I was privileged to read the manuscript for an endorsement, so I've been looking forward to this interview. Welcome, Dianna and Sally. I know this is a collaboration. How did this story come about?
DC: Several years ago, an acquisitions editor had seen Last of the Mohicans and asked for a trilogy in that time period. By the time I’d submitted it, another editor held that position and wasn’t interested in that time period, so I tabled it until recently when I asked Sally to co-author with me. Barbour liked the idea and bought it.
SL: Dianna and I had already collaborated on a Revolutionary War Series and wanted to go farther back in time to earlier circumstances that helped bring about our nation’s struggle for freedom.
Did you find it easy to work together on it?
DC: Yes. We’ve worked together before, and were more experienced about not getting in each other’s way this time—especially me getting in Sally’s way.
SL: I’ve always found it easy to work with Dianna. She brings out the best in me.
How did collaborating with this team impact you?
DC: For me, it took away the stress of getting the novel word-perfect. Plus, I was free from being involved in the editorial process unless there was a plot or historical question.
SL: Collaborating has taught me to be flexible in writing.
What is the hardest thing about writing as a team?
DC: Because I do the basic research, plot, and rough draft and Sally does descriptions, a lot of the dialogue and the polished manuscript, I’ve learned not to read each chapter for my added input or clarifications until after the last chapter is finished. I find I’m more objective then. I used to nit-pick far too much.
SL: Once in awhile Dianna will come up with a character I don’t particularly care for. But as I get into the story that feeling lessens and usually goes away entirely.
What are you reading right now?
DC: Aside from my weekly Bible study book, I’m mostly reading whatever research I can find on the French & Indian war period—not very exciting stuff unless you’re a history buff like me.
SL: Lots of research for our own story and two current releases: Summer of Promise, by Amanda Cabot and Where Wildflowers Bloom, by Ann Shorey.
How did you choose your characters’ names?
DC: Originally I had Rose of Sharon, Marah of the Waters (a switch on the Waters of Marah) and Lily of the Valley, all Biblical names. Sally didn’t care for Marah because Marah means bitter, so she suggested Mariah instead. The other names, I find searching through the phone book. Sally chooses a lot of the names, and she has a book of names for babies.
SL: When writing historicals, we try to find names that fit the time period, often using Bible names to make sure they’ll work.
Would you want to work on another book together?
DC: Sure. We each get to be creative yet have more time for our families, church and friends.
SL: Absolutely! I really love working with Dianna. She comes up with wonderful story lines.
What do you want to tell us about the book?
DC: We tried to be as historically accurate as possible without boring our readers. We hope the readers will get as caught up in the adventure, romance, and spiritual awakenings of Rose and Nate as we did bringing them to life in a very precarious time.
SL: We hope readers will be able to see the hand of God at work in the founding of this great nation and respect the valiant souls who ventured forth into the unknown to bring the light of the Gospel to the
When I write historical novels, I try to be historically accurate, too. Please give us the first page of the book.
The rat-tat-tat of the brass door knocker echoed eerily through the spacious house.
Kneeling on the kitchen’s stone floor, Rose Harwood started. Oh, no. Please, not now. She dropped the scrub brush into the bucket and scrambled to her feet, wiping her hands on her long work apron. The pungent odor of lye soap clung stubbornly to them, but she could do nothing about that at the moment. Perhaps the caller would not notice the smell—or worse, her red hands. Never before had she undertaken such menial labor.
Even as she tore off the soiled apron, her frantic gaze searched worktables and shelves until it landed on the spice chest. Mexican vanilla beans could mask the scent. But no…she could not justify the ruination of something so costly to replace.
The knocker rapped several more times. Louder. More insistent.
“Do calm yourself, Rose.” Clasping her hands together, she hiked her chin with new resolve. “I simply shan’t go to the door.”
But that wouldn’t do either…
Where can our readers find you on the Internet?
DC: The quickest way would probably be my email address. email@example.com Barbour Books has a site for our books and us as authors, too. As far as facebook goes, I’m still trying to get the hang of it in my spare time, which means I don’t try very hard.SL: I’m on Facebook and can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you, Dianna and Sally, for the fun interview.
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Rose's Pledge (Harwood House) - paperback
Rose's Pledge (Harwood House Trilogy) - Kindle
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