Dear Readers, we have a special treat today. A collection from a special group of authors that I really love their books.
Welcome to my blog. How did your story
for the collection come about?
Tamera:Savannah Darby is a
character we first meet in To Win Her
Favor, a Belle Meade Plantation novel. And I knew when writing that novel
had a deeper story to tell, and I’m grateful for the chance
to tell her entire story in To
Mend a Dream, my novella in the Among the Fair Magnolias collection.
Elizabeth: I was
actually doing research for a novel that takes place both in modern day and
during the late 1800s and had studied a lot about Reconstruction in
Georgia. When I was asked to contribute
the Fair Magnolias, inspired by my previous research, I wrote Love Beyond Limits, a story about a
young Southern white woman whose courage and convictions lead her to fight for
the rights of the freedmen.
fell in love with PawleysIsland and the South
Carolina Lowcountry while writing Carolina
Gold. I'm fascinated by the history of the old rice plantations and
by the lives of 19th century women who managed to accomplish so much despite
the restrictions placed on them. My novella, A Heart So True, explores both the beauty of the Lowcountry and the
difficult choice my character Abby Clayton faces in determining her own future,
and it gives readers of Carolina Gold
and The Bracelet a glimpse of their
favorite characters from those books.
Champion, the hero in An Outlaw's Heart,
was featured in a series of westerns I wrote a few years ago for Abingdon
Press. I jumped at the chance to finish his story.
Are these stories
connected in some way? If so, how?
They’re connected by the Southern locale and the
time period (1860-1878). And that we’re all writers passionate about sharing history and
the true love and hope found only in Christ.
What are you reading
reading The Silencing: How the Left
is Killing Free Speech by Kristen Powers; Israelology: The Missing Link in Systematic Theology by Arnold
G Fruchtenbaum (in prep for an upcoming Revelations study); and Prayers that Changed History by
by Grace by Bryan Chapell; Prayer
by Tim Keller; Saving Amelie by Cathy
Dorothy:The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth
Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love.
reading Eric Larson's Isaac's Storm
and Soaring by Kristen Ashley
How many other books
have you had published?
the Fair Magnolias is my twelfth publication. I’ve written eleven
novels to date, and one novella.
Elizabeth: I have published nine novels and one
Magnolias is my nineteenth publication. Seventeen novels and two novellas.
Shelley: I think
I'm at 53 books. (Insert Tamera gasping here! Tamera says, I had no clue!
Shelley, babe, you’re ah-mazing.)
What is the hardest
thing about writing a part of a collection?
it was a pleasure all around. I love how the four stories (and themes) blend
with each other and show the ever changing life in the South over those two
Elizabeth: Well, I tend to write LONG novels, so
I was a bit concerned that I would not do well with a novella, but I actually
really enjoyed the experience and found, to my surprise and delight, that when
needed, I can be succinct! I echo Tammy—really
felt thankful and privileged to contribute to this collection.
Dorothy: Since we
weren't required to mesh the stories, writing the novella was easy. I published
a novella, A Proper Marriage at
Thomas Nelson last year and enjoyed writing a complete story in a much
smaller space. So I jumped at the chance to write a second novella. It's
a nice break from the intense work of researching and writing a 95,000 word
Shelley: I have
to echo what Tamera said. I was so honored to be asked to write one of the
novellas in this collection. Though I'd long been a fan of Tamera's, Elizabeth's, and
Dorothy's work, I never had the chance to get to work with them. Since writers
usually spend lots of time alone, it was wonderful to have “book friends.”
How did collaborating
with this team impact you?
known Dorothy and Elizabeth for a while now—both women are such
blessings. And I enjoyed the chance to
work with Shelley which was a real honor for me. Love all these women.
Elizabeth: It was a lot of fun. I had the privilege of doing a book tour with
Tammy last year, and she is priceless, and I so enjoyed corresponding with
Dorothy and finally meeting her last November.
I’ve only “met” Shelley through email and Skype, but hope to meet in
person in the future. I felt a lot of
reassurance and complicity working with these women, all such talented
authors. It’s been a real pleasure to
put our heads together for some fun blog and interview opportunities, too, like
the video Tammy mentioned.
has encouraged and blessed me in so many ways since my arrival in this market
and it was such an honor to coauthor with a writer whose work I absolutely love
(insert Tamera’s grateful tears here). I first met Elizabeth
in the pages of her wonderful novels, The
Swan House and The Sweetest Thing
and when my publisher was looking for another author for Among the Fair Magnolias,
I requested Elizabeth.
We were able to connect in Nashville
last fall and she is every bit as lovely as her books. Though Shelley lives in Ohio now, she is a Texas
girl like me. We were introduced by
a mutual friend at a writers' conference several years ago. I enjoyed Secrets of Sloane House so much,
and was thrilled to have Shelley as a coauthor for Among the Fair Magnolias.
honestly learned a lot. We each approach our novels in different ways. These
other authors are so talented! I should also mention that the team at Harper
Collins Christian Publishing have been so great to work with.
What did you want the
reader to take away from your story?
a deeper appreciation for Southern history, for a start, as well as come
away encouraged in your faith as you’ve been swept away into another time
Elizabeth: I want the reader to become more
aware of the challenges that faced the South after the Civil War, and
especially see the courage of the freedmen and those who supported them. I pray we’ll be reminded again that all men
are truly equal in God’s sight.
Dorothy: My hope
for all my stories is that they will act as windows and mirrors. Windows
that allow readers to peer into another time and place, and mirrors that
reflect a universal truth about ourselves.
Shelley: I always
simply hope that readers will feel that it was time well spent. There are a lot
of books to choose from, so it means a lot when someone gives one of my stories
Please give us a peek
into your story.
We have a treat for you! We got together and made a VIDEO introducing
our novella collection.
To Mend a Dream
Savannah Darby would do almost anything to revisit her
family home. So when new owner, Aidan Bedford, a Boston
attorney and former Union soldier, seeks to redecorate the house for his fiancée,
at the opportunity. But the clock is ticking. Can she find the
box her father supposedly hid there during the war before her assignment is
completed? And before she sees yet another battle lost on the home front. This
time, one of the heart.
Love Beyond Limits
Emily Derracott loves her childhood friend Thomas McGinnis,
but she cannot marry a man who doesn’t share her strong convictions about the
freedmen. Besides, she harbors a secret love for someone else. But the prospect
of becoming his wife is not improbable. It is completely impossible.
A Heart So True
Abigail Clayton knows what is expected of her: to marry her distant cousin
Charles Kittridge and take her place in society. But despite his many business
successes, Charles is not the man her father thinks he is. Besides, her heart
belongs to Dr. Wade Bennett, a brilliant young physician engaged in developing
new medicines. When her father unexpectedly announces her engagement to Charles
during the Clayton's annual barbecue on PawleysIsland,
Abby must decide whether to honor her father's wishes or to follow her
An Outlaw’s Heart
Russell Champion returns to his small Texas
hometown after seven years. He had been sent away when he was just fifteen and
suffered greatly. He returns to only give himself closure. Instead he discovers
his mother wants to make amends and Nora, the woman he once risked everything
for, is in need of him again.
What is the best
piece of advice you received as an author?
write for the market. Write the story God has placed on your heart,
the story you’re most passionate about. Because passion bleeds through on the
page. Unfortunately, boredom does too. So if you’re not passionate about
your characters and story, the reader will sense it and they won’t be either.
Elizabeth: As a writer, you’ll need to create
AND edit, but be sure that when you to separate the two. When you are creating, just get the ideas
down on your laptop. Later, you can move
editing mode” and polish up. It doesn’t
work to create and edit at the same time.
Dorothy: When I
was starting out, people told me to "write what you know." But after
seventeen books, I have come to believe it's more important to write about the
things that move you to anger or to compassion or to love. To write what you
are most curious about. Today it's easy to find out whatever you need to know.
Don't limit yourself to writing what you know.
listen to advice. Many, many editors have helped me learn to be a better
writer. I'm thankful for them.
Where can my readers
find you on the Internet?
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