Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I write historicals because those are the stories that live and breathe in my imagination. I’ve always been fascinated by history and I’ve always wanted to know what life was really like for women of past generations. Writing historicals allows me to delve into the past and answer those questions!
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
It would have to be the day I married my husband, my best friend and fellow adventurer in life.
How has being published changed your life?
It’s made it a lot busier! I’ve had to learn to juggle my writing responsibilities with my responsibilities to my family…and I’ve never been a good juggler. Not even in fourth grade when we learned how to juggle scarves in PE.
What are you reading right now?
I wish I could say that I was reading a fabulous novel, but right now, I’m working on revisions for spring 2010’s release. I do have a stack of books waiting on my desk that I can’t wait to dive into. I’m experimenting with my writing, so I’m hoping that stack of books will teach me how to write from a new POV.
What is your current work in progress?
It’s my spring 2010 release, a historical set in New York City in the 1890s. When Clara Carter is told she’s to debut a year early, her social education shifts to high gear. There’s more than dance skills and manners that she’ll have to learn. There are corsets to be fitted and bosoms to be enhanced, for a girl so tall and gangly as Clara could never hope to attract a man by simply being herself. But the more enmeshed she becomes in New York City’s social scene the more she begins to wonder if this is the life she really wants. Especially when she’s pitted against her best friend for the hand of the most eligible bachelor in town. When she does manage to find a kindred soul, a man who seems to love her simply for who she is, her heart begins to assert its case. But there’s more at stake this social season than just Clara’s marriage, and the future of her family depends on how she plays the game.
It sounds interesting. We need to feature it here when it releases. What would be your dream vacation?
September and October in Paris.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
My best friend from college. It’s been years since I’ve seen her!
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I enjoy weight training at the gym. I like playing golf. And—I never thought I would be saying this—gardening!
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Plotting does not come easily for me. As I plan each book, I turn to James Scott Bell’s Plot & Structure and Jeff Gerke’s How To Find Your Story. Both resources are written for the plot-impaired writer, so they’re simple to understand. Jeff’s book actually uses my strength (character development) to combat and overcome my plotting weakness.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Persevere. Attend writing conferences. Become familiar with the Preditors & Editors website.
Tell us about the featured book.
Love’s Pursuit is a Puritan story set in the 1640s in Massachusetts Bay Colony. Susannah Phillips stands out both for her character and beauty. She wants only a simple life but soon finds herself pursued by the town's wealthiest bachelor and by a roguish military captain sent to protect them. One is not what he seems and one is more than he seems.
In trying to discover true love's path, Susannah is helped by the most unlikely of allies, a wounded woman who lives invisible and ignored in their town. As the depth, passion, and sacrifice of love is revealed to Susannah, she begins to question the rules and regulations of her childhood faith.
The more I researched Puritan beliefs, the more I discovered just how profoundly they grappled with the interplay between grace and good works. I think the concept of God’s grace can be difficult for some people to understand…and even more difficult for some people to believe in. It seems almost too good to be true. The tragedy of the Puritan movement is that they just couldn’t bring themselves to believe that God truly loved them. In some respects, the consequence of their unwillingness to accept God’s unconditional love was their belief that if they did this thing and that thing and made sure to always follow God’s laws to the letter then God would have to save them. He would owe it to them. The concept of Assurance of Salvation was unknown to the Puritans. I hadn’t realized, before I wrote this book, just how integral that idea is to our faith. The Puritans would have given almost everything to know that God loved them – a concept that believers today take very much for granted.
Please give us the first page of the book.
"Do you never tire of being good, Susannah? Do you never think any rebellious thoughts?"
I turned my eyes from my sister and back to my work in the blueberry canes. "Aye. I do."
Mary gasped, though I detected laughter in the sound. "'Tis not possible."
"'Tis not only possible. 'Tis probable. Like this one I think right now, about you." I threw a blueberry in her direction.
She dodged it. "I shall report this harassment to the selectmen. At once!"
I looked up at her tone, for Mary was unpredictable and she might have done it just for spite. But her eyes were dancing despite her labors and the unseasonable heat. Warmth rose in my cheeks as well. But it was not the sun that scorched my flesh. It was my own conscience.
My sister's question had found a mark too close to the condition of my soul. To those in Stoneybrooke Towne, Susannah Phillips was indeed a fair and obedient girl. But I knew myself to be vastly different than the person they imagined me to be.
Aye, I did tire of being good. And I did think rebellious thoughts. Often. Especially on days like this one. I wanted nothing more than to abandon my task and plunge into the nearby brook. I longed for the luxury of one hour, one minute, that needed nothing done.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
They can find me at http://sirimitchell.com/ . Registrants of my e-newsletter are automatically entered into a monthly drawing for books and I love hearing from readers!
Thank you, Siri, for spending this time with us.
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