Think you’ve got challenges? Meet Julia, a single mom with a rambunctious 4-year-old, a narcissistic ex, a burgeoning event-planning business with an over-the-top wedding to pull off in 30 days, and a hunky, but troubled former love who’s tempting her to try romance again while also hoping she can help him save the resort he manages.
Throw in a mom on crutches, a former country music duo and a cantankerous goat, and you’ve got the basics of local author Victoria Bylin’s latest contemporary inspirational romance novel, Someone Like You.
“My favorite thing to do is to take a character who has gotten themselves in a muddle for one reason or another, then show how God might work to get them out of it,” explained Victoria, 58. “It’s fiction, but I think God works that way in real life. He’s certainly gotten me out of a lot of muddles.”
One of Bethany House Publishers’ best-reviewed contemporary romance authors, Victoria is known for her relatable characters and her ability to write about difficult subjects with great compassion. She strives not to be preachy but includes enough elements of Christian faith that she hopes will inspire readers to explore their own faith more deeply or examine the need for forgiveness and grace.
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Victoria penned her first novel in 1999, sneaking upstairs to write “girl stuff” while her husband, Mike, and their two adolescent sons watched adventure/sci-fi movies in their Virginia home.
Her writing routine has changed drastically since and so have her surroundings. She and Mike are empty nesters now, with both sons grown, married and out of the Lexington home they’ve shared since 2009. Vicki, as her friends and family know her, is up most weekdays at 4:30 a.m. to write before heading to her part-time job. If she’s on deadline she also writes in the afternoon, and she gets even more writing done on weekends.
Someone Like You debuted in May and is a relatively light read despite the fact that it deals with complexities of shame and loss of faith. It is Victoria’s 17th published work, and she has since completed a manuscript for what will hopefully be her 18th. She is taking a much-needed break this summer to recharge, which for her, means tackling her “to-be-read” book pile.
“At one point I thought I really could retire, but then I got an idea for another book that I really want to write,” Victoria said. “I think there will always be stories in me. There is fun in finding just the right turn of phrase. In Someone Like You, I just started laughing out loud when the goat showed up. Even I didn’t know the goat would show up there.”