interview with margaret copeland (tell me you love me tour)
Y'all, please welcome Maggie Copeland! She's one of the many amazing authors featured in Tell Me You Love Me, and I can't wait for y'all to get to know her and her story! I actually had the pleasure of meeting Maggie in real life several years ago, and she's so sweet! I know y'all will enjoy our interview as much as I did!
Hello, Maggie! Thank you so much for joining us today! I’m very excited to get into this interview, but first, please introduce yourself!
Hi, Grace! Thank you for this opportunity, I really appreciate it. Hi everyone, my name is Maggie Copeland. My pen name is Margaret Copeland. I am a first-time Christian author publishing my first short story in the Tell Me You Love Me Anthology.
How long have you been writing? What first inspired you to start writing?
I have been only writing stories for a few months during the summer. I have various works in progress (*gulps and looks at all of the stories started) and projects that I am planning out. Anyway, so I do not have many works published, but I am excited that this is the first story that is going out into the world.
To be honest, I do not know what exactly inspired me to start writing. I knew that I wanted to do something to bring glory to the Lord and His kingdom. But, I was not sure where to start. The inspiration to write came from reading the Daughters of the Seven Seas books. I also wanted to write stories that reflected different points in history in a Christian manner and shed light on new parts of history that have never been discovered.
How did you hear about Tell Me You Love Me? What was your initial reaction?
I first heard about the Tell Me You Love Me anthology through Grace’s website. After reading the post, I was like this is really cool, maybe I should try to write a story. I was really excited and nervous to start the process of writing my story because I knew that there would be other people submitting stories as well. I didn’t want to get my hopes up. So, I spent a long time brainstorming ideas and writing the story several times.
Your story is The Day Tragedy Strikes, set during WWII. What prompted you to write this story?
One of the things that prompted me to write this story during World War II was that there are not a lot of stories out there that had someone that had survived the bombing of Pearl Harbor and coming home all in one sitting. Also, I feel like the bombing of Pearl Harbor was a topic that interested me a lot when I learned about in high school. But I had the general facts about the bombing, I wanted to do a deep dive into the day that it happened and how the emotions of people in America were days after the bombing happened. I also wanted to capture the emotional side of someone, who may have lost a loved one during the bombing and not knowing the outcome.
You cover the bombing of Pearl Harbor in your story—how did you conduct your research for it?
When I was writing the story, I had a general idea about the topic on Pearl Harbor. First, I decided to build Nancy’s world by researching the world of nursing before the bombing, medical events going on, and the popular culture of the time-music, movies, and radio shows. Then I researched different forts, Pearl Harbor history, military history to build James’ story. I also looked at newspapers and letters from that time. Lastly, I did look at different websites to understand what was going on in the world at the time on the homefront. When I had all of my sources, I went through and booked marked the websites as things that I wanted to read. So, I could have some references to look back to when I was writing the story.
The theme of the anthology is, obviously, the words “I love you.” How did you incorporate that theme into your story, and what does “I love you” mean to you?
As I was writing the story, incorporating the theming of loving was a little intimidating because it was my first time writing about love. But a few of the ways that I showed that James loved Nancy was through flashback scenes of their time together, the little letters that James wrote to Nancy, and the feelings that they had towards each other. I also feel like centering a story around a holiday (such as Christmas) that involves love and family helped me to incorporate the theme as well.
To me, the words “I love you” are a symbol of devotion and commitment that you are making to another person. It also is about the true feeling of love and feeling loved by another that makes this phrase even more special. It also is about expression and showing your affection towards them.
Before you go, do you have any advice for other writers? Any lessons you’ve learned as a writer?
To be honest, one of the biggest pieces of advice that I have for other writers is to be patient with yourself when you are first starting out. Crafting a story takes time and patience. The first draft of a story doesn’t have to be perfect, you just have to keep at it until you have something that you and God are proud of. Take time and listen to God because He might give you some inspiration and ideas for your stories. Some of the lessons that I have learned as a writer are patience, brainstorm ideas, and researching small little details for your story can add depth to your story.
I really appreciate you joining me today, Maggie! I hope everyone enjoys our interview as much as I did!
about the author
Maggie Copeland is a college student from Southern VA and a follower of Christ. She enjoys writing feel-good stories that reflect the love of the Father. When she is not reading or studying, she enjoys watching classic movie musicals (maybe White Christmas in May), plotting new story lines, or finding new ways to make her characters diverse.
the day tragedy strikes
It’s Christmas 1941. Nancy Smith, who is a nurse at St. Paul’s Hospital, worries over her fiance, James McCallen, who is serving in the Navy at the base in Hawaii. She waits day in and day out for him to come home, but nothing ever comes from him in the mail. Her faith in God is being tested and pushed, but she never wavers and never gives up hope on him, especially during Christmas time. She trusts that the Lord will give her what she needs, until there is a tragic accident at Pearl Harbor. Will Nancy ever see James again or will she be stuck wondering what has happened to him when the day that tragedy strikes?
Follow the tour schedule below and comment on any or all of the upcoming posts included in the tour for an entry into a giveaway for an e-copy of Tell Me You Love Me and more fantabulous prizes! (One comment = one entry! Replies to other comments do not count.) Entrants must be eighteen years of age or have parent's permission.
The winner will be announced in my post at the end of the tour, on January 31st, so y'all enjoy all the wonderful content coming your way from these lovely young authors and be sure to comment on all their posts for a chance to win!
about the anthology
Tell Me You Love Me - a timeless collection of stories that truly understand the meaning of “I love you”
Twelve young Christian authors have come together, alongside romance novelist Grace A. Johnson and editor Issabelle Perry to show our world of depravity and cheap imitations of romance what love really means: faith, hope, and sacrifice.
These stories range from contemporary YA to historical to fantasy, and tell diverse, unique love stories that compel, captivate, and warm readers’ hearts with their sweet and authentic nature.
Featuring work from Michaela Bush, Saraina Whitney, Karynn Heckler, Margaret Copeland, Lucia Molano, Sarah Lawton, Brooklyn O’Brennan, Mackenzie Hendricks, H.S. Kylian, Lydia M. Jupp, Katherine Perry, and Amelia Cabot, the Tell Me You Love Me anthology is the collaboration of talented and inspirational young writers you’ve been waiting for!
Grace A. Johnson – tour kickoff – January 17th
Michaela Bush - January 18th
H.S. Kylian – January 19th
Michaela Bush - January 19th
Amelia Cabot on Of Blades and Thorns – January 20th
Issabelle Perry – January 23rd
Grace A. Johnson – January 23rd
Maggie Copeland on Of Blades and Thorns – January 24th
Sarah Lawton – January 25th
Saraina Whitney – January 26th
Katherine Perry – January 27th
Mackenzie Hendricks – January 30th
Lucia Molano – January 31st
Grace A. Johnson – tour ends – January 31st
I hope y'all enjoyed my interview with Maggie! (I'm so amazed and touched by the fact that my series prompted her to start writing! 🥰) Her story is so interesting and tender, and I can't wait for y'all to read it!