Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I don’t, at least not consciously. I enjoy creating stories based on nearly impossible historical situations. My characters arise from me asking myself questions like “What kind of person would be able to see her family killed during the French Revolution and still find a way to escape
The answer is a strong, determined one who isn’t afraid to fight for what she wants. And that’s how I arrived at Isabelle, the heroine in my debut novel. Her determination and spirit get her into trouble at times, and Naomi Rawlings wouldn’t have much in common with Isabelle de La Rouchecauld. That’s for sure.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Gone ice fishing for half a day in 6 degree weather. It was freezing!!! So why did I do it? Hubby wanted to take me on a date. It took him about a half hour to figure out I would have been a lot happier if the outing hadn’t involved single digits and slimy bait.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
At some point when I was writing my first novel, which was horrible and never made it off my computer. I can’t pinpoint a specific time. I’d always done well with writing assignments in high school and college, where I earned a degree in English Education. Plus I’d always loved to read. But I never put my knowledge of English and love for stories together into a thought that went: “I’m a writer.”
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Everything Romance. I occasionally try a bestselling title from another genre, but one book is about all I can take before I head for another romance.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
LOL. I don’t! With two little boys to raise and a busy pastor for a husband, I get up early in the morning and write before the rest of the household wakes up. I’m not sure that helps me keep my sanity, as I’m normally exhausted by seven at night, but it does help me separate writing from family and gives me time for both. I actually write about this on my blog, where I offer tips and encouragement and crazy stories about working from home and raising kids. (makinghomeworkblog.blogspot.com)
How do you choose your characters’ names?
Since I’ve only written two novels so far, and haven’t had much trouble coming up with names. Most of my names have been from the Bible: Michel (French variation of Michael), Luke, and Elizabeth. Isabelle is my only non-Bible name for a main character. I like the Bible names because they don’t sound outdated to the modern reader, and it’s a sure bet the name was around in the period I’m writing. I haven’t figured out what happens when I run out of Bible names. And French male names give me a little bit of trouble, because most of them sound a bit more feminine than I’d prefer.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
On a professional level, getting published. On a personal level, bringing my two boys into the world. I tend to compartmentalize family and writing, what might be a milestone career-wise may have no effect on my family, and a milestone for my family has little effect on my writing.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
A Teacup Poodle. Someone else would fix my meals and take me to a professional to do my nails and hair. I wouldn’t have to clean, and I could sleep in as late as I wanted.
What is your favorite food?
Toss up between pizza and ice cream. Can you tell health and eating right are a top priority for me? J
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Having sustainable character motivation throughout the novel. One of my strengths is that I can write really great scenes, full of conflict and leaving the reader aching to see what happens next. The downside is I tend to make my characters do things that I know will cause conflict in a certain scene because it makes the moment good. But I do this without stopping to figure out whether the character’s motivations for acting in such a manner make sense in light of the entire story. I can’t tell you how many scenes I’ve had to rewrite because I had glaring character motivation problems.
As far as overcoming it, the more I write, the better I get at working through character motivations. The Moral Premise by Stanley D. Williams really helped me understand underlying motivations and principles for the entire story. I strongly suggest all writers work through the second section of his book before starting a new novel. Last and most important, a writer needs a good critique partner who’s not afraid to send something back and say “I wanted to throw this chapter across the room. What were you thinking? Character X would never behave that way, and here’s why. . .” At which point I grudgingly go back to my computer and rewrite.
Tell us about the featured book.
Running to freedom, she found love . . .
The injured young woman that Michel Belanger finds in the woods is certainly an aristocrat, and in the midst of
bloody revolution, sheltering nobility merits a trip to the guillotine. Yet
despite the risk, Michel knows he must bring the wounded girl to his cottage to
Attacked by soldiers and left for dead, Isabelle de La Rouchecauld has lost everything. A duke’s daughter cannot hope for mercy in
so escaping to
is her best chance of survival. The only thing more dangerous than staying
would be falling in love with this gruff yet tender man of the land. Even if
she sees, for the first time, how truly noble a heart can be . . . England
Text Copyright: 2012 by Naomi Mason
Cover Art Copyright: 2012 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited
Permission to reproduce text granted by Harlequin Books S.A. Cover Art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited. All rights reserved. Trademarks owned by Harlequin Enterprises Limited or its affiliated companies, used under license.
Please give us the first page of the book.
Silence surrounded her, an eerie music more haunting than that of any chamber players. It soaked into her pores and chilled her blood. Isabelle surveyed the shadowed trees of northern
different from the wide fields she’d grown up with in . The woods lay still, most animals
caught in winter’s slumber. Her breathing and the crunch of her shoes against
the road formed the only human sounds amid acres of forest and earth and
animals—or the only human sounds of which she knew. Burgundy
She clutched her cloak and glanced behind her. Did someone follow?
Her feet stumbled over the hard dirt road, her body trembled with cold, her gloved fingers stiffened until they nearly lost their grip on her valise and her vision blurred. Fatigue washed through her like waves lapping higher and higher on a shore. The long periods of dark through which she had traveled stretched into one another until the ninth night seemed no different from the first but for the growing blisters on her feet and cramps in her arms. One more day.
She was close, so terribly close. If she could just survive tonight.
How can readers find you on the Internet?You can find me at my website www.naomirawlings.com . Or you can find me at my blog, Making Home Work (makinghomeworkblog.blogspot.com), where I give advice on (or talk about my failures at) raising kids and working from home.
Thank you, Naomi, for sharing about your life and you book.
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Sanctuary for a Lady (Love Inspired Historical) - paperback
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