Welcome, Diane and Aaron. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
Diane – Writing historical novels is interesting because of all the history I learn from the research. I enjoyed reading Regency romances as a teenager, so writing historicals now is not too much of a stretch.
Aaron – I fell in love with Christian historical fiction after reading The Honorable Imposter by Gilbert Morris. I was thrilled to see this type of novel with the added bonus of glorifying the Lord. I am blessed that God allows me to use the talents He has given to continue to write these types of books.
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
Diane – My wedding day. I am so lucky to have met and married Gene. He is a special gift from God.
Aaron – I have been blessed with many, so I’ll just choose the day I received my first book contract. What a special feeling!
How has being published changed your life?
Diane – It has helped me understand the industry better. Having the extra income is also allowing me to retire from my day job this summer so I can spend more time writing.
Aaron – I have met so many wonderful people who have added so many things to my life and blessed me in so many ways.
What are you reading right now?
Diane - Book of Days by James L. Rubart.
Aaron – I am reading The River Queen by Gilbert Morris.
What is your current work in progress?
We are currently working on book three, Jasmine, in our “Song of the River” series.
What would be your dream vacation?
Diane – A warm beach, my computer and an Internet connection, and my husband.
Aaron – Visiting a historical site like an old home or attending some writers’ or Christian publishing event. I love being with like-minded people who love to talk “book” shop.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
Diane – The settings for our current series seemed to flow naturally from the story ideas.
Aaron – They usually come with the idea for a story as Diane said. I tend to choose that from eras and events in history that capture my interest and which, I believe, will capture the interests of our readers.
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
Diane - Frank Peretti. His books changed my view of reality and the spiritual realm. I would love to talk to him about his ideas, beliefs, and his newest book.
Aaron – Wow, what an interesting question. I would like to spend some time with George W. Bush. I admire him for his positions on issues like gay marriage and abortion when many were opposed to his conservative morality.
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
Diane – Surf-fishing, looking at real estate, traveling.
Aaron – You mean there are other things to do besides those?! Just kidding. I enjoy spending evenings with friends and watching classic movies.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Diane – By the time I’m at the end of a project, I feel it is absolutely the worst story ever written. I send it to Aaron for edits, knowing in my heart he is going to call and confirm my fears. Prayer and trust in God’s provision are the only solutions.
Aaron – Finding the time to juggle my jobs of teaching and editing along with the writing is a problem at times. Scheduling my projects and an understanding and supportive co-author help through the especially busy times.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Diane – Be patient. My brother often teases me about my “overnight” success, as he knows I wrote for about ten years before getting that contract. God has given you this dream of writing for a purpose…His purpose. He will help you fulfill that purpose if you trust Him.
Aaron – Amen to that. I will add a couple of things. Attend writers’ conferences and read, read, read in your chosen genre.
Tell us about the featured book.
From the back of the book:
, Lily Anderson is
determined to thwart a marriage of convenience. She embarks on a riverboat venture
to keep her and her two sisters afloat financially. But gambler Blake Matthews
has won part ownership of Lily’s riverboat. How will their business profit if
he and the feisty Natchez,
miss disagree about almost everything? The affluent Jean Luc Champney will do
anything to get back what he lost in a card game, including wooing and
endangering the pretty new owner. Will the siren song of the river evolve into
a serenade or a somber lament?
Please give us the first page of the book.
Lily Anderson watched the passing scenery from the comfort of her uncle’s carriage. Stately mansions with manicured grounds gave way to the smaller, sturdy homes of local merchants as they traveled toward the
Mississippi River. They passed a busy mercantile and
several shops before the carriage took a sharp leftward downturn toward the
raucous, bustling dock that lay far beneath the genteel residences of Natchez’s
wealthy plantation owners and merchants.
Roustabouts slumbered in the scant shade of the ramshackle buildings while a pair of glassy-eyed Indians staggered down the street, each clutching a brown bottle close to his chest. Lily’s eyes widened at their blatant drunkenness, but their presence did not deter her eagerness to absorb every detail of her surroundings as she followed Aunt Dahlia.
Voices shouted in an exciting mix of languages. She wondered how many countries were represented in this one place. . .English, French, German, and even lilting Norwegian dialects. The latter brought disturbing memories, but Lily pushed them away, determined to enjoy her outing on the
As she and her aunt picked their way past bales of cotton and barrels of tobacco, her gaze absorbed the myriad boats lining the banks. Rugged keelboats and waterlogged rafts butted up against lofty steamboats, each awaiting cargo or passengers to be floated down the river to the
. port of New Orleans
How can readers find you on the Internet?Diane - It needs updating, but I have a website at www.dianeashleybooks.com . Our publisher’s website is www.barbourbooks.com, and we are also both listed on ACFW’s wonderful resource: www.fictionfinder.com.
Thank you so much for sharing your lives and your wonderful book with us.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Lily (Song of the River) - paperback
Lily - Kindle
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