Dear Readers, I’m excited about Sandra’s novel. She and I share the same agent.
Welcome, Sandra. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I don’t plan on putting my characteristics and flaws into my characters when I start, but a piece of me often emerges in a major or minor character. One may have a problem I’ve encountered or a flaw I understand all too well. I write historical novels but people have dealt with insecurity, losing loved ones, relationship issues, and a myriad of other problems through the ages.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I am constantly doing quirky things. If someone followed me around with a camera, some of them would probably make it onto YouTube.
One example from work illustrates this. Employees used to buy small salads at work and then select toppings from a salad bar. Chopped lettuce came in a plastic container that was taped shut. One day, as I wrestled to pry the tape lose, the lid shot open. An officer of the company standing behind me wore my lettuce on his suit.
At least it didn’t have any salad dressing on it!
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I wanted to be a writer in elementary school and wrote my first book—a mystery—while in the sixth grade. I didn’t receive much encouragement and let the dream go. It returned when my daughter was in elementary school.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I love reading contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and cozy mysteries. My favorite genre is historical romance. I read more nonfiction books than fiction when actively researching for a novel.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Right now, my plate is filled to overflowing. It’s difficult to stay on top of my schedule when new activities and tasks are constantly being added.
I try to remember to read my Bible before beginning my work day. I ask God to guide me to the most important tasks. To-Do lists also help me stay focused. A bit of the burden tumbles off my shoulders when checking off each item.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
My main characters names come to me pretty quickly. Since those names are used repeatedly, I need to like them. I run across many historical figures during the research phase and often choose first or last names from these. A book about a particular regiment contains not only soldiers’ names but also their parents, wives, and children—an excellent resource!
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
My most important job is being a wife, mother, stepmother, and now grandmother. I am most proud of my family and try to be the best I can be for them.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
That’s a tough question. I might choose to be a bird because flying seems a lot of fun.
What is your favorite food?
My favorites are tomatoes, cheese, and chocolate—but not all in the same recipe! I crave chocolate when I’m stressed. A couple of pieces of Dove chocolates are usually enough to reduce that stress. I wish a slice of tomato did the same thing!
Cherubs tomatoes we buy at Sam’s Club have a rich tomato flavor, and they're sweet. They’re also very small tomatoes. Sometime, I grab a handful and eat them like a snack. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Carving out time to simply write novels is my greatest hurdle. There is so much demanded of authors these days to market our books, participate on social media, and maintain a blog. All of these can be fun, but it does take us away from writing novels.
Getting started on tasks early in the day gives a sense of accomplishment. When meeting deadlines, I sometimes set my alarm for 4 am. I should do this more often because I accomplish so much this way.
Tell us about the featured book.
A Rebel in My House is set during the turbulent Battle of Gettysburg. The townspeople lived through a nightmare that extended months beyond the battle. This novel gives a glimpse of that suffering through the eyes of a
seamstress. A Confederate soldier caught behind enemy lines after retreat needs
her help. Sheltering him ushers in more difficulties than she ever imagined.
Lines become blurred as her feelings for him grow. Loyalties threaten to divide
them as Confederates seize the town.
Both have made promises to family members.
Some promises are impossible to keep.
Please give us the first page of the book.
Friday, June 26, 1863
Two miles outside
Running feet on the dirt road outside quickened Sarah Hubbard’s heartbeat. Her fingers stiffened on her sewing machine and her back straightened.
Were they coming? Every conversation these days centered on the Confederate soldiers crossing into southern
“Miz Hubbard. Miz Hubbard, please let us in!”
Not soldiers but friends. Sarah’s body sagged at Elsie Craig’s voice, but why did she yell? Sarah dropped the gingham dress she’d been sewing and ran to throw open the front door. Alarmed at the fear lining Elsie’s dark face and eyes as she clutched the hand of her four-year-old daughter, Mae, Sarah scanned the horizon for Confederate soldiers. “Hurry inside.”
Elsie needed no second bidding. She guided Mae over the threshold and closed the door. “Miz Hubbard, you gotta hide us.” Her tall, thin body leaned against the door. “The Rebs are in town gathering up all the colored folks they can find. Someone said they’ll be taking them south as slaves and that they’re warning folks not to hide us.”
Sarah gasped. “Why do such a terrible thing?”
“Don’t make sense, does it? Some of us have lived in
Gettysburg for years.
Others like me have always been free, but it don’t seem to matter to the
Southern army.” A long loaf of bread peeked out among jars and clothing in a
well-laden basket Elsie set on the rug. She dropped to her knees and wrapped
her arms around her trembling child.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/sandra.m.hart.7
Thank you for sharing this book with us, Sandra. I’m eager to read it, and my copy arrived a couple of days ago, so I’ll be reading it soon.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.A Rebel in My House - Paperback
A Rebel in My House - Civil War Romance Series - Kindle
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