Bio: Gilbert Morris is among today's most popular Christian writers, his books having sold over seven million copies worldwide. A former pastor and English professor, he specializes in historical fiction and won a 2001 Christy Award for the Civil War drama Edge of Honor. Morris lives with his wife in
. Gulf Shores,
The River Rose
The River Rose
A Water Wheel Novel, book 2
B&H Publishing Group
I have read Gilbert Morris books for many years and loved them. And I’ve even considered writing a riverboat novel. So I was very interested in reading this novel.
The book is written in the classic Gilbert Morris style. Using words, he wove a colorful tapestry of the setting and society of the mid-19th century. As a reader, I felt as if I walked the streets, rode in the carriages, and sailed on the steamboat on the
Mississippi and Arkansas
rivers. I could have never given the authentic touches he did about the
steamboat. And the hardships the characters had to face were real-life
I loved the characters. They were completely human with both strengths and weaknesses. Their growth, both spiritually and emotionally, was completely believable. They grabbed my heart and didn’t let go even after the last page.
And the story and plot line was unique enough to pique and hold my interest. Because of my own book deadlines, I don’t have a lot of time to read, but I found myself picking up this book at every free moment I had until I finished it. I highly recommend it.
–Lena Nelson Dooley, author of Mary’s Blessing, the Selah Award winning Maggie’s Journey, and Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico, which won the Will Rogers Medallion Award
About The River Rose
Life hasn’t been easy for Jeanne Bettencourt, a widow approaching thirty and struggling to provide for her eight-year-old daughter. But hope arrives in the form of the Helena Rose, a steamboat she unexpectedly inherits from a distant, departed relative. Jeanne’s father had captained a similar vessel and taught her how to pilot a steamer along the banks of
Memphis. She’s looking
forward to a renewed livelihood on the mighty Mississippi.
However, as plans are made, news comes of another heir to the Helena Rose -- a tough man named Clint Hardin -- and a clause in the will that says claimants of the estate must live aboard the boat. Jeanne, a Christian woman, makes it clear she won’t stay with a man who is not her husband. But both are desperate for work, so they agree to keep their distance as Clint occupies the lower deck and Jeanne takes the captain’s quarters.
As they restore the Helena Rose, the slowly softening Clint becomes attracted to Jeanne -- who is now being courted by a wealthy plantation owner. With her family and future at stake, the desires of Jeanne’s heart are duly complex. Only her simple faith can navigate her through what’s about to happen.
Read Chapter 1 of The River Rose:
What is your writing method? Do you write in the morning? At night? All day? How long do you write in a single session?
I have no set schedule for writing a novel. While I am working on it, sometimes it goes easily, and I just pour on the coal. If it goes badly, I have to spend more time on the text. Naturally, I love it when the words seem to flow!
How do you do your historical research?
I think it can be easy to do too much research, just as it can be a mistake to do too little. Some writers are so anxious the give the historical background, that they forget the story. My own problem is to do a good job with research and with the story.
How do you manage to keep your dialogue true to the time period without allowing it to sound stilted?
Reading a great deal of Dickens, for example, will carry over into the writer’s work. There is a danger that all of a writer’s characters will sound alike, which makes for bad fiction. I always try to find some characteristic that will set a character apart, perhaps bad grammar or a pronounced regional accent.
You used to follow the same storytelling technique of the late Sidney Sheldon—told your stories on tape to get the rough draft down, and then had them transcribed to start your writing process. Are you still using this technique for your current books?
Yes, I do dictate all my books. I take the outline and the list of characters, and put each chapter on a cassette. Then I have a lady take the tapes, type them out, and send them to me. Of course, when I get the hard copy, that’s usually when the hard work of revision rears its ugly head! My daughter Lynn, who has written some fine novels, helps me with this stage, for which I am profoundly grateful.
In many of your books, you feature a strong female main character that suffers from flaws and weaknesses. Why do you write about women in this way?
I try to give all characters, both male and female, young and old, flaws and weaknesses. That is human, and if a character is perfect that is totally unbelievable!
Look at the great classic novels by the great novelists. All of them set forth characters, who, in one way or another, are flawed. It is the job of the novelist to dramatize the characters as they attempt to overcome these flaws.
Your novels have a number of female characters with red hair and green eyes. Is that based on a real person?
Got lots of red hair in my family, so I always like redheads! No green eyes. I just get tired of trying, in a book with forty characters, to give them eyes that differ. Blue, brown, green. What other colors can eyes be?
I did say of one shady character, “He had eyes the color of spit.” Now, really, that character had to be evil!
What fascinates you most about 1850s
It was a dramatic time in American history. The Civil War, the rise of modern transportation, the beginning of our industrial growth.
How did you decide to set your story on a steamer?When I was a boy, I lived for a time in
How can my readers find you on the Internet?
Website and Blog: http://www.gilbertmorris.com/
E-Newsletter (to receive subscriber-only giveaways & previews of his upcoming novels): http://gilbertmorris.com/news.htm
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/gilbertmorrisbooks
Thank you for letting me be a part of this blog adventure.
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The River Rose: A Water Wheel Novel - paperbackThe River Rose: A Water Wheel Novel - Kindle
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