Welcome back, Rita. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I write them because I love storytelling, whether in the written word or verbally. My mother influenced me as a child with all the stories she would tell us about growing up during the Depression. It caught on to me. I love to write stories that transport me, as the writer first, back in time. I enjoy exploring the time period, how people lived, dressed, what their culture was like and how it affected them. I suppose many a writer would agree we live another life in our stories …we are the fly on the wall…the ear to the wall, or we live through our characters.
I’ve been asked to categorize my fiction. My books are not formula romances. They are what I like to call Inspirational Historical Dramas. You will find romance, but you will also find stories about relationships between people, stories about forgiveness, redemption, faith, and loyalty.
That’s why I call my books Romantic Historical Fiction, because I deal with deep issues as well. Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
It’s a tossup between the day I married Paul, and when I gave birth to my sons. Those events were major turning points in my life that gave me such joy I can’t express it into words.
How has being published changed your life?
It’s made me work harder. I can tell you it isn’t glamorous like some people may think. There are no crowds of cheering fans and flashing camera blubs, not long lines around the block at book signings, no calls to be on talk shows, which are all fine with me. I am a shy individual to tell you the truth. I roll up my sleeves and write, market, and answer emails, in the mornings into late afternoon. I forget sometimes to eat lunch and laundry piles up. But life is good, a true blessing I wouldn’t trade in for the world.
What are you reading right now?
MaryLu Tyndall’s newest release Forsaken Dreams.
I love that book. What is your current work in progress?
I am very excited about moving into a different time period than my other books. I’m writing an Edwardian / Gilded Age novel set in opulent
, and the western part of that
state, entitled After the Rain. Chevy Chase, Maryland
Be sure to contact me about featuring it on the blog. What would be your dream vacation?
A few months in the
UK, renting a car, staying at
village bed and breakfast inns, exploring places where my books are set.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
I draw upon places I have been that take my breath away. I live in a historically rich area. The
and surrounding historical towns and landmarks are very inspirational. Everyone
has heard about Harper’s Ferry. Across from the town on the Maryland side, is the setting for Thorns
In Eden and The Everlasting Mountains. I love the peaceful beauty of this
area and the surrounding countryside. Thorns In Eden begins in ,
a place I have never been but have been drawn to ever since I watched the
series Poldark. Cornwall, England
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
This might be a long-winded answer, so forgive me. I’m assuming the person would be someone outside my family and circle of friends and acquaintances. Honestly, after thinking about this, I don’t know. My idea of a good evening spent with someone would be chatting in front of a fire having coffee and dessert. I’d like to meet Queen Elizabeth, but I doubt it would be on those terms. I wouldn’t mind meeting one of the last of the silver screen stars, Olivia de Havilland, but a late evening might be too much for her at her age. So, based on the dream vacation I answered above, and the fact I can’t nail down just one person to spend an evening with, I would say I’d spend it with a group of local ACFW writers, and have my son make sushi for us and tiramisu for dessert…And if I do get to the UK, I’d like to spend the evening with my fan Wendy Jones and her writers group.
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I enjoy hiking with my husband, exploring out of the way places in the country, especially historical places. I use to cross stitch but my eyes are not good enough anymore, nor my patience. I also quilted, and have my last quilt sitting on the floor beside my desk begging to be finished. I say my last because I have made enough and I don’t have the time to devote to it like I once did.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
I’m sure other writers will agree rejections, the doors that never seemed to want to open. I came to a point though, that I relinquished my writing career over to God. When I did that, I was at peace about where I was going with it, where my books would land, whether I’d be published or not. That’s when doors started opening. I’ve gone in several different directions, traditionally published with a major Christian publisher, and on my own to reissue novels that have been out of print for a while. When I do face an obstacle, I take a deep breath, and depending on the severity of it, I move on either after a few tears or a shrug.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Be very, very patient with your writing career. Write because you enjoy it, and learn the craft. Also read about the publishing business and what it entails. That way you will know what to expect.
Tell us about the featured volume.
Thorns In Eden and The Everlasting Mountains were originally published separately in 2003 through a print on demand company. They have been out of print since 2005—long story. Anyway, my previous editor and agent recommended I revise these books into a 2-in-1 collection and publish them to Kindle/Create Space. It was great fun working on this project. I found the perfect model for the cover and my son designed it, my husband uploaded and formatted the book.
Here is the synopsis.
John Nash journeys back to
England before the first shots of
the Revolution are fired. Rebecah Brent, a young woman who has known little
more than the solitude of an isolated manor, gives him her heart.
Can Nash protect his wife from a man who has no allegiance to any nation, tribe, or creed, wanted for robbery and murder, who has vowed vengeance? In Thorns In Eden and The Everlasting Mountains, love and faith are the sustaining forces that cannot be overtaken by the vines of adversity.
Please give us the first page of the book.
Rebecah Brent drew her legs beneath her and glanced over at the jittery servant sitting in the armchair next to the fire. She tried to appear unmoved by the storm’s rage thinking it would calm Margery Holmes, but every time thunder boomed, her breath snatched and she gripped the letter harder in her hand.
“Oh, this storm…my poor nerves,” Margery muttered. “Dear me…the wind…It seeps straight through the windows.”
“I’m sorry, Margery. What did you say?”
Margery pulled her woolen shawl tighter across her shoulders and shivered. “The wind—it blows through the windows.”
Rebecah folded the letter closed that had come earlier. “Ashburne is an old house. Drafts are to be expected.”
Sighing, Margery stood and tidied the room though it was already neat. Everything was in its place, with a place for everything. Rebecah knew the woman’s nerves were on edge and keeping busy gave her ease. But when lightning flashed, she jumped.
“Heavens!” Margery dropped a pillow on the floor, retrieved it and held it against her bosom.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
My website is http://ritagerlach.blogspot.com/I am also on Facebook.
Thank you, Rita, for sharing this book with us.
Readers, here’s a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
Thorns in Eden and The Everlasting Mountains
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