Hummingbird Inn was written, and re-written, before my husband died. It actually took shape over the course of seven years, as I continually tried to modify the content to please other people! I finally just wrote it the way I wanted to write it.
I wanted it to be a clean, funny romance. I didn't call it a Christian romance because it does have a bit of hugging and kissing in it! One of my friends called it "steamy," another said that it didn't have enough "steam!" It's all in one's perspective.
I wanted to set it during my grandmother's time, although she was actually only ten years old in 1900. There was so much going on around that time! So many new developments, like electric lights and canned goods. If you've ever seen the movie "Meet Me in St. Louis" with Judy Garland, that is the same time period.
People did for themselves then. They raised their own livestock, grew their own vegetables, and rode in wagons drawn by horses. They washed their clothes in buckets on the back porch. They milked their own cows and made their own butter. And jelly. And anything else they needed. My grandmother made extra money by selling butter and eggs, and by sewing. People sewed for themselves then, but my grandmother was especially good with buttonholes, and people would pay her for it!
Am I romanticizing all of this in my mind? Probably! But I am a do-it-yourselfer to the core! I love the idea of anyone being smart enough and talented enough to do things without help from anyone else!
Would I want to have to do for myself, all of the time? Probably not! (Way too much work! I'd rather be writing!)
So much of the background for this book came from stories heard from my mother, grandmother, aunts and great aunts and any other friends or relatives who would talk to me about things past! This book began with a story about "how to take a bath," which had originally come from one of my great aunts. The conversation "what kind of eggs do you want?" came from a conversation with my husband one morning. And the description of washing clothes in buckets on the back porch came from my mother.
So much of my own life and my own family history got wrapped up in this book!