Lake, Washington. I then came to California to train to be a missionary. But I married and had 5 children instead. When the children were grown, I went to college to take writing classes. First, I wrote for Sunday School papers, and then local papers. I called my first novel GLRIOUS COMPANION. But after I chose the pen name, Summer Lee, I changed the title to ANGEL HEART. It was not until after we moved to Corona that I wrote other books.
I’ve been married to the same man for 57 years. He has published two children’s books under the name of J R Hargrove. His Bible studies are published under John R Hargrove, ThD.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Verna: My latest is a novel coming out this week. It is: STANDING STRONG by Summer Lee.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Verna: It was about 1983. A friend asked me to write a book, explaining the kind of work she did. I wrote the book, but felt inadequate to write again. So I signed up for writing classes at the Fullerton College. I took every writing class that they offered.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Verna: When John and I got married at the age of 18, we both said we wanted to write. But the idea simmered for years.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Verna: Stories told in sermons that I listened to inspired me. Ministers had such strong opinions about whether there were ever nine-foot giants on earth. I considered it was my job to make a final decision. Thus, my four-book series by Summer Lee.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Verna: I try to write clear, clean, and simple.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Verna: I bought a book of short phrases and titles.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Verna: I guess it is to believe there is a God.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Verna: My fiction based on fact only has about ten per cent that is realistic. My Bible studies are close to 100%. I do more research for them.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Verna: There are some of both. But I like writing about situations that are impossible.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most?
Verna: I love non-fiction books about people who have made a difference in this world.
Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Verna: That is hard to answer. But I would say, Beth Moore.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Verna: This may come as a surprise. I am studying the book of Isaiah in the Bible.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Verna: That only has one answer. It is my children: J. R. Rain, H.T. Night. Elaine Babich, and Bekka Jordan. If a person would read these books, one would see that I did not force my beliefs or lifestyle on my children. We love them as they are. Perhaps I should mention that a son-in-law and two granddaughters have written as well.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Verna: I hope to promote STANDING STRONG successfully before Christmas. The sequel will be THE MOSES STAFF, and may be out by Valentine’s Day.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Verna: A Facebook friend that I have never met. She is Kathy Gibbs Peigne.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Verna: I see it as my sanity. So I suppose it is a career.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Verna: Yes I would. But I don’t know what it would be. When I read books by my children, I think, “I wish I could write that well.”
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Verna: Yes, I do. I was in the 6th grade. I wrote a report about how ladies clothing changed throughout the centuries. I got so many compliments, and it made me feel good.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Verna: Certainly, but it is not ready. The easiest way is to say that ANGEL HEART is permanently free online. Just download it.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Verna: Yes. I can’t find that one thing that puts the book over the top.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Verna: Would I sound conceited if I say, Elaine Babich, my daughter. She chooses topics to write on that help young girls make positive changes in their lives.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Verna: No, but I wish I could.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Verna: My son, J R Rain, is in charge of finding my covers. I know that two of designers are: Lellani Bennet and Susanna Ivy. I do my own covers for the Bible studies.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Verna: Making the purpose of the book clear. I hope to write a book some day that is capable of winning an award.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Verna: What I’ve learned most by writing was how to focus more clearly.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Verna: It comes from my favorite professor, Julie Davies. “Good writing is fact plus feeling”
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Verna: Dare I be honest? I’d say that if you liked the book, please leave me 4 or 5 stars on Amazon Kindle.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
Verna: I enjoy painting. But now that I’m older, my hand is not that steady. I love helping poor children. And I love to grow beautiful flowers.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Verna: I like (Who-dun-its)–Criminal Minds, Cold Case, Etc. For movies, I like Romance.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Verna: I’m a sugar addict. But diabetes has put a stop to that. As far as colors, I prefer bright colors. The music I listen to changes with my moods. It could be classic, country, or worship music.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Verna: I would still like to be a missionary. But I guess that I am. I have nine grandchildren and one great-grandson.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? if so what is it?
Verna: Yes I do. My website is: www.vernahargrove.net.
J.R. Rain said:
Great interview!! 🙂
I don’t think this was on purpose, but this was posted on my birthday.
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Great interview!! Super lady!!
Nadine Cherry said:
Very interesting interview.
Wow, that is so awesome. Congratulations!