Wednesday, May 26, 2010
I don’t consciously set out with a spiritual theme in mind—they seem to develop naturally as my characters do, as part of the conflict that comes from the character’s background and experiences. One that does tend to show up in many of my books is that of forgiveness—mainly because I think that’s something that we all struggle with and can relate with. Madeleine L’Engle once wrote, “Sometimes it is years after a book is published that I discover what some of it meant.” I’ve had people point out spiritual themes in my stories that I never intended or even realized were there.
What other books of yours are coming out soon?
In addition to Ransome’s Crossing, coming out June 1, the first book in my new contemporary romance series The Matchmakers, Love Remains, comes out in August. I also have three books set to release in 2011, including Ransome’s Quest, the final book in The Ransome Trilogy.
If you could spend an evening with one contemporary person (not a family member of yours), who would it be and why?
I’d love to sit down with screenwriter/director Joss Whedon. He’s a great storyteller and brilliant at twists and turns as well as humor and world building. I’d love to spend a few hours brainstorming story ideas with him.
What historical person would you like to meet (besides Jesus) and why?
I would have to go for Louisa May Alcott. Her sense of humor shines through her fiction, but she had a serious side, too, which most people don’t know about because they’ve never read her nonfiction. Having grown up in the enclave of transcendentalists—her father, Emerson, Thoreau, Dickinson, etc.—in mid-nineteenth century New England as well as being someone who obviously had a vivid imagination, I would love to have a few hours to sit down and brainstorm story ideas with her because I know her perspectives would be unique.
How can you encourage authors who have been receiving only rejections from publishers?
Maybe it’s time to take a break from submitting and focus on writing something new, on pouring your energies on developing new story ideas, and on telling stories again. We sometimes get so focused on the business of writing that we forget the joy of simply sitting down and writing a story. And sometimes, we must reexamine our calling to make sure that trying to get published is what God wants us to do.
Tell us about the featured book?
To get to her secret fiancé in Jamaica, Charlotte Ransome disguises herself as a midshipman and joins the crew of one of the ships in the convoy led by her brother William. First Lieutenant Ned Cochrane has only known his captain’s younger sister for a brief time, but is sure she’s the wife he’s been praying for—except he’s about to leave for the Caribbean for at least one year.
An attack on the convoy gains Ned the promotion to commander he has long dreaded—especially once he discovers one of his midshipmen is actually Charlotte Ransome in disguise. After seeking Julia’s advice, Ned decides to keep Charlotte’s secret…and hopes to win her love. Charlotte will soon discover that losing her heart to Ned is not the greatest danger she’ll face on this Atlantic crossing.
Please give us the first page of the book.
Book Two of the Ransome Trilogy
Harvest House Publishers, Inc.
© 2010 by Kaye Dacus
A scream of agony bubbled up in Charlotte’s chest, but she stopped it before it could escape.
“The shoulder is reset.” The physician poked and prodded more, sending bolts of pain and waves of nausea through her body. But she managed to hold all at bay—except the two tears that escaped the corners of her eyes and ran down into her hair.
“So long as there is no injury to the spine, the child should recover full use of the arm. But it should be bound for two weeks, and she should be made to rest as much as possible.”
“Thank you.” Her brother William’s voice sounded harsh and gruff. But he’d been different since returning from Portsmouth six months ago—he no longer laughed, told stories, or drew pictures of fascinating sea-creatures for her.
She kept her undamaged arm over her eyes as the doctor bound her left arm in a sling. Some of the pain was gone. But she couldn’t bring herself to look at her oldest brother.
William thanked the doctor again. “That will be all.”
She heard the clink of coins then retreating footsteps. She risked a peek under her arm. William stood beside her bed, arms crossed.
“Tell me exactly how you came to fall off a rotted rope ladder ten feet from the ground.” Though soft, his voice carried such a tone of command that Charlotte cringed.
“Philip told me he did not think I could climb it. I told him I could—that I’ve been climbing it every day to practice for when I join the navy.”
William turned his back on her and stalked to the window. After a long pause, he returned to tower over her bedside. “I shall speak with Philip later. But I cannot believe the unladylike manner in which you have behaved. You know better than anyone that girls cannot join the Royal Navy.”
She struggled to sit up. “But, William, I know everything—the flags, the ropes, the bells, the ships’ ratings. I’ve been practicing climbing the rope ladder to Philip and James’s old tree fort so I can be ready to climb the shrouds to the mast tops.”
An odd expression flickered across her brother’s countenance, and for a moment she hoped he might relent.
“It matters not what you know or what you can do. Females are not allowed to join the navy.” He sighed and rubbed his hand over his eyes. “Charlotte, you are almost seven years old. It is past time for you to stop pretending you are a boy and start acting like a young lady. You will not be climbing shrouds to the top of any mast on any ship. You will stay here in Gateacre, attend to your schooling, and grow up to be a proper lady. Do you understand me?”
He never raised his voice, but her ears pounded as if he’d yelled the words at her. She clamped her teeth down on her bottom lip to keep it from trembling. How could he be such a mean . . . ogre? She wanted nothing more than to follow in her father’s and brothers’ footsteps.
“I’m waiting for an answer, Charlotte.”
“Yes. I understand.”
“Good.” He nodded curtly. “Now, you are to rest until dinner.” He left her room, shutting the door behind him.
Charlotte stuck her tongue out at the closed door and lay back down. She’d show them—all of them—that if she wanted to join the navy, no one would stop her.
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Thank you, Kaye, for visiting with us again.
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