Thursday, July 13

Posted by Laurel Garver on Thursday, July 13, 2017 10 comments
Interview with guest DiVoran Lites
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Tell us a little about your story and the story world you've created.

Aldon and Ellie are the main characters of Go West. Aldon lives on a ranch in Colorado. Ellie works at her grandparents’ department store in Chicago. Both are veterans of the First World War, he as a pilot, and she as an ambulance driver. Ellie wants freedom and independence, so her grandfather helps her find a job on a ranch in Colorado. The story opens when Aldon drives the wagon to the train station to meet Ellie and take her back to the ranch. Ellie will have three bosses on the ranch, and Aldon is one of them. Working with him doesn’t seem like independence to her, but as she has little choice she must juggle her jobs and the people she meets the best she can.

Who are your main characters? Tell us a little about what makes them tick.

Aldon has been on the ranch all his life except for when he was in the war. He is a Christian man who has followed his mother’s teaching regarding his treatment of women. Ellie, also, kept to herself except for the young men and women with whom she went to high school. She recently joined the Suffragists who insist that women need more freedom.

What led you to write about the time period between the two world wars? 

My mother always told me stories of our family. They weren’t notable people in any way, except for the individual things they chose to become, but Mother’s stories always fascinated me. I liked the 1920s also, because of the changes from an agricultural, industrial era to a post war era when young people were "ready for anything." I like the music, the clothes, and the tent revivals. It’s an exciting decade.

What surprising things did you discover about this period while researching the story? 

I thought that the Italian family who live at Blue Spruce Ranch might have been mask-makers before they came to America. I discovered, though, that Mardi Gras was banned at the time when I needed to use it. Obviously, if there was no Mardi-Gras there would be no need for masks. I had to let them let them make frames instead.

How did you go about developing the setting(s) for this story?

Living in Colorado as a child, I had always before me the gorgeous Sangre de Cristo Mountains as well as the tiny town where there was no need to lock our doors and where everybody knew everybody else. I wanted Go West to reflect that beauty.

What research methods have been most fruitful for you?

The research I enjoyed most was being in touch with my life-long friend from second grade. She had a deeper knowledge and a better memory than I, and we always thought alike.

Are there particular themes or motifs you wrestle with or address in your story?

According to Siri, one meaning for the word theme is subject. My basic subject is love. First we have the love of God, then we love and are loved by our husbands and wives, then family, and then work, Taking care of ourselves, of course, figures into all of it.

What attracted you to the genre you write in? 

When I was twelve years old, my dad got a new job and we had to move to another state, I enjoy where I live now, but I never got over missing Colorado and my childhood, so in a way I was reliving good times in my life.

What aspects of your creative process do you enjoy most? Which are most challenging?

Because I’m one of those folks who need the mechanical act of writing things down before they can grasp them, I enjoy being at the computer or journaling. I like research, too but I learned early on that I could easily spend too much time on it. My biggest challenge to overcome is procrastination.

What advice would you give to other writers interested in writing historical fiction?

The best advice I ever heard was from a successful romance writer. She said, “Keep your two major characters in each other’s company (or thoughts) for most of the book.”

Laurel, thank you for your delightful questions and for introducing me to your friends.

About the Author

DiVoran Lites has been writing for most of her life. Her first attempt at a story was when she was seven years old and her mother got a new typewriter. DiVoran got to use it and when her dad saw her writing he asked what she was writing about. DiVoran answered that she was writing the story of her life. Her dad’s only comment was, “Well, it’s going to be a very short story.”

After most of a lifetime of writing and helping other writers, DiVoran finally launched her own dream which was to write a novel of her own. She now has her Florida Springs trilogy and her novel, a Christian Western Romance, Go West available on Amazon. When speaking about her road to publication, she gives thanks to the Lord for all the people who helped her grow and learn. She says, “I could never have done it by myself, but when I got going everything fell beautifully into place, and I was glad I had started on my dream.”

About the Book

Go West
Christian historic romance

After duty as an ambulance driver in World War I, Ellie Morgan returns to Chicago to take up her share of the work in her grandparents’ department store. Ellie doesn’t want to alienate her family or disappoint them, but despite a six year effort to settle in, she feels increasingly trapped in store routine. Meanwhile, her grandmother urges her to marry a local politician and help him succeed in his chosen field. Ellie’s grandfather, however, wants to see her happy and independent. “Go West, young woman, go west,” he advises paraphrasing a popular quotation of the day. So with Granddad’s help, Ellie secures a job on a ranch in Colorado and sets out to prove that she has the necessary character to succeed at a third vocation.

When Aldon Leitzinger meets Ellie’s train in Clifton Colorado, he introduces himself as the foreman of the ranch. But the more people Ellie meets in the community, the more apparent it becomes that she is in demand to fill a number of roles for which she is not prepared. Desperate to prove herself, she settles in to please everyone, a task that puts her at risk of failure in every attempt at finding a new and happier life.

Available from  Amazon.


DiVoran has five prizes for five people! First to go will be the beautiful art cards and then we’ll have the two eBooks.

Enter below: a Rafflecopter giveaway

What historic periods and places intrigue you? Any questions for DiVoran?


  1. What a great title for this post!!

    1. Thanks, Onisha, for the compliment and for coming by to learn more about DiVoran's story.

    2. When I read the title for this blog, it made me think about the underlying strength in this novel. Ellie had all the outward signs of being a Flapper, the clothing style, the hair, but she never identified herself that way nor did it bother her if people assumed she was a Flapper. She felt free to be herself.

  2. Thanks for being part of the tour and for interviewing DiVoran!

  3. Laurel, you do a beautiful job. I loved the title too and the train picture. You are obvbiously, A1, first class writer and writer's advocate.

    1. Thanks so much. I really appreciate having guests to help with the blogging load, so to speak.

      Wishing you all the best with your launch!

  4. Great title and wonderful interview. There is something about the 1920s that is very alluring.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. (sorry--typo in the first attempt)
      Thanks for coming by, Rebekah. Indeed, it was a time of enormous social change, with technology making fast advances, populations more on the move, the rise of women's rights (esp. to vote), and tremendous literary output. But also some pretty negative stuff was happening concurrently--a general drift from faith due to the long, pointless Great War, violent fights to improve workers' rights (labor movement), organized crime syndicates ruling cities and the flow of illegal alcohol. Plenty of potent story-making elements!