Welcome back, Roseanna. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I love history. For as long as I've been learning about it, I've been jotting down story ideas that could weave that history in and bring it to life. My biblicals I write because I love how delving in and researching them helps me better understand my faith and the awesomeness of my Lord.
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
Well, it's hard to choose between wedding day and the births of my kids, so I'm going to say any one of several days last September, when we had a simply fantastic family vacation in the Outer Banks of NC. Weather, circumstances, lodging, and family just came together perfectly for one amazing week. Ah, bliss.
How has being published changed your life?
I don't have to feel quite so guilty spending every spare moment at my computer. ;-) No, seriously, the most life-changing part for me is reader feedback. There is absolutely nothing in the world like being told that God used your words, your story to change a life, deepen a faith, or renew an appreciation for Christian fiction.
What are you reading right now?
UNFORGETTABLE by Trish Perry. I'm only a chapter in, but I can't wait to read more!
What is your current work in progress?
Well, at the moment I'm doing revisions on my December release, Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland, and also working up a proposal for a story set in the same era (Revolutionary War) but in
. Need to make a few tweaks to that one yet. =) New York
What would be your dream vacation?
Oh my—this changes daily for me, LOL. At the moment, we'd really love to go to
. When I was 12 we had a foreign exchange student from Sicily Germany, and he's now living in and begging us to come visit. How we'd love to! If only someone would invent instant—and free—transportation! Sicily
How do you choose your settings for each book?
Usually the history I'm calling on determines my setting for me. With JEWEL OF PERSIA, for instance, I knew I wanted to write a book that combined Esther and Herodotus's HISTORIES, so that meant I had to put them in
Persia, mostly Susa, and along the route to , in the early years of the reign of Xerxes. Greece
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
Gotta say, no one famous—I'd pick my critique partners (I'm cheating and lumping them together, ha ha). We've only met in person twice, so having an evening with these wonderful ladies is the very best of treats!
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
You mean there's a world outside of writing and reading??? ;-) I love to bake, I get into grooves where I do sketches, and my kiddos take up a lot of my time, especially now that we're homeschooling. We love to take walks together, and have a blast with our Friday Night Family Time, which usually includes a movie and popcorn.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Time. I often feel like I can't string two thoughts—much less two sentences—together without interruption. Thankfully, I have a very supportive family. My mother-in-law now takes the kids every Monday to give me a solid writing day, and my hubby doesn't mind when I take an hour or two to write when the kids are in bed, every now and then.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Keep at it, don't be afraid to learn and grow and let yourself develop through practice, and CONNECT! Can't stress that one enough. It's by joining writing groups that I've most developed and plugged into the industry.
Tell us about the featured book?
JEWEL OF PERSIA is the Esther story you've never read before. ;-) I'll paste the back cover copy:
How can she love the king of kings without forsaking her Lord of lords?
Kasia grew up in a poor Jewish home with more siblings than luxuries. But when a chance encounter forces her to the
, she becomes a concubine to the richest man in the world. She alone, of all Xerxes' wives, loves the man beneath the crown. She alone, of all his wives, holds the heart of the king of kings. palace of Xerxes
Traveling with Xerxes through Europe as he mounts a war against
, Kasia knows enemies surround her, but they’re not the Spartans or Athenians. The threat lies with those close to the king who hate her people. She determines to put her trust in Jehovah–even if it costs her her marriage. Greece
Years of prayers are answered when Kasia's childhood friend arrives at the palace after the war, but even as she determines to see Esther crowned in place of the bloodthirsty former queen, she knows the true battle is far from over. How far will her enemies go to see her undone?
Combining the biblical account of Esther with Herodotus's Histories, Jewel of Persia is the story of a love that nearly destroys an empire . . . and the friendship that saves a nation.
Please give us the first page of the book.
The third year of the reign of Xerxes
The river called to Kasia before she saw it, the voice of its sweet waters promising a moment of unbridled sensation. Kasia cast a glance over her shoulder at her young friend. She ought not go. Abba forbade it—rarely enough to keep her away, but today she was not alone. Still. Esther was not opposed to adventure, once one overcame her initial reservation.
Kasia gripped her charge’s hand and grinned. “Come. Let us bathe our feet.”
Esther’s creased forehead made her look far older than twelve. “We could get in trouble.”
Kasia laughed and gave the small hand a tug. “That is half the fun. Oh, fret not, small one. My father is too busy to notice, and your cousin will not be back from the palace gates until evening.”
“But the king’s household is still here. It is unsafe.”
“We will only be a moment.” She wiggled her brows in the way that always made her young friend smile. “It will be fun. Perhaps we will even glimpse the house of women.”
Esther’s eyes brightened, and she let Kasia lead her another few steps. “Do you think Queen Amestris will be out? I have heard she is the most beautiful woman in all the world.”
“Only until little Esther grows up.” She tugged on a lock of the girl’s deep brown hair and urged her on. The Choaspes gurgled up ahead, where it wound around
and gave it life. Susa
Esther laughed and plucked a lily, tucked it behind Kasia’s ear. “I will be blessed to have a quarter of your beauty, Kasia. Perhaps if I do, Zechariah will marry me.”
“And then we shall be sisters at last.” Kasia twirled Esther in a circle. A merry thought, though it was hard to imagine Zechariah settling down. He was two years her elder, but showed no signs of maturity at eighteen. If anyone could inspire it, though, it was sweet little Esther. Once she grew up, half the men in the Jewish population would probably bang at Mordecai’s door . . . and probably a few of their Persian neighbors as well.
Esther joined her in her impromptu dance, then sighed happily. “I should very much like sisters and brothers. I am blessed that Cousin Mordecai took me in, but having him as a father provides no siblings.”
Kasia smiled but knew she had better change the subject before Esther fell into memories of the parents she had lost. Though three years past, the tragedy could still pull the girl into a vortex of pain. “Any time you want to borrow one of mine, you are welcome.”
How can readers find you on the Internet?
And I welcome reader email at roseanna [at] roseannawhite [dot] com
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