Wednesday, March 16, 2011
A lot of deadlines, which is a blessing for an author. This year, I have to write three full-length novels plus two novellas and launch my first Regency romantic adventure for Baker/Revell, not to mention several speaking engagements. Yes, when God decides to move, be prepared to hit the ground running. But don’t worry; he’ll give you the right shoes.
Tell us a little about your family.
The simple answer is: Large and diverse. The more complex answer is I have one full sister, two stepsisters, one half sister, and two half brothers. Three of my sisters have children and so do both of my brothers. We’re scattered all over the country, so I don’t get to see them much and miss them. One thing my full sister and I have in common and she has passed along to her children is a love of books. We get this from our parents. The others read, but not quite so voraciously.
Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
I tend to read fewer books in the genre in which I write. I start as many; I just finish fewer of them. It’s a bit of a busman’s holiday reading historical romance—either I want to edit and rewrite it, or its so good I get depressed that I’m not better. So I read a lot more mysteries and women’s fiction, even young adult stuff.
I recently read a YA novel. The Healer's Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson. I loved it. What are you working on right now?
I’m researching the second Regency after having just finished the second midwife book, and I’m working on my follow up with Avalon. This is about a lady lawyer in the 1890s. I’m also beginning one of my novellas, Printed on My Heart that will be in Highland Crossings with Pamela Griffin, Jennifer Taylor, and debut author Gina Welborn.
I'm looking forward to reading that collection. What outside interests do you have?
Being outside. I love the beach, walking in the woods, fresh air and sunshine. I also read, watch movies, especially old ones with Humphrey Bogart and/or Audrey Hepburn, and listen to music.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
Jersey Brides, which is The Glassblower (2010 Carol Award finalist), The Heiress, and The Newcomer, was easy. Heartsong was doing the state series and I’d just gotten back from a few weeks in New Jersey. I also lived there as a state-side missionary in the US headquarters of Send the Light (Operation Mobilization) when I graduated from college. Other than that, Regency is easy—England. For the rest, the story seems to dictate the location. Lady in the Mist has to take place beside the ocean.
If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
The last time I answered this question in an interview, I said Napoleon Bonaparte. Why? Because the man must have had amazing charisma, and I am interested to see what that kind of charm and persuasive ability is like in person and not just the history books. As for right now who? Probably Thomas Jefferson.
What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
I actually have a whole list of things I wish I’d known, but just one? Hmm. Well, probably to go on a safari, get a rhinoceros, and don his skin. Apologies to any animal activists out there, and the point is—to be a little tougher and arrow-proof. The barbs will come and one can’t let them stick.
That is so true. What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
Surrender—everything. Letting go of my wishes in favor of His.
That's a hard one that often takes a lot of time. What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
1: finish, submit, and start the next project--repeat.
2: Be an encourager to other writers.
3: Be kind.
Tell us about the featured book.
Jersey Brides is a compilation of the New Jersey Historical Series with The Glassblower set around a glassworks in Salem County in 1809 (and with a Scots hero). The Heiress is set in a northern city in 1858 with a heroine who has a lot of money she wants to do good, but can’t get control of, and a hero who wants to prove himself to his talented and successful glassmaking family and make his own fortune. The Newcomer is set in Cape May in 1899. The heroine’s father ordered her to earn her living for a year to remember her family’s humble origins. But when this nursemaid’s employers are killed, she’s in charge of the children until their uncle returns. He takes forever to come, and when he does, the real trouble begins.
It sounds wonderful. Please give us the first page.
Salem County, New Jersey1809
Children’s laughter rang through the trees. Her heart leaping to the playful sound, Meg Jordan increased her pace.
She wanted to tell everyone about her school. In less than two months, she would open the doors of the old building, and every child in Salem County, New Jersey, could learn to read and write, not just those whose parents hired a governess or sent their offspring to boarding schools. Any child wishing to do so would sit before her while she instructed them on the alphabet and sums. If all went well, she would add lessons on the history of the United States of America. For years to come, children in her district of Salem County would enjoy an education. In time all young people could remain home while they learned, instead of being sent away from their families as she had been, despite her protests.
She would start her school, fulfill her promise to her dying mother, as long as her father didn’t make her marry before she was ready to do so.
“Dear Lord, please let Father change his mind.” Her voicerose above the hilarity of the children and sigh of smoke-laden breeze through the bare branches of oaks and conifers. “Please don’t let Mr. Pyle ask for my hand. The children need me.”
And she didn’t like Joseph Pyle, owner of the farm next to her father’s. He was young enough at three and thirty, the same age as the United States and only a dozen years older than Meg. He was certainly handsome with his blond hair.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
I have a blog and a web site http://www.lauriealiceeakes.com/ where you will find excerpts of my books
or look for me on Facebook. I’m the only Laurie Alice Eakes there.
Thank you, Laurie Alice, for the fun time today.
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