Thursday, June 27, 2013


Bio – Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D. 

Carrie Fancett Pagels ( debut release Return to Shirley Plantation: A Civil War Romance, is a Kindle Civil War best seller and a top rated Civil War Book on Amazon. She contributed to God’s Provision in Tough Times by Cynthia Howerter and LaTan Murphy (July, 2013.) Her short story Snowed In: A Northwoods Christmas will appear in Guidepost Books “A Cup of Christmas Cheer” in October, 2013.

I cot to know Carrie very well after she booked an appointment with me at one of the ACFW national conferences. I'm thrilled to feature her here. Welcome, Carrie. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Because I was a psychologist for 25 years I have heard a lot of people’s “stories” and a lot of that goes into my characterization. In my author’s voice you will hear a strong and deep chord of hope, determination, and overcoming. In this published novella, my character Angelina wants to obey God and do as He directs her and that is very much stemming from my own beliefs. In the manuscript I am writing now, my heroine has to overcome shame and the belief that she is responsible for something that has happened. I have to dig deep to draw on experiences of my own but I’m more reliant on what I’ve heard from people over the years as far as their own shame. Because the hero helps her, I have some of my psychologist self and spiritual self in him. But he is a man so I have to be careful—men don’t usually “help” the way women do! They want to solve things. But he can’t just solve her problems, which is frustrating to him. But God can, with their cooperation.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Lena, I am a Yooper woman—someone from the upper peninsula of Michigan. If you look under quirky in the dictionary you will see a Yooper. I wear a hot pink t-shirt to bed that says “Yooper Girl” on it—maybe that will answer your question. But my daughter and hubby would say the time I dressed in Yooper clothes and went to our suburban Virginia Kohls dressed in flood-water sweats, gray wool socks, and short hiking boots. I mean—it was winter after all, eh?

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
As a child—I wrote a prologue for my favorite book Anne of Green Gables! But I had to “re-discover” that I was a writer as an adult and that came when I realized I’d have to write the books I wanted to read since I was having trouble finding them.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Depends on the phase I am in. I’ve sometimes been into contemporary suspense but for years now I’ve been reading Christian historical romance, with an emphasis on the history part! But I like nonfiction Bible study books, too, and an occasional fantasy book such as a time travel book.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I have to stay close to God and that is a constant battle. I love to listen to Joyce Meyer in the morning. It’s important to stay in the Word and to pray.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
Many times I use family names and friends’ names. I make sure they match the time period. I like the names to fit the characters, too. If possible, I like to include the names of wonderful people who have assisted me on my writing journey. For instance, I have a lovely character named Lena in one of my colonial manuscripts.

That’s cool, Carrie. What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Sometimes I think it is when I earned my Ph.D., because that was so hard! Other times I think it was giving birth at 44 to our second child! The thing I am most grateful for isn’t an accomplishment per se—returning to Christ and asking Him to be my Lord and Savior when I was an adult, after years of doing things on my own.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
A doe. I am from Michigan’s upper peninsula where we have many deer. I love the woods, and I also enjoy the lakes.

When my father retired in West Texas, he fed deer in his back yard. If they started coming when they were fawns with their mother, they would often eat corn out of his hands. They continued as adults. One time, we all hid in the house and watched a large buck with an enormous rack eating corn out of his hand as he sat still as a statue. Amazing. What is your favorite food?
Now, Lena, that is a silly question. I write, thus I must have chocolate!!! Preferably dark chocolate, in my case!

And you know mine is dark-chocolate-covered dried cherries. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
My biggest problem was wanting to edit, re-edit, edit some more, and try to get each of my chapters perfectly polished. The problem with that method is that you never end up with a completed manuscript, then. Thankfully I had an editor friend who helped me get past this perfectionism.

Tell us about the featured book.
To me Return to Shirley Plantation: A Civil War romance gives testimony to how God can use an arthritic Tired Old Mommy like me and bring about a published novella in about six weeks and now it is a top rated Civil War book on Amazon! That is God’s doing, Lena. Julian Charity, historian at Shirley Plantation and Kathleen Maher, author of Bachelor Buttons both gave me incredible support and assistance with this book. Murray Pura is the mind behind the Cry of Freedom Civil War series through Helping Hands Press—there are over a dozen authors writing short stories or novellas for this exciting project and I am honored to have been the first author published in this series!

Return to Shirley Plantation: A Civil War Romance is a story about obedience. Obedience to God is a big theme for me and one I’ve blogged about for years. Angelina is a free woman who is a seamstress. She’s one-eighth African American and can pass for white. She refused the offer of a position in Ohio with a theatrical troupe so that she could remain behind and earn the freedom of her orphaned niece and nephew. Meanwhile thespian and theater manager Matthew Scott, son of a Copperhead senator, has been conscripted into the Confederate army. He ends up at Shirley Plantation (I love this place—it is celebrating its 400th anniversary this year!!!) where there is a field hospital. Matthew doesn’t realize it but he has a connection to the plantation. I tried to take a balanced approach in characterization. I didn’t write all the good guys as Union and all the bad as Confederate, etc. I tried to show the human side of the war and tried very hard to be even-handed. Bad stuff was done on either side. One of the saddest things I discovered while writing this book was that the gentleman who inspired one of my not-yet-published novels, a Shirley Plantation relative, had been killed by Union soldiers when they were looking for another young Carter family member (who was NOT at the elderly man’s home!) That was very sad.

I can only imagine how my great-great grandfather from Kentucky might have felt—the Danners of Kentucky mostly found on the Confederate side and my ancestors fought for the Union. I’d love to do a story about the grandmother of some of those young men fighting against each other. Then again, I write happily-ever-after endings so I don’t think I will…

Please give us the first page of the book.
Chapter 1
Southern Ohio, 1862

Matthew Scott basked in accomplishment’s warmth as the theater emptied. Every seat had been filled, save one—Father’s. A congressman for their locale, Theodore Scott departed earlier to an emergency meeting with a colleague in Dayton.

Having toiled unceasingly for his troupe to remain together despite the war, Matthew complained only of difficulty with wardrobe. Two gowns already had side seam tears. His face tightened—the seamstress who’d contracted to sew the clothing had failed to arrive the previous year. They’d farmed the work out to a tailor already over-burdened.

Scott’s Theatrical Troupe was booked through the next three months for stops in cities and some to entertain the Northern troops. He grinned. Nearby, thespian J. W. Booth pulled on gloves, tipped his top hat at Matthew and exited the building. Matthew retrieved his beaver hat from its peg and followed suit.

Outside, the last of the carriages clustering the circle departed.

“Mr. Scott?” Cigar smoke accompanied the deep Southern-accented voice.

Matthew waited for his eyes to adjust from the interior light to night’s velvet blackness.


“You’re coming with us.”

Shirley Plantation, Charles City Virginia June 1862

Angelina Rose carried the heavy tray of hot tea, biscuits, honey, porcelain cups and saucers, and silver spoons to a cherry sideboard. The Carter women gathered in the parlor for Bible study.

“Lou, will you read first, dear?” Mary Braxton Carter, matron of Shirley Plantation directed her request to her daughter-in-law.

Louisa, the wife of Robert Randolph Carter, off serving in the Navy, sat up straight. “Matthew 25, verse 34 to begin. ‘Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a…

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Contact info
Carrie Fancett Pagels

Links to purchase Return to Shirley Plantation: A Civil War Romance

God’s Provision in Tough Times, releasing in July 2013

Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Google +, Feedblitz, Facebook, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


Anne Payne said...

Don't enter me to win a copy. I already have one.

I just wanted to stop by and say that it is a great story. Carrie has such a wonderful writing style. Her love of history and romance really shines through!

I appreciate you featuring her on here, Lena. Y'all have a blessed day :)

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

You are so sweet, ANNE! Thanks for coming by! I got up out of the bed, with Shingles, to come by. Thankfully this type of virus can't be caught on the internet! Blessings!

Diana Flowers said...

I so loved this book and everything Carrie writes! I learned a little bit more about you in the interview, Carrie, and I thought I knew it all. ;) wondering what you wear to Walmart. hehe Praying that the only shingles you'll see are the ones on the rooftops---soon! Love ya!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

Thanks, Diana! Aren't you glad I didn't have that outfit with me last November? DK what the lady at Lizard's Thicket would have done! Now you know the real reason my two guys didn't sit with us haha! Love ya back--no hugs--it hurts those Shingles ack!

Jon and Vicki Marney said...

It was fun reading some more about you in this interview. Sometimes doing crazy stuff is just fun!
I also have & read Carrie's book & it is great! (So no need to enter your contest). Thanks again, Lena for featuring our great friend Carrie. Someday, maybe My name will find its way into one of her books... ;-)

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

Thanks Vicki! Victoria might be a great character name! Will have to find out your maiden name!!! Many blessings and thanks for joining us here!!!

rubynreba said...

So sorry to hear you have shingles. That must be very painful. I would really enjoy this book. Thanks!
Beth from Iowa

Charlotte Kay said...

I would love to win the ebook!
Thanks forthe chance!
I love Civil War books!

I live in Ohio:)

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

Beth, thanks for coming by! Yes, it feels pretty awful but I am so blessed to have gotten the meds quickly and I have insurance for the drs which is also a major blessing! Hugs!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

Charlotte--what a pretty name! Well you've just got to read my novella, then!!! Thanks for coming by!

Mama Cat said...

Would love to read this book - thank you for the opportunity! Blessings! Jeanie in Phoenix

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

Jeanie, I think you might have to leave your email address so if you come back, please do! Blessings!!!

smiller said...

I like the theme of your book- OBEDIENCE TO GOD. I would love to win it. sharon, CA

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

Sharon, if you come back, please leave your email address--I'd love for you to win! Obedience to God is a big theme in my own life. Blessings!

Melissa M. said...

I'd love to win this! I like history, and one of my friends really enjoyed this book.

-Melissa M. from TX

Unknown said...

Please enter me. I love civil war historical fiction!
Tonja S. in Virginia

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

Melissa and Tonja, if you come back please leave your email address for the drawing! That is cool that your friend liked my book, Melissa!!! Tonja, have you been to Shirley??

sharon m said...

I've read the Historical Fiction series on the Civil War by Lynn Austin and it was fabulous. I would love to win and read your book. sharon, oceanside

Cindy W. said...

I truly love reading books set against the backdrop of the Civil War. I would love to win a copy of Return to Shirley Plantation: A Civil War Romance. Thank you for the opportunity.

Blessings from Indiana,
Cindy W.

countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

Anonymous said...

I sure would love to win.