Author Interview: To Belong Together by Emily Conrad

About the Book

Book: To Belong Together

Author: Emily Conrad

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release date: February 28, 2022

Fame and money have a way of complicating love.

Drummer John Kennedy can keep a beat, but he can’t hold a conversation, so he relies on actions to show he cares. Unfortunately, when he’s instantly intrigued by a spunky female mechanic, he can’t seem to convey the sincerity of his intentions. And the rejections don’t stop there. His own sister is pushing him away just when he could help her most.

Erin Hirsh’s life would be easier if God hadn’t given her a love for cars. Only her father understood her, and she’s losing him to dementia. Her brief romances have always backfired worse than a mistuned engine, and she refuses to give John the chance to wreck her heart. A rock star with a supermodel ex can’t possibly see anything in her.

At least that’s what she thinks until they find common ground in faith and their worsening family situations leave them each longing for a place to belong. Could God intend for this pair of opposites to belong together?

To Belong Together is the second book in the Rhythms of Redemption Romances. The men of the rock band Awestruck have conquered the music industry, but to find redemption and love, they must each face the wounds of the past. Good thing no one—and no difficult situation—is too much for grace.

Click here to get your copy!

About the Author

Emily Conrad writes contemporary Christian romance that explores life’s difficult, but relevant, questions. Though she likes to think some of her characters are pretty great, the ultimate hero of her stories (including the one she’s living) is Jesus. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and their energetic coonhound rescue. She is the author of the stand-alone novel Justice and the Rhythms of Redemption Romance series, as well as a series of short stories, which she emails in installments to subscribers. Learn more about her and her books at emilyconradauthor.com.

More from Emily

Who are you?

On the surface, this is a simple question, but as it kept popping up in To Belong Together, I realized my characters kept asking it because their answers left them unsatisfied and insecure.

(Which is writer speak for: My brain kept circling back to the question because God had something to show me!)

At first, the answer for John seems to be that he’s a famous drummer. For Erin, it’s that she’s her father’s daughter (her father instilled her love of cars).

If someone I’ve just met asks me who I am, I usually say, “I’m Emily. I’m a novelist.”

I’m sure you have a way you describe yourself too.

These easy answers are helpful in conversation. In fact, I’d love for you to comment on this post with your answer, because it’s a point of connection with people we’re getting to know, and I love to get to know readers and other writers!

But, as I was writing To Belong Together, I realized anew that these things are not our identities. They are roles—roles we play in relationships, in our jobs, in our hobbies. Because a role is not the same as an identity, it can’t provide the lasting purpose, worth, and security we crave.

As believers in Christ, our eternal identity is that we are beloved children of God.

Because our roles take so much of our time and energy, and because they really do serve a purpose in conversation when we’re meeting someone new, I think it’s easy to lose sight of that greater identity.

At least, I know John and Erin struggled with it. (Again, writer speak for: I needed some reminders in this area!)

If you read To Belong Together, I hope you enjoy seeing that theme pop up throughout the novel and come away with a greater understanding of who you are in Christ. After all, that identity makes all the difference as we fill those beloved roles God’s blessed us with.

If you have a minute to introduce yourself in comments, I’d love to meet you!

An Interview with Emily Conrad

Once an idea takes root, how long does it take you to write it down? 

Excellent question! I’m brainstorming a new series now. I have the basics down for the heroes and some of the heroines in a spreadsheet, and I have a very loose concept for the novella that will bridge the gap between The Rhythms of Redemption Romances and the next series. I haven’t started writing the novella yet because I still don’t know what the conflict for the first scene in it will be. I’ve been letting ideas simmer, and that usually results in an intriguing line occurring to me as a place to start, but if it doesn’t happen soon, I might have to just start writing and work my way toward the conflict that way. The “just start writing approach” will probably result in more editing, but it’s a way to focus my mind on the story until it starts to come together.

Do you have a favorite author? Or someone whom you would say has influenced your writing style?

My favorite authors in my genre are Becky Wade and T.I. Lowe. Becky Wade does a great job creating sympathetic (yet flawed) characters that I enjoy getting to know. She weaves attraction, humor, and some light suspense elements together in a way that I admire. T.I. Lowe writes rich characters who deal with serious topics in such a tender way. I enjoy the romance, healing, and hope in her stories. Every author has a unique style and I want to be true to my own, but I do aspire to write books that would appeal to similar audiences as these ladies’ novels.

What are your hobbies other than writing?

When I’m not writing, I enjoy gardening. I also enjoy walking with my husband and dog, doing puzzles, and dabbling in art projects. Recently, that’s been painting and experimenting with polymer clay.

What is one thing in your life that you would say has had the greatest impact on your writing? Or in your life in general?

I had some experiences in my childhood that, for a time, I resented. During a rough patch in college, I saw a counselor, and God used that to ease the sting of those memories. I was recently reflecting on who I am—an introspective writer—and why. I realized that without those hard experiences, my personality would be different enough that I might not be a writer at all. God really did use that hardship for good, and I wouldn’t trade that part of my story now. As I navigate other hard circumstances, I find comfort in the assurance that, as I follow Christ, I’ll one day be able to look back and say His plans really were all for good.

Lastly, what was your favorite book growing up?

At different ages, I really enjoyed the Ramona Quimby books, the Saddle Club series, and Nancy Drew mysteries, but for the most part, I think I only read each book in those series once. However, I read and reread Charlotte’s Web, so I’ll have to go with that! I even revisited it once as an adult, and I still found the story thoughtful and interesting. Now that’s the sign of a good book!

Giveaway!

To celebrate her tour, Emily is giving away the grand prize package of a 10 Amazon gift card, an electronic copy of To Belong Together, and 2 hand-painted and framed pine forest watercolors (US Only) or printable PDF downloads of the paintings (International)!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!
Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/21aaa/to-belong-together-celebration-tour-giveaway

Visit other stops on this Celebrate Lit Book Tour:

Inklings and notions, September 24

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 25

Texas Book-aholic, September 26

deb’s Book Review, September 27

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, September 28

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, September 29 (Author Interview)

The Sacred Line, September 29

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 30

Tell Tale Book Reviews, October 1 (Author Interview)

Artistic Nobody, October 1

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, October 2

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, October 3

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 4

For Him and My Family, October 5

Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen, October 6 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 7

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  1. Thank you for sharing your interview, bio and book details, I have enjoyed reading about you and your work and I am looking forward to reading To Belong Together