Bio – Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D.
Carrie Fancett Pagels (www.carriefancettpagels.com) debut release Return to Shirley Plantation: A Civil War Romance, is a Kindle Civil War best seller and a top rated Civil War Book on Amazon. She contributed to God’s Provision in Tough Times by Cynthia Howerter and LaTan Murphy (July, 2013.) Her short story Snowed In: A Northwoods Christmas will appear in Guidepost Books “A Cup of Christmas Cheer” in October, 2013.
I cot to know Carrie very well after she booked an appointment with me at one of the ACFW national conferences. I'm thrilled to feature her here. Welcome, Carrie. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Because I was a psychologist for 25 years I have heard a lot of people’s “stories” and a lot of that goes into my characterization. In my author’s voice you will hear a strong and deep chord of hope, determination, and overcoming. In this published novella, my character Angelina wants to obey God and do as He directs her and that is very much stemming from my own beliefs. In the manuscript I am writing now, my heroine has to overcome shame and the belief that she is responsible for something that has happened. I have to dig deep to draw on experiences of my own but I’m more reliant on what I’ve heard from people over the years as far as their own shame. Because the hero helps her, I have some of my psychologist self and spiritual self in him. But he is a man so I have to be careful—men don’t usually “help” the way women do! They want to solve things. But he can’t just solve her problems, which is frustrating to him. But God can, with their cooperation.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Lena, I am a Yooper woman—someone from the upper
. If you look under quirky in
the dictionary you will see a Yooper. I wear a hot pink t-shirt to bed that
says “Yooper Girl” on it—maybe that will answer your question. But my daughter
and hubby would say the time I dressed in Yooper clothes and went to our
suburban Virginia Kohls dressed in flood-water sweats, gray wool socks, and
short hiking boots. I mean—it was winter after all, eh? peninsula of Michigan
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
As a child—I wrote a prologue for my favorite book Anne of Green Gables! But I had to “re-discover” that I was a writer as an adult and that came when I realized I’d have to write the books I wanted to read since I was having trouble finding them.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Depends on the phase I am in. I’ve sometimes been into contemporary suspense but for years now I’ve been reading Christian historical romance, with an emphasis on the history part! But I like nonfiction Bible study books, too, and an occasional fantasy book such as a time travel book.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I have to stay close to God and that is a constant battle. I love to listen to Joyce Meyer in the morning. It’s important to stay in the Word and to pray.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
Many times I use family names and friends’ names. I make sure they match the time period. I like the names to fit the characters, too. If possible, I like to include the names of wonderful people who have assisted me on my writing journey. For instance, I have a lovely character named
Lena in one of my colonial manuscripts.
That’s cool, Carrie. What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Sometimes I think it is when I earned my Ph.D., because that was so hard! Other times I think it was giving birth at 44 to our second child! The thing I am most grateful for isn’t an accomplishment per se—returning to Christ and asking Him to be my Lord and Savior when I was an adult, after years of doing things on my own.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
A doe. I am from
upper peninsula where we have many deer. I love the woods, and I also enjoy the
When my father retired in
West Texas, he fed deer in his back
yard. If they started coming when they were fawns with their mother, they would
often eat corn out of his hands. They continued as adults. One time, we all hid
in the house and watched a large buck with an enormous rack eating corn out of
his hand as he sat still as a statue. Amazing. What is your favorite food?
Lena, that is a silly
question. I write, thus I must have chocolate!!! Preferably dark chocolate, in
And you know mine is dark-chocolate-covered dried cherries. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
My biggest problem was wanting to edit, re-edit, edit some more, and try to get each of my chapters perfectly polished. The problem with that method is that you never end up with a completed manuscript, then. Thankfully I had an editor friend who helped me get past this perfectionism.
Tell us about the featured book.
To me Return to Shirley Plantation: A Civil War romance gives testimony to how God can use an arthritic Tired Old Mommy like me and bring about a published novella in about six weeks and now it is a top rated Civil War book on Amazon! That is God’s doing,
Lena. Julian Charity, historian at Shirley Plantation and
Kathleen Maher, author of Bachelor
Buttons both gave me incredible support and assistance with this book.
Murray Pura is the mind behind the Cry of Freedom Civil War series through
Helping Hands Press—there are over a dozen authors writing short stories or
novellas for this exciting project and I am honored to have been the first
author published in this series!
Return to Shirley Plantation: A Civil War Romance is a story about obedience. Obedience to God is a big theme for me and one I’ve blogged about for years. Angelina is a free woman who is a seamstress. She’s one-eighth African American and can pass for white. She refused the offer of a position in
Ohio with a
theatrical troupe so that she could remain behind and earn the freedom of her
orphaned niece and nephew. Meanwhile thespian and theater manager Matthew
Scott, son of a Copperhead senator, has been conscripted into the Confederate
army. He ends up at Shirley Plantation (I love this place—it is celebrating its
400th anniversary this year!!!) where there is a field hospital. Matthew
doesn’t realize it but he has a connection to the plantation. I tried to take a
balanced approach in characterization. I didn’t write all the good guys as Union and all the bad as Confederate, etc. I tried to
show the human side of the war and tried very hard to be even-handed. Bad stuff
was done on either side. One of the saddest things I discovered while writing
this book was that the gentleman who inspired one of my not-yet-published
novels, a Shirley Plantation relative, had been killed by Union soldiers when
they were looking for another young Carter family member (who was NOT at the
elderly man’s home!) That was very sad.
I can only imagine how my great-great grandfather from
Kentucky might have felt—the Danners of Kentucky mostly
found on the Confederate side and my ancestors fought for the Union.
I’d love to do a story about the grandmother of some of those young men
fighting against each other. Then again, I write happily-ever-after endings so
I don’t think I will…
Please give us the first page of the book.
Matthew Scott basked in accomplishment’s warmth as the theater emptied. Every seat had been filled, save one—Father’s. A congressman for their locale, Theodore Scott departed earlier to an emergency meeting with a colleague in
Having toiled unceasingly for his troupe to remain together despite the war, Matthew complained only of difficulty with wardrobe. Two gowns already had side seam tears. His face tightened—the seamstress who’d contracted to sew the clothing had failed to arrive the previous year. They’d farmed the work out to a tailor already over-burdened.
Scott’s Theatrical Troupe was booked through the next three months for stops in cities and some to entertain the Northern troops. He grinned. Nearby, thespian J. W. Booth pulled on gloves, tipped his top hat at Matthew and exited the building. Matthew retrieved his beaver hat from its peg and followed suit.
Outside, the last of the carriages clustering the circle departed.
“Mr. Scott?” Cigar smoke accompanied the deep Southern-accented voice.
Matthew waited for his eyes to adjust from the interior light to night’s velvet blackness.
“You’re coming with us.”
June 1862 Charles City Virginia
Angelina Rose carried the heavy tray of hot tea, biscuits, honey, porcelain cups and saucers, and silver spoons to a cherry sideboard. The Carter women gathered in the parlor for Bible study.
“Lou, will you read first, dear?” Mary Braxton Carter, matron of Shirley Plantation directed her request to her daughter-in-law.
Louisa, the wife of Robert Randolph Carter, off serving in the Navy, sat up straight. “Matthew 25, verse 34 to begin. ‘Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a…
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Carrie Fancett Pagels
Facebook Author Page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Carrie-Fancett-Pagels/317053071710640?fref=ts
Facebook Personal Page http://www.facebook.com/carriefancettpagels
Links to purchase Return to Shirley Plantation: A Civil War Romance
Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/murray-puras-cry-of-freedom-volume-1-return-to-shirley-plantation-murray-pura/1114941171?ean=2940016542836
God’s Provision in Tough Times, releasing in July 2013
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