Dear Readers, Diane is a long-time writing acquaintance and fellow Texan. I’m pleased to share her debut book with you today. I was intrigued by her Civil War storyline.
Welcome, Diane. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I try to “get into character” as actresses need to do in order to play a part. However, where period clothing is concerned, I write what I would love to wear in regards to style, colors, and fabric.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I don’t think I’m a quirky person. However, my son teases me about lining up my ceramic roosters facing the same direction. When he moves them, I move them back.
I’ve told my husband that if I were to have a mental illness, it probably would be obsessive/compulsive disorder. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
My first try at writing was a time travel-historical romance years ago. Tricky for a newbie, but the challenge took hold to research and write and rewrite.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I love inspirational historical romance, biographies, reprinted journals, and diaries of people who lived during the Civil War or pioneered out West. I have 22 antique books that I own and have read, starting 1859 to 1902.
I’d love to see them. I love antique books. I have several journal/diary reprints. How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I go to estate sales, one or two times a month, with girlfriends and then have lunch. I try not to mention my writing and focus on buying some little treasure.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
There’s a Web site that lists popular 19th century names by decades. I also have a baby name book that gives the origin of the names.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Raising a son to become a Christian man, husband, and father.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I love animals, all kinds, but I’ve always had a cat. They’re somewhat independent.
What is your favorite food?
Pasta. Love the different kinds of pasta with sauce, chicken, lobster, or vegetables.
I love pasta, too, but James isn’t as fond of it, so I don’t make it very often. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I’d say it was the POV thing, and then that became deep POV. It was a matter of training my brain and studying a couple of books that gave examples that helped me understand.
Tell us about the featured book.
Patriot Heart is book 1 in a 3-book series about three Civil War POWs who met in the infamous Andersonville Prison for Union soldiers and survived because of their friendship and Christian faith.
I decided to write my hero as a strong Christian and the heroine who is unsaved, instead of the reverse which is seen more often. The idea for a Civil War hero with soldier’s fatigue emerged after news journalists reported on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder almost every week since the
US got involved in the Middle
East conflict named Desert Storm 1990-91. I wanted to write about
a Christian veteran who struggled with horrific nightmares and hallucinations after
confinement in Andersonville Prison. He’s a man who leans upon the Lord for
recovery, although fears he’s losing his mind and unfit for marriage.
The heroine is a confident, bossy young woman who’s determined to live her life her way. She buys an old emporium near the
Missouri River and turns it into a supply depot for
emigrants heading out West after the war. The hero lives there, and she can’t
avoid him. She tells herself she doesn’t need God, or the hero, and throws
herself into her business.
In romance, it’s such fun to write those scenes when hero/heroine clash. In this story, the reader needs to see the hero’s sense of humor even though his mind hasn’t left the prison pen altogether.
Here is my back cover blurb.
DUTY COURAGE INTEGRITY
May 1865. All Dan Goodman wants is to marry an uncomplicated girl and have a family, but the war interfered and he became a POW who now believes he’s losing his mind and unfit for marriage. He dreams of
Oregon to put the
memories behind him. The problem is he owes a debt of gratitude to the
beautiful songstress. In addition, Clara Barton wants him to be a witness for
the prosecution in the first trial for war crimes in American history.
INDEPENDENT ENTERPRISING FEISTY
Letty Talbot is a world-weary steamboat songstress, and wants a new direction after sudden loss. Letty decides to run a supply depot for emigrants going out West, and talks Dan into a partnership where he builds the prairie schooners. Letty won’t admit she wants to keep Dan from leaving. Even though Letty and Dan butt heads a lot, no man ever interested Letty as this one did.
TRUST LOVE PEACE
If Letty marries Dan she losses her depot, because married women have no property rights. Letty must learn to trust God with her future. Dan must forgive fellow Union inmates who killed for selfish reasons, and face the commandant of Andersonville Prison in a court of law. Allowing his
Oregon dream to fade, he
can then embrace the future God planned for him.
Please give us the first page of the book.
“And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him;
and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12
Dan Goodman stared at the Lincoln Special with the slain President’s photograph over the cowcatcher, flanked by flags, and festooned in black along the sides of the railway cars. Out of respect, he saluted the train even though his fallen commander in chief remained on exhibit at the Cook County Courthouse until evening.
The sharp crack of mourning bunting slapped against the depot, startling Dan. He inhaled a shaky breath, disappointed in himself. After all these months, away from Andersonville Prison, he still had a reaction to unexpected sounds.
Dan continued to observe
train, until the Chicago and Alton rolled under the enormous Federal flag
stretched across the tracks and blocked his view. He smiled at the scene.
His future arrived to carry him far from everything in the recent past.
A powerful opening scene. How can readers find you on the Internet?www.forgetmenotromances.com/authors/dianekalas
Thank you, Diane, for sharing your new book with us. I know My readers will be interested in it.
Readers, here’s a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.
Patriot Heart (Journey Home Book 1)
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