The Story Behind the Story — Chapel Springs Revival

The second book in my Chapel Lake series, Chapel Springs Survival, came from a real life event—and a mama’s revenge. Insert creepy music and evil laughter.

The day started out normal, boring even. Then I got a phone call from our eldest son, Michael.

“Hey, Mom. I emailed you some pictures. Take a look and call me back.” Click.

I hurried to my computer. The first photo was of a nice looking, very Latin appearing young woman. Something told me she wasn’t from here. In the second photo, she wore a wedding dress.

I hit speed dial.

It seems our son, a widower with two young children, had gotten himself a twenty-first Century mail order bride. He’d met her in a chat room for women in Columbia, South America, to meet and marry American men. They communicated for a year. Then, he flew to Columbia and married her.

Without me knowing anything.

He came back and spent the next year trying to get her into the U.S. legally.

Without me or his dad knowing anything.

He didn’t let us know until she got here. Our two grandchildren knew. His brother knew. But we didn’t. And for that, I told him it was going in a book. And it did.

Now, any similarity between our son’s story and my book stops there. Our daughter-in-law turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to our Michael. But that wouldn’t have made a good story. There was no conflict.

But, throw my main character, Claire, into that mix, and there’s plenty. I know her well. I spent a lot of time learning her background, discovering her dark wound, and figuring out the lie she believes about herself, before I wrote the first book in the series, Chapel Springs Revival.

Claire definitely would not have liked a daughter-in-law she didn’t get to know before the wedding. She doesn’t like how God doesn’t let her in on what He’s doing. Especially when it deals with her kids. Anyone else feel like that?

By now, I know exactly how Claire will react to nay given situation. Until I’m writing it. Then, sometimes, she throws surprises me by reacting completely opposite of what I thought she would.

And that’s the joy and magic of writing. A friend, Karen Ball, explains it like this, “God whispers to our hearts. Our hearts whisper back in stories.”



Ane Mulligan writes Southern-fried fiction served with a tall, sweet iced tea. She believes coffee and chocolate are two of the major food groups. Novelist and playwright, Ane is the executive director a community theater and president of the award-winning Novel Rocket. She resides in Georgia with her artist husband and a dog of Biblical proportion. You can find Ane and her books on her website, her Amazon author page, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.


5 thoughts on “The Story Behind the Story — Chapel Springs Revival

  1. My son hasn’t married without me knowing it but he did get engaged even though I have never met the young lady. They are attending college together. They graduate in May. I finally met her on Skype Easter weekend. I look forward to getting to know her.

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