Monday, October 01, 2012

WEDDED TO WAR - Jocelyn Green - One Free Book

Welcome, Jocelyn. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I haven’t written a character completely inspired by own life or personality, but in several characters, I find there are traits I can relate to, which makes it easier for me to write those aspects. For example, in Wedded to War, the main character is Charlotte Waverly, a single wealthy young woman from Manhattan who wants to give up a life of comfort to have a significant role in the Civil War as a nurse with the newly formed Sanitary Commission. Her independent streak conflicts with others’ expectations of her. I could easily write about her independence, because that’s something we share in common. But her sister, Alice, says her priority is serving her husband first, then the rest of the world. I can relate to that too, so I invest that part of myself into her character.

In the book I’m writing now, Widow of Gettysburg, Harrison Caldwell is a war correspondent who develops combat stress from being in so many battles in a row, and from all his interactions with the wounded. As a journalist and nonfiction author, and former military wife, I have spent the last five years collecting war stories from veterans, soldiers, chaplains, and their families, and I can tell you, even though it is fulfilling, it can really take an emotional toll. I don’t pretend to have combat stress, but my own experience has helped me understand what Harrison is going through from being in the midst of the battles at Antietam, Gettysburg, etc. Even just researching for my own books, I have nightmares I won’t describe, so I can’t imagine what it would be like if I were “embedded” like Harrison. For a magazine article several years ago, I interviewed a Pulitzer-prize winning photographer who struggled similarly. His life was all about capturing images of human injustice, and it was extremely difficult for him to process that. It affected his personal relationships, too.

But all three of these characters I mentioned were crafted first from diaries of real people who did what I’m having my characters do. A Civil War nurse, her sister, and a war correspondent. Then I layer my own experiences/perspectives on top of that to help fill in the blanks and round out the characters.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Hmmmm. I bought and used a dog stroller for my pug. Let me explain. After my husband’s tour in Alaska with the Coast Guard, it was time to move cross-country, and he was at a conference, which left me to drive our pick-up truck five thousand miles. My friend from college made the trip with me, and we made an adventure out of it, hitting seven national parks and monuments, camping in the back of the truck almost every night. We also had our one-year-old pug with us, who we gave half a tranquilizer pill to help him cope with the twelve hour days of driving. But that meant when we wanted to get out and walk around a beautiful place for a while, he couldn’t walk! So we popped him in the little stroller feeling like idiots and pushed him around. The best reaction we got to our pug baby in the dog stroller was from a group of rough-looking motorcyclists in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. They oohed and ahed!

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
When I could pick up a pencil. Writing stories has always been part of who I am. My first book was narrating a Bugs Bunny coloring book.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Nonfiction, including biographies, Christian living, memoirs, history, etc., plus fiction—historical fiction is my favorite genre.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
My two kids, ages three and six, help keep life in perspective. Plus, we live in a small college town in Iowa, where the pace is much slower than most. After living in Washington D.C., and Alaska, this is a great middle ground. J

How do you choose your characters’ names?
Some I choose because I like the sound of them. Others have special meaning that is tied to the theme of the book, and others I can’t decide so I let my Facebook fans suggest names and I choose from those! We have lots of fun, especially with villain names. I also hold a contest where the winner gets a character named after her.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
The accomplishment I am most proud of is being present and active in my children’s lives. Writing books is really time-consuming, and juggling it with family is a real challenge. A few weeks ago, my six-year-old colored a family picture of us at the park, and I was in the picture. I can’t tell you how much this meant to me, because lots of times, my husband will take the kids out so I can write. To know that I’m still “in the picture” for them anyway, tells me God has been answering my prayers on the whole work-life balance.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
A dolphin, because they are smart and social.

What is your favorite food?
Depends on the mood. But on any given day, I could either go for chocolate, or Mexican.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Time. Creativity can’t be rushed, and when you try, bad things happen. J I overcame it with the help of a team of people- my husband, my parents, child care providers, and the freezer section of the grocery store.

Other than that, a big roadblock when switching from nonfiction to fiction was just confidence. To overcome that one, I did my homework, studying the craft, hired a book mentor for my first novel, and just kept pushing through it even when a little voice told me to quit.

Tell us about the featured book.
Wedded to War was inspired by the diary of real-life Civil War nurse Georgeanna Woolsey. Here’s the synopsis of my fictionalized tale:

It's April 1861, and the Union Army's Medical Department is a disaster, completely unprepared for the magnitude of war. A small group of New York City women, including 28-year-old Charlotte Waverly, decide to do something about it, and end up changing the course of the war, despite criticism, ridicule and social ostracism. Charlotte leaves a life of privilege, wealth-and confining expectations-to be one of the first female nurses for the Union Army. She quickly discovers that she's fighting more than just the Rebellion by working in the hospitals. Corruption, harassment, and opposition from Northern doctors threaten to push her out of her new role. At the same time, her sweetheart disapproves of her shocking strength and independence, forcing her to make an impossible decision: Will she choose love and marriage, or duty to a cause that seems to be losing? An Irish immigrant named Ruby O'Flannery, who turns to the unthinkable in the face of starvation, holds the secret that will unlock the door to Charlotte's future. But will the rich and poor confide in each other in time?

Please give us the first page of the book.
Monday, April 22, 1861
New York City
When Charlotte and Alice told their mother they were taking the omnibus down Broadway, they werent lying. They just didnt tell her where they would be getting off. There was simply no time for an argument today.

Boarding at Fourteenth Street, the sisters paid the extra fare for their hoop skirts, as if they were separate passengers, and sat back on the long wooden bench for the ride.

This is against my better judgment, you know. Alices voice was barely audible above the clatter of wheels and horse hooves over the cobblestones.

Dont you mean Jacobs? Charlotte cast a sidelong glance at her sister.

Alice twirled a ringlet of her honey-blonde hair around her fingera nervous childhood habit she never outgrewbut said nothing.

She didnt have to. Ever since she had married the wealthy businessman a few months ago, she had been even more pamperedand shelteredthan she had been growing up. Heaven help her when they reached their destination.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Author Web site:
For military wives (based on my devotional books):

Thank you, Jocelyn, for sharing this book with us.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Wedded to War (Heroines Behind the Lines) - paperback
Wedded to War (Heroines Behind the Lines) - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


Rosie said...

Would love to win! It sounds like a great book. :-)

Rosie from OH

Anonymous said...

would love to win. angela from ky.

mongupp said...

A part of history i would love to know more about!
Monica, Ontario, Canada

Lyndie Blevins said...

Thanks for the opportunity to win this book -

Lyndie From Duncanville Tx

Wendy Newcomb said...

I really like this cover and title, would love to win it. Thank you for hosting this giveaway.

Wendy from FL.


Jocelyn said...

Good morning everyone! Thanks for your interest in Wedded to War! Monica, I'm thrilled you want to know more about this period of history. Personally, I found it fascinating. Wendy, glad you like the cover and title! I do too. Youwouldn't believe how many rounds of re-designs and and different titles we went through to arrive here. :) Good luck everyone!

Marianne said...

i am nursing right mom after major major surgery and both she and i are drawn to nursing stories, so that is what caught my eye first. Thanks, Jocelyn and Lena for the chance to win.

marianne from Northern Alberta


Gabrielle E. said...

I've started reading this wonderful book that I got out from our library and really love it. I would LOVE to have it in my personal library. Gabrielle Emmons at mysterylover93[at]yahoo[dot]com.

Anonymous said...

Ooo! I love giveaways! Although I do hae to confess I already own this book and love it! So I would love to win another copy to give to a friend! Thanks Jocelyn! Sarah from Waterloo, IA

Ladette Kerr said...

Would love to win! Ladette in GA

Katie G. said...

Sounds great! Please enter me. I'm from NC.

Katie G.

Amada Chavez said...

Please enter me! Wedded to War sounds very interesting! Thanks for the review also!

Amada (pronounced:, NM

Jo said...

Sounds like another great book. Thanks for the opportunity!

Jo from Southern Arizona

Norma S said...

Hi Jocelyn and Lena,
Thank you for a chance to win "Wedded To War" i love your cover.The book sounds great, can't wait to find out about Charlotte wanted this role in a Civil War as a nurse. I liked your interview.God is what holds me together. God bless you and have a good week.
Norma from Ohio

Jocelyn said...

So great to see all of you here! This is a good time to immerse yourself in the Civil War era since it is the 150th anniversary of the war right now (until 2015). And in this series, we'll have at least one book coming out each year until then, timed to match the 150th anniversary of the major events that shape the plots. Next April, Widow of Gettysburg will release!

marybelle said...

I would love to read WEDDED TO WAR thank you. I enjoyed the first page.

Mary P


Sharon Moore said...

Jocelyn - Looking forward to reading your book. Thanks for the interview. And for the chance to win a copy of your book. Historical fiction is my favorite genre also.
Sharon from Eagan, MN

Sarah said...

Enter me!

Andrea Strong said...

I snagged it free on Kindle a while back, but nothing beats a book in my hands.

Andrea in Missouri

Lourdes said...

Would love to win. Great interview.

Lourdes from Dix Hills Long Island

Sharon Richmond said...

Enter me this book looks great!!
Sharon Richmond

Nancee said...

I'd love to win a copy of Jocelyn's book. I've seen wonderful reviews of it. Thank you for offering this giveaway!
Nancee in Michigan

Patricia said...

Thanks for the giveaway I would love to win.

Patricia from Cleveland,Texas

Cyndi said...

Sounds like a fascinating book! Will have to check it out!

Cyndi in AL

misskallie2000 said...

Aready have on my wish list and looking forward to reading. Thanks

Brenda from Georgia

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Diana Gardner said...

Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks! Portsmouth, VA

rubynreba said...

Wedded to War sounds so good. Please enter me. Thanks!
Beth from IA

Veronica Sternberg said...

I love stories about the Civil War! This looks great! I'm in MN.

Nancee said...

I would love to win a copy of this book. I've read so many wonderful reports about it. I love fiction based on the Civil War times. Thank you for offering this giveaway!
Nancee in Michigan

Susan H said...

Great interview! This book sounds wonderful! Look forward to reading it!

I'm from Fort Worth, TX

Abigail Richmond said...

Enter Me! Looks Great!

Blanch, N.C.

Kristie said...

I love to read about strong independent women especially back in the Civil War era. I just read "A Daughter's Walk" by Jane Kirkpatrick. Helga and Clara were strong characters in the historical fiction book and the story begins in 1896. Good read. I'm Kristie from Ohio. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.