Special note: Tuesday, December 7, marks the official Amazon Launch of Wounded Spirits.Purchase the book that day and receive tons of free e-gifts including the first chapter of the sequel.
Welcome, April. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I try not to put any of my major personality traits into my characters, but in Wounded Spirits, I did include several Spanish characters. I grew up as a missionary kid in Spain, so those details of the book are near to my heart.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
While I lived in England, I customarily wore bright, knee-highs with Crocs. Besides being fun, it was a survival mechanism against the cold and the arthritis in my feet. Sadly, fuzzy knee-highs don’t go over so well in Georgia.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I first discovered the love of writing in my 11th grade English class. Mr. Hicks introduced me to expository writing. Most of the class hated it, but I couldn’t get enough. In 12th, Miss Davy opened to me the world of creative writing, and that’s where I found my passion. Ten years later, I finally got the nerve up to write the novel in my heart—Wounded Spirits.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I read few contemporary books. There’s just something about a foreign place and time that lures me in. Historical fiction is my all time fave, but through my awesome crit group, Christian Young Adult Writers, I’ve discovered that fantasy and speculative fiction are just as thrilling.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Keep it? I thought I’d lost it long ago!
Actually, I try not to add too much to my plate. My mom always says to pray about a new idea or venture for a week or two then if you’re still just as thrilled about it, consider taking the first steps toward it. Her wise council has saved me a time or two from jumping on impulse toward something shiny and new only to regret my decision.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
My kids. It’s not easy homeschooling, but we’ve survived four years and are better and closer for it.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
Whenever I see a field of grass or wheat or wild flower, I’m accosted with the insane urge to roll in it, run through it, or glide over it and feel the blades brushing against my skin. If only I were a horse. Or better yet, a unicorn!
What is your favorite food?
Coffee. I know it’s not a “food”, but it’s the one thing I can put in my mouth that I absolutely must have every day. It must a sin to derive such pleasure from a drink.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
My greatest roadblock was not joining a critique group. I didn’t think I had the time to work on other people’s writing, but now that I’m part of one (although for my children’s fiction), I sigh at all the wasted time. I could learned so much and saved myself so much hassle! And my work would have been better for it. Lesson learned. Roadblock overcome. Crit groups are essential!
Tell us about the featured book.
Wounded Spirits takes place during the little known Creek War of 1813. It’s based on the true story of a family torn apart during the massacre at Fort Mims. The romance is my invention. An assaulting Creek warrior is tasked with protecting his enemy. The task of caring for the White women brings more challenges than he bargained for, as well as a love he cannot resist.
Please give us the first page of the book.
Adela shifted her body to allow blood flow to her legs. The mossy ground had long grown hard against her tailbone, and the rough tree trunk dug into her back.
A refreshing breeze blew through the pines lining the northwestern border of her father’s land. It rustled the needles and created a comforting, familiar whistle.
A small meadow lay vacant before her. On the opposite side, the evening sun cast its last rays through the treetops. Squinting, she thought for an instant she saw the form of a man. No, it was just a bush moving with the current of the wind.
Surely, she had been waiting nigh on two hours. Her family would be worrying. Just north, civil war raged among the Creeks and threatened to involve the vulnerable Americans in the Tensaw and Bigby settlements. Her parents’ constant fear of danger was well placed.
Soon Mama would call Adela’s father in from the barn and send one of the servants looking for her. Worry was never good for Mama.
Mama’s attacks were rare these days, but Adela never knew what might set her to wheezing and coughing.
Adela’s stomach twittered and flipped. She stood then rubbed her lower back. “Please, hurry, Phillip. Please,” she murmured, not sure she could stay much longer.
Unheeding, the sun’s beams continued down the length of the trees then dissolved, leaving only their orange and purple reflection in the sky.
Not wanting to create undue stress on her parents, she gave up waiting and set out toward home. She lifted her skirt to avoid the prickly blackberry bushes and berated herself for not having thought to bring a lantern. How foolish of me!
“Adela…Adela…” Her name rode on the breeze.
Sounds intriguing. How can readers find you on the Internet?
I’d love for you to visit me at my webpage: http://www.aprilgardner.com/ or on my blog http://www.aprilwgardner.blogspot.com/ .
Thank you, April, for visiting with us
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