Dear Readers, it’s always a pleasure to introduce a debut novelist to you. And this one is especially exciting to me. I’ve enjoyed interacting with Annette the several times I’ve spoken to the ACFW chapter that is in The Woodlands, near
She’s a delightful person to be around, and I’m eager to read her book which
just released. Because it’s so new, I haven’t received my copy. But Annette has
been diligent for a long time in honing her writing skills. Houston, Texas
Welcome, Annette. I love your head shot. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
The main thing I reveal about myself through my characters is that I’m flawed and the only recourse for this flawed existence is my faith in Jesus Christ.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
My grandfather was a WWII veteran. He told outrageous stories about how he received his injuries. Until I was an adult, I believed his stories! Following in his footsteps, I make up my own stories about how celebrities died to see if anyone will believe me. For instance, did you know the first actor who played Dumbledore on Harry Potter died from a severe allergic reaction to beard glue?
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
Like so many other authors, I began writing at a young age. I wrote sweet poems for my mom. Then there was my Edgar Allan Poe phase, but we won’t talk about that. I later began writing skits for my church, which prompted me to write my first novel. I wrote a one hundred twenty thousand word book without knowing a thing about the craft of writing. I pray it never sees the light of day! I’ve learned a lot since then.
I think we all have that one manuscript hidden in a drawer somewhere, but it at least let us know that we really can write a complete novel. Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I have an eclectic taste in books. I love historical fiction based on real events. I like most romance, but PG only please. I like suspense and mysteries, but my favorite books are the young adult and middle grade fiction I’ve read. You know, the ones you never forget and that leave a lasting impression on your heart.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
People say I’m pretty laid back. I don’t sweat the small stuff. Also, my husband blessed me with the privilege of staying home to raise our three children. I’ve managed to do that for twenty-five years now. Ha ha!
I loved that season in my life when I was a stay-at-home mom, who was able to be involved in my children’s extracurricular activities. How do you choose your characters’ names?
Character names are important to me. I try to name the character based on their personality or heritage. I spend a lot of time (probably too much time) researching what names were popular during the time period my novel is set. The hero in my first published novel is named Thomas Murphy, an Irish immigrant who came to
during the Potato Famine. I found his name on a genealogy website containing
actual ship’s passenger lists!
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
This doesn’t really have anything to do with my writing, but one thing I’m quite proud of is my 30 year marriage. In the day of the drive-through divorce, I think staying with the same man or woman for that many years is something to be proud of. To coin a phrase, I believe marriage is not a destination, but a journey. If you want something to succeed, you have to work at it every single day.
Coming from a woman with a more than 51-year marriage, so far, that is so true. If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I think I would be a bear. Bears look big and soft and fluffy, but they’re actually calculating and aggressive animals. They do what they need to do to get what they want, and they will go to great lengths to protect their home and family.
What is your favorite food?
Oh, that’s easy, it’s Tex-Mex. Or is it Italian? Wait, I forgot Chinese. But you can’t say enough about a big bowl of chicken and dumplings. Oh, and seafood! Uh, let’s just say I really like food.
You’re making me hungry. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I would have to say it was confidence in my writing and myself. Thinking everything I wrote wasn’t good enough. I’ve been able to overcome it through God’s love and through the support of my great Christian author friends at my writing group, ACFW, Writers on The Storm. It helps getting a book contract too!
Tell us about the featured book.
Northern Light is a historical romance, which takes during the American Civil War. The setting is the lighthouse on the
Peninsula in south Texas. The story is a fictional account
based on actual events. The action begins when the young heroine stumbles
across a severely wounded Union sailor. Here’s the book blurb:
Civil War has robbed Margaret Logan of all she holds dear, including her beloved
home and her fiancé. When her family moves to the desolate
to manage a lighthouse that is no longer there, all her hopes for a normal
future are dashed. Her world is rocked once again when a wounded Yankee soldier
washes ashore needing her help. Despite her contempt for the North, Margaret
falls in love with Thomas Murphy. As their love blooms, Margaret’s sister is
overcome with neurosis, and her mind slowly slips away. Bitterness, psychosis,
and depression yield a decision fueled by contempt. Will one fatal choice cause
Margaret to lose the man she loves and condemn Thomas to death? Bolivar Peninsula
Please give us the first page of the book.
September 5, 1864
Margaret Logan shucked the calfskin glove from her hand and stuck if under her arm. Pain coursed through her middle finger as blood pooled at the tip. A single crimson drop fell onto the prickly cotton boll that clung tightly to the bush.
Mama would have come up with a charming anecdote had she seen the deep red blood against the lily white cotton. More than likely it would have been some illustration concerning the blood of Jesus Christ and how it could wash a person white as snow.
Saving grace was the last thing on Margaret’s mind. There was a long dingy sack trailing behind her that she needed to fill. Her family depended on the income they would receive come time to cash in their money crop: Sea Island cotton. She wiped the blood on the inside hem of her light blue apron and thrust her hand back inside the glove. The sight of blood sickened her. Plenty had been shed since the war began, enough to fill a river from the Yankee North to the Confederate states of the South.
The war had taken everything that was good and decent and ripped it to shreds. She no longer knew the tranquility of her beautiful lighthouse home near
Nor did she have the loving caress on her cheek of her beloved fiancé Jeffrey
Fontain. Instead she wiped the sweat of hard labor from her brow with her own
“Margaret.” Mama paused from her picking and raised her head. “The tide should be out by now. Go fetch your pail. We’ll be needin’ fresh oysters for the evening meal.”
“Yes’m.” She straightened, sending a surge of pain through her back where she’d been hunched over all afternoon pulling cotton. It pleased her to get out of the field for a while, even if it meant doing another chore.
That excerpt brought distant memories back to my mind. When I was a young child, my grandfather owned a large farm in central
He would let me “pick cotton” with the others, even though I couldn’t pick much
and I tired easily and quit. How can readers find you on the Internet? Arkansas
www.facebook.com/annetteohareauthor FB Author Page
www.twitter.com/AnnetteOHare Twitter Page
www.pinterest.com/annetteohare Pinterest Pagehttp://goo.gl/bCizfG Amazon Author Page
Thank you, Annette, for sharing this book with us. I love the cover. And I know my readers will be as eager to read the book as I am.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Northern Light - paperback
Northern Light - Kindle
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