We want to hear about you and promote your new book that releases in April, For Such a Time. Hi, Linda, thank you for hosting me today. I am so honored to share my journey through this novel with you and others!
The holocaust is a tough topic, particularly today. What made you decide to do an historical on such a difficult issue? The idea initially came as I was reading from the Biblical Book of Esther. I knew the Jewish people had suffered at the hands of one society or another throughout history, and as I observed similarities between the wicked Haman’s plot to destroy the Jews and Hitler’s Holocaust of WWII, I wondered if I could superimpose Queen Esther’s story into this more modern venue. Yet I had no idea how emotional this journey would be for me. I knew little about the subject when I began my research, and so the stories of Nazi brutality versus the courage and faith-keeping of those who faced death moved me as nothing else could. Needless to say I had to write this story, and tread carefully with it; the Holocaust remains a sensitive subject and rightly so; I strove to treat it with the solemnity it deserved, while writing a fiction romance novel.
Let’s face it, your endorsement by Debbie Macomber, #1 NYT bestseller, is going to intrigue a lot of people and encourage them to buy your book. Why else should a reader pick up your novel and want to open it? I think many readers enjoy Queen Esther’s story from the Bible. It’s not only a love story, but Esther’s courage in the face of death is legendary—both ideals I think readers want to identify with. I also hope they are curious to know more about events that took place during the Holocaust (though my characters are fictitious) and ultimately to reaffirm that love, combined with faith in God is the most powerful force on earth; that with it nothing is impossible.
You are obviously drawn to historic detail. What started you down that road? That’s funny—I used to sit and daydream during history class in school. J But I have to thank the deft hand of those historical romance authors who rekindled my passion for the subject. As I read and got my history lessons (without knowing it) that passion became a determination to write my own historical novels.
You weave a strong romantic thread in your novel. Did you find that hard to do considering the topic? Yes, very difficult; I had to really climb inside my characters’ heads in order to make the events believable. I’ll just say at this point, there are no two-dimensional characters. Even the worst villain loves his mother.
Can you tell us something about you that we might not know or imagine? My writing career started very early; I wrote poems as a child—inside hand-made birthday cards, framed in pictures, or scribbled on sheets of notebook paper. If I misbehaved, I’d apologize by composing a poem for my mom and tuck it beneath her pillow so she’d find it when she awoke in the morning. That usually worked, too! J
What kind of time do you give your writing? Was this something you wrote over five years, or did the idea hit with a passion and let you go for it right away? This story was long in the making because of its nature; there was so much research, rewriting, revising, and it simply took years to accomplish. And I wasn’t always writing on it; oftentimes, I’d just sit thinking about how it might come together, making my characters and the entire event believable. Nowadays, with another story for Bethany House in the works, I try and write several hours each day during the work week and sometimes the weekend.
So…tell us. What’s up your sleeve for a future story? Ah, yes, I’m very excited about the next novel. It’s another historical romance, one which takes place in Britain during WWI. The current release date is April of 2015. Much of my research is finished, so I’ve dug in and am happily typing away!
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