Lisa Welchel previews Hallmark’s HEARTS OF SPRING

heartsofspring1As Hallmark’s Hearts of Spring gets set to premiere, I had the pleasure to speak exclusively with one of its stars, Lisa Welchel (The Facts of Life).

Tell me a bit about your character, Carly Ashby.
She writes a parenting blog, she’s single, her daughter is a senior in high school getting ready to go off to college, and she’s kind of finding love the second time around.

What do you admire most about her?
I would say I admire that she’s genuinely trying to develop a relationship with her teenaged daughter, not just tell her daughter what to do as a mom but respect her choices and freedom.  Yet, there’s also that desire of a mom to protect.  And, I think she’s struggling with how to do all that.

How would you say she’s similar or different to your own personality?
I think in many ways she’s very similar.  I would say that I’ve developed quite a good friendship with my adult children, even when they were teenagers, realizing who they were and respecting them as they grew up.

And your real-life daughter, Clancy Cauble, is in the project as well.  I was wondering if you could tell me what advice you’ve given to her about acting.
Well, the first advice I gave her was, ‘don’t do it.’  It’s not something I would encourage my children to do.  As a matter of fact, I told them if they were interested in acting to wait until they were out of my house to pursue it.  There’s just too much heartache possible in show business.  If they did choose to do it after they grew up, I let them know I would support them, but they would have to have a college degree before they pursued an acting career.

I think it’s wonderful that you’re a Christian.  I was glad to hear it.  I am a Christian as well, and I was wondering if you could tell me some of the ways that you’ve been able to share your faith as an actress.
I’ve only been back acting for a couple of years, having taken 25 years away to raise my children, but my desire as an actress is to be the kind of Christian that people can see the love of Jesus in rather than so much of the judgment that is sometimes associated with Christianity and the church.  My greatest desire is to maybe see a reflection that’s more inclusive of and more full of grace.

Tell me a little about your work as a speaker with Women of Faith.
It was a wonderful experience.  I was touring with them for three years, and I had the privilege of being with some of the women who had been there from the beginning.  There’s just nothing like the goals that come from wisdom and experience, and being with them was certainly influential and impactful in my life.

You’re also the founder of MomTime ministries.  Could you tell me how that came about and a little about it?
When I was touring and speaking on books I was writing for moms, I saw that more than anything else, moms need encouragement.  So, I went to create resources and a niche where moms could connect with other moms and know they weren’t alone and where they could be refreshed.

Tell me about your book FRIENDSHIP FOR GROWNUPS.
That book really kind of arose from my own life when I was working in television.  Though I was friendly with the girls on the show, I really didn’t have a lot of experience with just learning how to be a friend and have friends, so I began that journey in my 40’s which was somewhat awkward.  Also, because I was a writer and mature enough to reflect on what I was going through, I wrote about it in case there were other women out there who maybe felt like they missed that window of opportunity to learn about friendship and be skilled at it.

What other projects do you have on the horizon?
I’m writing another book.  It won’t be out for another couple of years though.  It’s called QUESTIONS:  FINDING ANSWERS ON A JOURNEY WITHIN, and I’ll actually be living it quite a bit at the same time I’m writing it.  I’ll probably finish it next year.

Hearts of Spring premieres on April 9 at 9 P.M. on the Hallmark Channel.  It also stars Michael Shanks (Saving Hope, Stargate SG-1).