My husband and I are both storytellers. This is how we make a living, and we consider ourselves blessed that people buy our words.

There are differences between us, though. His words are stacked into lines of dialogue and are broken into scenes that unfold over five acts that fill up 60 single-spaced pages. This creates 43 minutes of a one-hour television drama. The other 17 minutes are advertising.

His work is fictional except for the stories and clever witticisms he “steals” from me. This is a family joke, but I am happy to share because he enthusiastically uses money he earns to buy me a new dress or fill the barn with hay for the coming winter.

Here’s another difference. A BIG difference. His words make a more lucrative living than mine, and while my stories are read by hundreds of thousands of people, his stories are enjoyed by millions. Probably, over the course of a 35-year career, John Tinker-written/produced stories have been watched by at least 500 million people.

My favorite is a Tinker episode named “Brothers” that was aired near the end of the first season of an NBC drama called “St. Elsewhere.” Ironically, he co-wrote it with his brother, Mark, who would go on to make his legacy as a multi-Emmy award-winning director, not a writer. Tink, a couple of years later, would win an Emmy for his writing on that highly critically acclaimed show.

While we are both enormously blessed by the good Lord to earn a living at a folly such as storytelling, it sometimes comes with a downside that can be soul-aching to bear.

It happened recently.

Tink had put in a year of hard work on a series – “When Calls The Heart” – that also included nine months of being locked in Canada when the borders closed abruptly while he was filming on location. The show has a zealous following that we knew when he took the job as showrunner/head writer/executive producer.

We were in the car, headed west on I-20 toward one of my favorite places in the world – Mississippi – when the call came, asking him to take the show. I put down the newspaper I was reading, slapped my hand on the console and said, “YES! You have to take this show so you can write good spirited family drama.”

He became completely wrapped up in it. Enamored. He poured 14-hour days into it, including long video conversations with cast, crew and the network. Sometimes, he would sit on the sofa, writing for hours without standing up or taking a break. He was completely consumed by the stories and characters. He added God back, introducing a Black family, the Canfields, who would quickly win many hearts. Joseph Canfield is a preacher, and Tink built him using the foundation of my daddy’s legacy of unbreakable faith.

My friend, Karen Peck, and I joined forces to ask our folks to watch. And that they did. The audience grew so tremendously that an already-successful-show became the most-watched in the history of the Hallmark channel.

All was wonderful until the final episode when Tink – with the support of the actors and network – resolved a love triangle. A portion of the audience disagreed with the suitor chosen with such vigor that hate spewed like a skunk’s spray. To be fair, we have received many more letters of support and kindness than the ugly ones. I especially loved the ones that disagreed with the choice but said, “I want what’s best for the show.”

Yet such ugliness isn’t pretty. It’s heartbreaking. Especially when it comes from those who sprinkle scriptures throughout their rants.

Tink is a kindly soul. He forgives – and forgets – quickly. He is grounded, like my daddy and Joseph Canfield, in the word of God.

As for me, I am gloriously altered to a more emphatic, loving person. A less critical one. I am grateful.

Recommended for you

Ronda Rich is the best-selling author of the new book, Let Me Tell You Something. Visit www.rondarich.com to sign up for her free weekly newsletter.

(16) comments

Maggie

I wish to join all those who are thanking the individuals who carefully and sincerely crafted a response to your one-sided, misrepresentation of the responses to this season's WCTH that presented displeasure, heartache and dismay for the treatment of the storyline, various actors and fans of a Nathan\E pairing. I wholeheartedly agree with all the above comments. This article appears to have galvanized fans to once again speak out and for that I say thank you for offering another forum.

Reader123

Mrs. Rich,

Criticism is a hard pill to swallow. The receptor has to first realize that you can't make everyone happy. My daddy used to say only one perfect man ever walked this earth and they crucified Him. Still, when the same crotisims begin coming over and over by several, unaffliated people, from all walks of life, there may just be a need to look at why so many people are upset.

When someone gets upset, usually there are words said (or typed) that may not be very nice. People lash out. If they are hurt, the only recourse is to hurt the one they deem hurt them. Not to encourage it or to say it's right, but it happens. Such is, and was, the case of some fans. It is my hope that my comment does not come off as rude or condensending but as an explanation as to why many of us are confused and hurt. I've been where you are when someone used scripture to "prove a point" but it wasn't done in a loving way. It kind of makes you question their motives, doesn't it? So, please allow me to explan my reasons for responding to your article.

Season 8. Despite your obvious bias for the writing, and your overly indisputable love for the character of Lucas, season 8 was not what the majority of the fanbase expected nor wanted.

You can say all was well until the ending, but it further demonstrates you were and are living on your own fantasy world. You see, Ms. Rich, I had been part of the TRUE heartie community since day one. Despite losing Dan, despite an already ridiculously long triangle, the animosity between the fanbase only intensified during season 8. The main WCTH Facebook page, the one that was supposed to remain neutral, slowly, but surely, began silencing anyone that questioned Princess Elizabeth's behavior. Please don't say they didn't and you had no influence. I could name names, but instead I'll point to the instance I personally had with your husband when I made the statement after episode one how upset and disappointed I was in Elizabeth after cancelling the ONE date she was to have with Nathan. Basically I was told to get over it and she did nothing wrong. Then, as more fans started saying things about the writing or changes in characters, numerous ones were put "on hold" and unable to comment or they were banned altogether. (If you need a list, I can get one.) So it's clear the problems were before the finale. Maybe you didn't know about them. I mean it is hard to read descenting statements if they are deleted or not allowed, right?

All that aside, my personal issue, and the reason I will not watch, is because of Elizabeth. We have been told repeatedly by those that make decisions for the show that Elizabeth did nothing wrong in season 8. There could be nothing further from the truth. She was extremely rude to Rosemary and despite the office scenes in the final episode, Elizabeth never apologized for her behavior.

Elizabeth's feeble excuse to Nathan after leading him on for two seasons PLUS most of season 8 was a direct quote from YOU during one if the lives, or did you think we wouldn't notice that you said how she was only seeing Jack so she could never marry another mountie? Yes, Ms. Rich, that was my first clue of how the season would end and you reinforced it every chance you had.

As for what you learned, here's what I've learned. Although the writing for season six, seven and all but the last episode of season eight clearly led even some Lucas fans to believe the choice would be (and should have been) Nathan, viewers were not allowed to voice our confusion and certainly could not express our pain over the decision. Although valid concerns were expressed, they were dismissed. It was deeper than just the choice. Hope Valley was no longer a safe haven where the true hero gets the girl, or the heroine behaved like the character we once loved. Our shock at 1918 Hope Valley becoming 2020 Bachlorette Valley, has been met with ridicule and bullying for not just accepting it. In truth, we've been told our opinion does not matter and we can go elsewhere.

Don't worry, many of us are. If the ratings somehow remain whatever is considered high, good for you, but if they fall, perhaps you should realize without the fans it doesn't matter how good the writing may or may mot be because there won't be a show and it won't be the fault of the fans. I do pray you will follow through with your statement of being empathic and put aside your personal feelings and truly listen to ALL the fans, not just your "friends" and those that tickle your ears so you hear only what you want. Weed tbrough the ugly but get to the root. At least try to understand many were left, not with hope, but hopeless, then ask why and actually care.

lyttleone1977

Bravo. Wonderfully said!!!!

HeartieSinceDay1

Thank you so much for all of this! Amen!

SadDepartie

Dear Mrs. Rich,

While I am quite sure there have been many upset letters and messages sent regarding the ending of season 8. I also respectfully disagree with how things have been handled on the creative side. I feel like creatively decisions were made that did not take into account of what the majority of fans wanted. Many longtime viewers were left feeling hurt, betrayed and angry. And I feel since the airing the of finale not only were our feelings not understood or empathized with but they were turned against us as a tool for blame. Many fans are upset and absolutely hated the ending. Not just because we didn't get the outcome we wanted. But because we didn't get a story that supported the outcome that was given. This is a sad failure. And instead of owning up to such failure or taking the criticism with care. Those in these creative roles have gone on the defensive putting blame on the fans. We must be bad fans. We are not kind. We are cruel. We are not true "Hearties". That is SHAMEFUL in my opinion. While no one should be maliciously attacked that goes both ways!!

SCalloway

A Ronda Rich Rebuttal

I have read your recent article, “What We Have Learned,” dated 2 Aug. 2021, several times. For the life of me, I can’t figure out what it is that you learned.

Was it how to be “emphatic” when a better choice would have been how to be “empathetic”? Believe me, Team Nathan fans have seen quite a bit of evidence about how emphatic you are and absolutely none to support your empathy.

Was it how to be “a less critical person”? Is that what we are seeing when you call fans who do not support the writing quality of the show as writing hate that spewed like a skunk’s spray? Or when you use your column as a personal platform – aka bully pulpit - to spew your own brand of discontent?

Was something learned when you claimed that you and Karen Peck, who just jumped on the WCTH bandwagon, are personally responsible for the success in number of viewers in S8? The vast majority of those viewers were long-time watchers who have supported and saved the show long before you Johnny-Come-Latelys arrived on the scene.

You wrote that this was good-spirited family drama. Well, it used to be. No one could honestly call that angst-ridden season “good-spirited” or “family”-related. You were correct about the drama part because we got that in spades, right in the middle of pandemic recovery when we just wanted some peace and escape in our lives. Instead, every Sunday night left us bewildered, anxious and with shredded nerves wondering what had just happened to all the characters we knew.

You wrote that all was wonderful until the resolution of the triangle. No, all was not wonderful; the writing was choppy and disjointed all season long. The majority of the fans stuck around to see the fulfillment of the show’s promises: the triangle would be resolved; there was a triangle, so Nathan would get a fair chance and the ending would make sense, bringing the fanbase back together while understanding the resolution. There was an epic failure on all counts.

You claimed the actors and the network supported the resolution. That MAY be true of the network, but not all of the actors supported the resolution. Otherwise, there would not have been so many shocked responses when asked about the decision or questions about which draft of the finale. More than one person, including you, said it was a last-minute network decision. That was evident in the writing for E12 which was even more disjointed and out-of-character than the rest of the season. It felt like it belonged in a completely different program.

The most maddening thing about this is your continued failure to recognize that the issue is not the choice of suitor; it is the WAY the story was written that did not support the choice and the way our views about the storytelling have been attacked by some and ignored by others. Yes, we would have been disappointed with the choice, but if the story had led us there, we would have accepted it.

The fact that you and John Tinker are professional writers makes it even more troubling that you don’t see the problem. Also, his Emmy-winning status has no bearing on this; often people who have been in a profession for a long time develop blinders to their audiences and wear figurative “earbuds” that block out everything but what THEY want to see and hear, the story THEY want to tell, no matter what the audience thinks or wants. You, John Tinker, Brian Bird and Peter DeLuise have become very tone-deaf to your audience and the show suffered because of it. Consumers will vote with their wallets, subscriptions and remotes. You have a long way to go before you see what your choices have ultimately cost you.

To Crown Media and Hallmark: Allowing people like Ronda Rich to be a voice for the show is a mistake, especially when no one else at the network level is speaking up or out. For someone who espouses Christian values, Ronda Rich goes out of her way to denigrate, defame and demean too many fans of the program for them to take what she says as truth. This article comes on top of her Facebook post a few weeks back at a Karen Peck concert accusing Team Nathan supporters of being the ones who did not participate in a standing ovation for her husband, John Tinker. That’s a rather presumptuous assumption on her part. Silence would be the best way to show grace in this moment. Thanking the supportive fans without mentioning the dissenters would be another option. Unfortunately, she has chosen neither high road, but has instead jumped on her high horse in her comments. For someone with no actual say in WCTH, she has way too much to say. Please ask her to save it.

lyttleone1977

Good day Ms Rich and the editors of the papers that your opinion pieces are published in,

Your piece “What We Have Learned” was brought to my attention when it was shared in a Facebook group of “silenced Hearties” that I am a member of. I say “silenced” because that is how many of us have felt the last four months. We have been “silenced” by those that run the show or are personally connected to it, such as people like yourself, because we do not agree with how it “Ended”. This is not meant to be an attack on you, or the actors or even your husband, but a call for you to see another perspective.

I work in big pharma. My job is demanding at times, and during the pandemic it has been even more demanding. If I make a mistake, I have a lot of people I have to answer to, including officials in other countries that investigate when a mistake is made. There can not be errors in what I do, because lives depend on it. I get four days off a month, so my time is precious. I wish I could write for a living, but being a single parent does allow me that freedom to do what I love. Granted, I do write - plays, stories, and I’m even working on a book, but it's because I enjoy it, and not because I am compensated to do so.

Many years ago, I was an avid watcher of When Calls the Heart. I loved it. Unfortunately the cost of television services became too expensive for me, and I stopped watching almost all TV. Over the years I would borrow a season from the library, and I loved Elizabeth and Jack’s love story. Then I heard that Danial Lissing decided to leave, and I did not have the heart to watch anymore.

In February of 2021, my daughter contracted COVID-19, and I was forced to be home for two weeks. For the first time in years,Ii had time to watch TV. So I decided to catch up on When Calls the Heart, and I am so glad I did. Then I got to where Jack died, and I was heartbroken. I debated watching season 6, and finally I decided to purchase it since it was not available on HMN. I am glad I did, because I really liked the new characters of Lucas and Nathan. I thought they both brought interesting storylines to the show. Throughout seasons 6 and 7, I found myself bouncing back and forth between who I liked best, and at the end of 7, it cemented it for me. I was a Nathan fan.The character development was there, and I loved who Elizabeth was with him. Lucas had not been developed as much, and while I enjoyed the interactions between him and Elizabeth,*/* nothing screamed out to me that he was the one.

I went back to work about two weeks before season 8 premiered, and I planned on watching the season. As it began, I started to live and breathe everything When Calls the Heart. It was an addiction, like a fat kid to cake, I joined the Facebook pages, followed on Instagram. I discovered the Thursday night lives, I even tried to win a book that you, dear author, had penned - but my message had never even been looked at after you said “Send me a message and I’ll put your name in this drawing”. I liked seeing the updates about being first in the ratings, which really didn’t matter to me because I just loved the show. I was in, 100%. I watched live, even though my wake up time is 4am, I would happily stay up till 10 EST to watch on Sunday nights.

As each episode progressed, I knew in my heart that this story was going to turn out amazing, that these characters could not go through these challenges and NOT end up together. The character development of Nathan continued, but there was still very little for Lucas, and I honestly couldn’t see what Elizabeth saw in him. He reminded me of a used car salesman, and I just kept thinking that Elizabeth was going to wake up to this. The writers could not put her with Lucas because it was nowhere close to the great love that she shared with Jack. It would be a slap in the memory of Jack to pair her with Lucas. Every week, I imagined what would happen in the next episode, and even though there were weeks I was frustrated, I knew the finale would be the accumulation of every moment that these two characters had spent going through their struggles and that they would finally find their way to each other. I found out the finale title was called “The Kiss”, and my mind immediately went to the piece of art by Gustav Klimt. Being that Uncle Google is always at my fingertips, I had to research it, and discovered that there was another painting called, “The Kiss” by Francesco Hayez, and it is depicted as a woman in a blue dress being kissed by a man in a red coat and hat. After having listened to social media and the cast, I KNEW it was a clue, and I was so excited to see that moment. In my mind, it was going to be epic. It was going to be Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet epic.

The night of the finale arrived, and I was nervous. I curdled up on my couch, and quickly watched my dreams become a nightmare. I can’t tell you when it happened, but I know I yelled and cried. It wasn’t just a yell, but a blood curdling cry as it felt like a knife was being stabbed into my stomach. I was nauseous, but I finished watching it. I knew the writers were going to fix this, because this couldn’t end this way! They wouldn’t spend 11 episodes writing this beautiful love story, to just change it at the last 30 minutes!

But that is exactly what happened. I was heartbroken. I was heartbroken for the stories I would never see between this man and this woman. Instead, all I see is my favorite heroine being sucked back into the life that she ran away from almost 10 years earlier, one that did not appreciate that she wanted to help mold young minds. I watched my hero, broken down into shreds all season, to fight battles left and right, and in the end standing there with absolutely NOTHING to show for his pain and sacrifice except even more pain.

I felt like my time had been wasted. That the people involved with the show only cared about their ratings, as they talked about them non-stop, and then when fans of the show spoke up about how they felt, they were treated like kindergartners who didn’t want to come in from recess. They were told to suck it up and deal with it. I personally had to silence my social media, even though all I wanted to do was continue to live and breathe the show that broke my heart. I turned to FanFiction, and discovered that so many others felt the same way I did. I still wasn’t getting the “ending” that I needed,so for my own closure, I created it. I wrote a beautiful story about what I envisioned that final night, and that did help give me some closure. Then I discovered that I needed to find a way to move forward, and wrote another story - this one long enough to be a book, creating a beautiful future for what this man deserves - happiness and redemption for what he has lost.

Ms Rich, you stated that the fans of When Calls the Heart are zealous, so the outcome should not have been surprising. I do apologize for nasty words being used towards those involved with the show, but the mud has been slung back by those who are a part of the show and claim to be devout Christians, much like yourself, and then those that are slinging the mud are praised and called “true Hearties”.

We have this sign at work that describes an accountability model. The “champion” see’s it, own’s it, solve’s it, and does it. The “victim” ignores and denies that there is a problem. They state it is not their job, fingers are pointed, they do not seek to understand, they do everything they can to cover their tail, and then take no action and wait to see what happens. In many ways, I feel that this is what has happened the last few months since the season finale. Social media was used to hype up your audience to the fullest extent possible, and with that, you have to be able to take the good with the bad. Instead, a huge group of people, probably close to 50% of the show's fanbase that actually interacted on social media, has been silenced. I, like many of them, may not come back, simply because it is no longer important to me because my voice and opinion do not matter to you. If I do, it definitely will not be live again, or when ratings matter since that is all that seems to be important to those that create this show.

Ms Rich, I do agree with you on this. Your husband wrote a beautiful season, and a beautiful love story. But that was the love story of Elizabeth and Nathan, not Elizabeth and Lucas.

Justice4Allie

Mrs. Tinker,

I've been part of the Hearties community since the beginning and part of the Hallmark for much longer than that. It wasn't until February 2021 when Season 8 of WCTH premiered that I started to see such vitriol in this community. This has always been a fun and loving community. What changed between Season 7 and Season 8? I'll let you think about that. What I do know is that for the first time in Hallmark history a showrunner and his wife hosted weekly livestreams on Facebook. And during these livestreams you in particular spent a great deal of time making no secret of the fact that you preferred the Lucas Bouchard character in the long running love triangle. You might think this bias was harmless but let me assure you Mrs. Tinker, it was anything but. You emboldened a portion of the fanbase to repeatedly attack Mr. Kevin McGarry who played Lucas' rival Nathan Grant and the talented young actress who plays his niece. That portion of the fanbase also attacked the characters they played. While that might be fair for adult characters, kids are always off limits. Yet none of this was ever addressed on your livestreams with your husband. Instead, you both made some disparaging remarks about Mr. McGarry and his character on multiple occasions. And you attacked his very noble law enforcement profession by saying things like you'd never remarry someone in that field after losing another love who did the same kind of work. On top of that, fans of these 2 kind and talented actors were also attacked repeatedly and not a single thing was said on your livestreams in order to unify this community.

Let's get a few facts straight as well. Over 70% of the When Calls the Heart fanbase wanted Elizabeth to choose Nathan. That has been proven repeatedly by surveys over the past 3 years as well as by the fact that network ratings have been declining since Episode 4 of Season 8 aired. That was the episode in which Elizabeth told Lucas she would no longer be seeing Nathan. Long time fans were already upset at that point based on how uncharacteristic Elizabeth's behavior was in the first 4 episodes of the season but that line to Lucas was the icing on the cake. Fans tuned out until it would become clear that Elizabeth was following her heart and turning back to Nathan. Overall ratings for Season 8 support this because they were flat over Season 7. For 3 years, a Janette Oke style love comes softly arc was building between Elizabeth and Nathan. Fans were anxiously waiting to see that finally come to fruition in the Season 8 finale. Instead, we got a final 20 minutes of the finale that did not tie back to any of the prior episodes of the last 3 years. A 12 year old girl was left inexplicably heartbroken as was her loving and noble uncle who took her in when she was orphaned at age 4. Instead of finally being rewarded with a loving family, they were left without any closure or the blended family fans had been waiting for. That is not the Hallmark way nor is it the WCTH way.

Let me also explain something to you about the WCTH fanbase. We are not stupid or naive. Many of us are well educated and are doctors, lawyers, writers, teachers, businesspeople, etc. We know how to read ratings reports. We know how to market the show. Not only was Team Nathan the majority of WCTH fans but, we were also the show's unofficial marketing team on Youtube, Instagram, Twitter, and other platforms. Millions of impressions were lost after May 9 when these accounts either shut down, purged, or went private. Was that really what you wanted when overall ratings were flat and the ratings in the key 18-49 demo were down 20% from Season 7? I know I would embrace that type of free and passionate support rather than attack it repeatedly. That support is what made this show a success for 8 years, not you and your friend making phone calls.

I am grateful for the friends I have made in this community over the past 8 years. We've had a very stressful time watching Season 8. It is not fun or good writing to see your favorite character get beaten down week after week and then receive no payoff in the end. It is not fun to have your favorite show no longer bring you hope or joy. It is not fun to see that your favorite network is no longer providing uplifting, family friendly entertainment. It is not fun to see friends have their Mother's Day destroyed or for them to say that they can no longer watch Hallmark content with their kids. It is not fun to be so passionate and emotionally invested in a show that it causes you sleepless nights and other physical ailments. It is not fun to see friends feel like they have been bullied off social media because they don't agree with the outcome. Fans are customers and customers pay a premium to access Hallmark content. They don't pay a premium insulted. I was truly hoping your husband would also embrace this community and become a part of it for a long time to come. Articles such as this one disprove that hope to me. Your words make it crystal clear that the majority of the fanbase does not matter to you and your husband. Your last line states that you are a more emphatic, loving person and less critical. Perhaps modify that line to refer to your approach to fans of Lucas Bouchard only. Because it certainly does not apply to the rest of us.

Maggie

Dear Mrs. Tinker,

I have read your article and cannot pass by without a response to counter your one-sided representation of what occurred regarding WCTH.

WCTH was my happy place in midst of the chaos and strife in our world. Unfortunately, it no longer is. Many have addressed the story line and character development, so I will not be redundant, but will note I agree with much that was said providing critical feedback of concerns.

It has bothered me that those responsible for what was seen on the screen cannot accept construction negative feedback. That is all part of growth. Instead those who did so were blocked, insulted and bullied. You yourself, in both the above letter and elsewhere have made disparaging remarks towards those who not agree with the TPTB and this is part of the story that needs to be told. These actions upset me the most about all that has occurred.

I have read letters and posts that have respectfully, intelligently and thoroughly explained and expressed opinions regarding their concerns with this season. It is so much more than which suitor was chosen. It saddens me and discourages me that after so much time and so many responses, I find myself reading your article today without no acknowledgement of the "other side, " then to once again disparage them.

We all can learn from this experience and with all due respect I, and many others, have not felt your empathy nor understanding.

Wishing you blessings,

Sincerely,

Maggie

Ode2nd

The Canfield’s saved Season 8 for me. If not for them, I would NEVER watch again. So much bickering, conflict and drama. The feel of this show has changed. It’s now a soap opera. But the Canfield’s brought the feel good emotions I loved about the old WCTH. I hope we get more of this in Season 9.

The triangle was handled so poorly. I wasn’t Team Nathan or Team Lucas before Season 8 started. I just wanted to see a great love story unfold and I would have been happy with either guy. By the end of Season 8, I was very much Team Nathan and was so excited to see them finally find their way to each other. I was completely shocked when she picked Lucas, along with almost all of my family and friends. Some are so angry they don’t plan on watching, some haven’t decided yet. I’ll watch, but I will no longer drop everything on a Sunday night and watch live. I’ll watch when I have time. Maybe that’s live, maybe that’s at 10pm on a Thursday night while I’m folding laundry. My favorite show no longer has the same appeal it once did and while I hope Season 9 restores my faith in good story telling, for now I will be watching with one foot out the door.

allaboutangiewriting

Just wondering. Has anyone ever gone to your husband's job and taken credit for everything he has done then start sending out announcements for the company telling people that you and your husband are the reason the company is successful? Then send a letter out to clients and rip any of them that disagree with the way your husband (and you) handled the situation that made the entire company lose money and drop clients and claim the clients are to blame for decisions made by you and/or the company? No? Don't you think actions like that would get your husband fired and the company would probably take legal action against you for taking that credit and causing the loss of more clients? Because that's exactly what this is.

kalimantanjenny

Dear Ms. Rich,

You should know my loyalty to WCTH is quite strong.... in fact it was the only show I watched. The only show. Actually I started watching during the pandemic, and watched all 7 seasons in lockdown. Interestingly enough, at the end of season 7, I wasn't convinced either of the suitors were the right match for the lady. However in season 8, your husband's writing and story telling (with your witty ideas apparently) made me fall in love with Nathan Grant and be quite convinced that he would get the girl and it would be an epic love for the lady and the guy and a loving home for two semi-orphaned children. The story did not hit the mark. The finale was a shocker that left me sleepless, ill, and depressed for a week and I have not recovered. I think all future Mother's Days will have a shadow because of this experience. The pain is real. I do apologize on behalf of all Nathan supporters if some have caused you pain. Most of us are kind, considerate, intelligent, educated, well-read and well-written. Sometimes people lash out reflexively when in great pain, but that does not excuse mean words. I am glad you are gloriously altered into a kinder, more empathic, less critical human being. I think Team Nathan would appreciate some of that.

HeartieSinceDay1

Well said. All of this!

HeartieSinceDay1

Dear Mrs. Tinker,

I've been a fan of WCTH since Day 1. I pray you'll hear me (and I think I can speak for a lot of us) out.

The show has always been about a teacher and her Mountie. It started with the movies and went onto the show. Now the actor that played the Mountie wanted off the show, so the character passed away.

However, there were two new suitors brought in for Elizabeth to pick from. A Saloon Owner and a Mountie. We had to sit 3 Seasons (not your husbands fault) full of this triangle. All the signs pointed to the Mountie.

Honestly, I truly wish if it was never intended for her to choose another Mountie, it should've just been told to us.

I would like to give you a back story on why a lot of us Hearties feel betrayed for many reasons. We lost great characters for various reasons. We lost the Pastor, Abigail, Cody, and Jack. Elizabeth and Jack were married for two seconds and then he died. They knew about his leaving 18 months ahead of time and that was the best they could do? We didn't get to say goodbye to the character. It was like BOOM he was gone. We had to sit through three seasons of a love triangle that could've just have gone on for one season. We also endured the show in limbo because of an actor's behavior. It could've been easily cancelled. We, the Hearties and Fans, have endured a lot over the past eight years. We have battle scars.

Then we wait for the season finale and who does Elizabeth choose? Lucas. He was introduced as a shady person with criminal behavior, now all of a sudden he is a saint? It doesn't make a bit of sense.

Lucas wined and dined her. He never spent any time with little Jack. The Elizabeth I knew from the show would've never fell for that. Elizabeth was really out of character this season. She mistreated her friends and suitors. The Elizabeth that we knew from the beginning would've faced her fear and opened her heart to Nathan. She had morals and values.

A lot of us Nathan fans feel very disappointed because all the signs were there. We also fell in love with Nathan and Allie. I personally think there could be so many family friendly adventures told with Elizabeth, Nathan, and Allie. We loved watching them all interact. So many great scenes. It would've also been nice to have a blended family. We also never got a chance to see Elizabeth and Nathan go on a date or dates. That was an unfair advantage.

I feel Elizabeth was full of fear. I also didn't like the way Elizabeth treated Nathan or Lucas. She owes them and her friends apologies for acting self righteous and rude. I believe she didn't choose Nathan out of fear. I also think she shouldn't have let fear stop her from getting to know Nathan. Could she have seen Jack? Sure, but she could've gotten past it. She also led Nathan on in a lot of ways.

I do want to say thank you to your husband for bringing back God, The Canfield's, and tying up some holes in the storylines over the years. He is an outstanding storyteller. I enjoyed most of Season 8. The storylines were fantastic except the love triangle.

While it's great that you and your friend Karen encouraged your fan base to watch WCTH, I want to be clear that the ratings for WCTH should always be credited to the Hearties. Each year, we fight tooth and nail (long nights on Twitter), sending emails/cards to the Executives, purchasing each season of the show via Amazon and iTunes, and by watching. So much that over the years, we had many Christmas movies made and now we are getting 12 episodes for the second season in a row.

Here is my problem with TPTB and the fan base. TPTB feel they can tell the fan base what to do, say, and think. That is a cult mentality and abusive. You got to take the good with the bad. And is the bad really bad or is it that you don't want to hear the other side. Your article is very one sided. Have you even take the time to understand where we are coming from? And the fan base should be allowed to express themselves and think for themselves.

I truly wish you a great Season 9 and all of the best. While I love the rest of the characters, I will not be watching because the ending of the Love Triangle was the straw that broke the camels back for me.

God Bless you richly.

lexih

Good evening Mrs. Rich,

There are a few pieces of your statement that I kindly and respectfully have to disagree with — firstly being that WCTH becoming the most watched show was solely because of you and Karen Peck. It was actually thanks to Alfonso’s writing and the unnecessarily dragged out love triangle. Secondly, it was not “all was well” until the finale. Things were already declining before then with the main Facebook page kicking out many Team Nathan fans and catering to Team Lucas fans which ironically coincided with the fandom you love and root for. I do hope that it is a mere coincidence. As for the displeasure of many (a significant portion as a matter of fact), it wasn’t the who but the how that upset so many of us at the end of the day. Thirdly, to see the showrunner’s wife along with the show creators constantly push us down and minimize our valid feelings further divides the community. While I admit that we might have not always expressed our voices in the most polite way, may I remind you that kindness goes both ways? One has to earn respect. I will be grateful for the creation of the Canfields but at the end of the day, the triangle was poorly handled on your part. Humility would go a long way — you might want to check out Jeff Rake — the creator of Manifest and how he handles fans who aren’t entirely on board with how he wrote some things. That’s the example we all should endeavor to follow.

Thank you and God bless.

Margaret L'Ecuyer

I agree with all of the above letters, they are all on target and the truth! Season 8 was hard to watch and caused me and a lot of other fans a great deal of heartache 💔 almost every episode except maybe for only one or two episodes and the finale was the worst of all of season eight 💔

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