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Hi Laura, thank you so much for inviting me to your blog today. I’m going to imagine the two of us sitting over a cup of tea—the way the British drink it—black tea with milk and a few digestive biscuits on a plate.
Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I started writing at a time of great emotional pain. I had just been reunited with my birthdaughter—the child I relinquished to adoption when she was 3 days old. Being unmarried at the time, I felt it was best for her, but it was the hardest thing I ever did. I named her Sarah in the hope that we would see each other again one day. But 20 years later at our reunion, seeing the beautiful young woman she’d become brought back all the pain of giving her up. That’s why I started writing. I tend to write about people who’ve been hurt, but who find their healing in God, and also their true love. But after writing a contemporary/suspense birthmother story that didn’t get published I turned my hand to what interests me—history.
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
I can’t choose between the day my husband proposed to me or each day that our 3 children were born to us. The day I heard that Sarah wanted to meet me, or just recently, the day my daughter Lana got married.
How has being published changed your life?
I’m swamped balancing a part time job while working on edits with my publisher, trying to organize some publicity as well as work on my current WIP. I’m totally bushed.
What are you reading right now?
Cathy West’s debut novel, Yesterday’s Tomorrow, and loving it.
What is your current work in progress?
Sofi’s Bridge which won 2nd place in the RWA Faith Hope & Love chapter’s ‘Touched by Love contest for 2010’. Sofi is a Historical Romance set in the Pacific Northwest in 1910. My heroine is a young woman who wants to build bridges.
What would be your dream vacation?
Going back to Hawaii with my husband like we did for our 25th wedding anniversary.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
The setting has to strike an emotional chord with me. SHADOWED IN SILK is set in India because I’ve had a long-time fascination with the British Raj when they ruled India. I love MM Kaye’s books. And I had ancestors who served in the British Cavalry in India. Sofi’s Bridge is set closer to home in the Pacific Northwest, and my birthmother contemporary was set in Ireland, where I was born. But no matter the setting, I’m sure to think up a disaster for my characters. In the book set in Ireland, it’s a bomb. In Sofi’s Bridge, it’s a train that needs to be stopped. And in SHADOWED, it’s a revolution and a kidnapping.
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
Easy—my husband, David. After 30 years of marriage I don’t want to waste a moment. I love being with him. Besides, he is the love God sent into my life a year after I gave up Sarah. David is God’s best for me, which is an aspect I always want in my books—true love is worth waiting for.
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
When I have time—which is as rare as hen’s teeth—I paint in acrylics or water color.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Fitting in the time to write when I also have to work for living. If I let it, I could be overcome with angst. But I’ve come to believe that there’s no sense bashing my head against the wall for things I can’t change. If God wants my voice heard, He’ll see that I’m published, and He’ll give me the time and the strength to get it done.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
My answer to this ties in with the question above. If God wants you to have a career as a published Christian author then you’re different from the secular writer right from the start. If God wants your written voice heard, then it must be about Him. What you write must glorify Him, and further His Kingdom. If you keep that forefront in your mind, you’ll have peace whether you are published or not.
Tell us about the book.
Shadowed in Silk used to be called Unveiled, and won first place in the ACFW 2009 Genesis award for Historical. I did about a year of research on it first.
It’s about Abby Fraser who feels invisible to those who should have loved her.
After the Great War, Abby returns to India with her small son, where her husband is stationed with the British army. She has longed to go home to the land of glittering palaces and veiled women . . . but Nick has become a cruel stranger. It will take more than her American pluck to survive.
Major Geoff Richards, broken over the loss of so many of his men in the trenches of France, returns to his cavalry post in Amritsar. But his faith does little to help him understand the ruthlessness of his British peers toward the India people he loves. Nor does it explain how he is to protect Abby Fraser and her child from the husband who mistreats them.
Amid political unrest, inhospitable deserts, and Russian spies, tensions rise in India as the people cry for the freedom espoused by Gandhi. Caught between their own ideals and duty, Geoff and Abby stumble into sinister secrets . . . secrets that will thrust them out of the shadows and straight into the fire of revolution.
That’s the back of the book blurb, but Shadowed deals with—and I think delicately—a tough subject, spousal abuse. But it’s not just what is happening to Abby, but what is also happening to a young Moslem woman in Abby’s household. It’s about how women are often mistreated in eastern cultures as well as western. This is often a thing done in secret, making the victim feel invisible.
What do you want readers to take away from the book?
Another important character in the book is Abby’s female servant, Eshana, a former Hindu widow who is now a Christian.
Through Abby’s eyes, the Moslem girl Tikah, and Eshana, an Indian Christian, we learn how God sees us. When no one else sees our emotional pain, He does. But Abby also learns that Jesus alone can lift the veil of sin, so that we can see Him face-to-face.
Is there anything interesting about this book that you want us to know?
The Lord whispered to me to pursue a writing ministry when my heart was breaking over my birthdaughter. When WhiteFire Publishing was talking to me about the front cover, they sent me photographs of a girl they thought looked like Abby. When I looked at that model I though how much she resembled my birthdaughter, Sarah. I suggested Sarah, and the photo shoot was arranged here on the west coast. Sarah wore the sari material that I had bought in India on a missions trip. But being so caught up in all the lovely details, I didn’t realize what God had done until I saw the finished front cover.
It took my breath away. He had blessed the labor of my heart with the very child I had relinquished to Him in the first place. Both her picture and mine are on the back cover. Only a very loving Father could do something so tender.
What one question would you like us to ask your readers?
How do you realize how much God loves you?
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