Bio: Multi-published author Marilyn Turk calls herself a “literary archaeologist,” because she loves to discover stories hidden in history. Her World War II novel, The Gilded Curse, won a Silver Scroll award. When readers asked what happened to the characters after the book, Marilyn wrote the sequel, Shadowed by a Spy. Her four-book Coastal Lights Legacy series—Rebel Light, Revealing Light, Redeeming Light, and Rekindled Light—feature Florida lighthouse settings. In addition, Marilyn’s novella, The Wrong Survivor, is in the Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides collection. Marilyn has also written a book of devotions called Lighthouse Devotions. Marilyn writes for the Daily Guideposts Devotions book.
She is a regular contributor to the Heroes, Heroines and History blog, (https://www.hhhistory.com) as well as the Christians Read blog,
Marilyn is also the director of the Blue Lake Christian Writers Retreat. http://bluelakecwr.com.
She lives in the panhandle of Florida where she and her husband enjoy boating, fishing, and playing tennis when time permits (and it’s below 100 degrees).
Welcome back, Marilyn. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I write historical fiction because I love to research history and discover things I didn’t know before. I wonder what it was like to be in that place during that time, and my characters appear and show me.
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
That’s a hard one to answer. The births of my children rank at the top, but also the day I married my husband.
How has being published changed your life?
I’m a lot busier. There are so many expectations of a writer these days – marketing, being present in all forms of social media. Also, one published book is only the beginning. When readers like my books, they want to read more, so I have to keep writing more books for them. At the present time, I have three contracts to fulfill. But I’m thankful to be this kind of busy.
What are you reading right now?
Actually, I’m reading two books – one isn’t published yet and I’m reading to endorse it. The other is Liar’s Winter by Cindy Sproles for our book club.
What is your current work in progress?
I’m currently working on the fourth and I think final book in my Coastal Lights Legacy series set in the 1800s in Florida. Each book has a different lighthouse setting. This book is called Rekindled Light and is set in Pensacola Florida.
What would be your dream vacation?
I’d love to take one of those river cruises in Europe where I’d get to see castles.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
Normally, a book idea comes to my mind when I read about an interesting event in history. So far, they’ve only been set near water like the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic where I can have a lighthouse somewhere, kind of like a Where’s Waldo. However, I’m going to write a cowboy novella that isn’t near water. How am I going to work a lighthouse into that? Hmmm.
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
Liz Curtis Higgs. She is a woman of God and is so wise and loving. She’s a great encourager and you just want to hug her. In fact, the first time I saw her in person, that’s just what I did!
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I enjoy playing tennis when it’s not too hot, like August here. I also enjoy boating and fishing with my husband and traveling to see lighthouses. In addition, I garden and enjoy playing Scrabble or working puzzles with my family.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Consistency and focus. I have to turn off distractions and set word goals or I wouldn’t make my deadlines.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Every author says it – keep learning the craft. Go to conferences, read about writing, listen to editors who offer your advice. In the Christian writing world, other people truly want to help you do well.
Tell us about the featured book.
My story, The Wrong Survivor, is about the lightkeepers’ daughter and the two brothers of the assistant keeper. They’ve grown up together until one of the sons goes away to work on a merchant ship, and while he’s gone, the other brother and the girl grow closer and plan to marry. But when the other brother comes back, he talks his brother into going away with him to work before he gets married. Unfortunately, while they’re gone, their ship wrecks and the brother who is engaged drowns while the other survives. When he returns, the girl is angry with him for talking her fiancé into leaving and blames him for the death. The story is about forgiveness and grief, and how those emotions interfere with the joy of living and loving others.
Please give us the first page of the book.
Au Sable Lighthouse, September 1911
Pausing from her daily lens polishing, Lydia Palmer peered through the windows of the lantern room high above the sapphire-blue water of Lake Superior at the boat heading toward the dock below.
She squinted, shielding her eyes against the glare of the bright afternoon sun. It was the boat bringing their monthly supplies. Maybe it was bringing some mail, too. Anticipation fluttered in her chest. Was there a letter from Nathan? He’d sent one every month since last spring when he left with his brother to work on a freighter.
She’d eagerly waited for each supply boat, hoping there’d be another letter from him, but none had arrived in the last two months. His parents, Assistant Keeper Drake and Mrs. Drake, hadn’t received one either. Lydia sighed. How could she bear the next two months without hearing from him before the shipping season ended and he returned home?
The boat disappeared beyond her line of vision as it neared the boathouse.
Eager to find out if it brought word from Nathan, she hurriedly climbed down the ladder to the room below, then lifted her long skirt to keep from tripping over it as she rushed down the wrought iron spiral steps of the lighthouse. When she reached the bottom, she ran into her father coming in the lighthouse door.
His hands stretched out to catch her. “Whoa! What’s the hurry, Lydia?”
How can readers find you on the Internet?
http://pathwayheart.com plus I’m on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Thank you, Marilyn, for sharing your novella with my blog readers. I know they’ll love it as much as I do.
Readers, here are links to the book.
The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides Collection - Christianbooks.com
The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides Collection: 7 Historical Romances Are a Beacon of Hope to Weary Hearts - Amazon.com
The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides Collection: 7 Historical Romances Are a Beacon of Hope to Weary Hearts - Kindle
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