Welcome back, Kathleen. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I am compelled to share the hope that is given to me in Jesus Christ, and the best way I know to do that is through stories of redemption. I set out to show my characters navigating real life situations that are beyond their natural ability to manage. God’s intervention has been real in my life, and I hope to show what that looks like in the lives of my fictional characters. Even though the work may be fictional, I don’t spare the realistic detail of how these answers manifest.
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
My happiest day actually wasn’t the day I was saved. I hope that isn’t blasphemy. I know it was the most important day, but I was six years old, my parents’ marriage was crumbling, and I was at a Bible camp surrounded by strangers, away from my safe routine. But something happened in that moment which has given me the peace that has made a foundation for a secure life, despite the odds stacked against the child of an alcoholic. To me, that’s more important than happiness, which can be fleeting.
To answer the question about my happiest day, it was probably my wedding day.
How has being published changed your life?
Having books out there as a hybrid author has done a few things for me. When I landed my first traditional contract, I felt affirmed, that my calling wasn’t just a wish or a want. And then, there’s the longing fulfilled of sharing characters and messages that have been on my heart for ages—it’s a thrill when others connect. I truly hope my stories will make a difference in others’ lives, in the way they see themselves, their circumstances, and the God who cares and still answers prayer.
What are you reading right now?
I’m reading an Indie book called Lane Steen by a talented new voice, Candace West Posey. She weaves a story of an underprivileged young lady who finds redemption through education and the kindness of a mentor, until she meets the Lover of her soul. The writing is lyrical and creates an atmosphere in which I can readily escape. I think we’ll be seeing more from her in future.
I’ll have to look her up and invite her on my blog. What is your current work in progress?
I’m currently working on Book 3 in Sons of the Shenandoah Series, called No Man’s Daughter.
Love was the last thing on Benjamin Sharpe’s mind, seeking to settle the farmstead adjacent to his father’s land. The fiery young lady squatter he encounters is more untamed than the neglected property. If he’s to prove himself to his father and his older Civil War veteran brothers, he’ll have his work cut out for him. Lee may have surrendered, but as far as she’s concerned, the war’s still on!
What would be your dream vacation?
I’ve been dreaming of taking a cross country road trip with my young adult kids to see
So much is changing, and so fast, I just want to capture this moment in time
before revisionist history or catastrophe changes the literal or political
How do you choose your settings for each book?
I’ve written three novellas and two novels so far, plus two novel works-in-progress, and the settings vary. Of course, the series has common ties. All three have the Shenandoah Valley in
as the axis from which they turn. But choosing setting also involves my other
loves—whether it be my fascination with the history of Virginia , my home state, or my Irish ancestry.
Nineteenth century New York
is the time period for all but one. That outlier chose a made-up medieval town
in America Europe as its setting, since the part-fairy
tale and part-allegory called for it. Think all the campy fun of The Princess Bride meets Shrek, but without the adult humor.
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
I think I would love an evening with Melania Trump. I can think of a million questions I would ask her, from being the wife of the most powerful and resolute leader in the world, to parenting a brilliant young man who some speculate might be on the autism spectrum, to asking her beauty tips and secrets. And I suspect there is a strong religious faith there, too. I would love to know more about her.
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I paint and have an art page on facebook where I take commissioned pet portraits. I am a passionate gardener, but have so much to learn… And I recently forayed into raising puppies. I will probably not do that again soon. They were fun, for sure, and adorable, but the stress was more than I bargained for. But pets will always be a passion.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
I have had a hard time committing to writing due to the general lack of monetary compensation. My husband works in human services, and we will never be rich on his income. I struggled with wanting to contribute, but knew the way I am made, I can’t both write and work—my brain just doesn’t allow it. So it has slowed my progress. I think having a couple of contracts has helped ease my guilt. It enabled me to invest what advances I earned toward the expenses of Indie publishing, so at least I can break even.
Prayer and encouragement from the writing community has been the biggest factor keeping me going forward.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
I would encourage those starting out to find a critique partner, a mentor, and to write what you love. I am so grateful for ACFW who connected me with my best friends and critique partners. Writing groups like that offer a wealth of resources to help people in all stages grow in craft and business sense.
Tell us about the featured book.
The Chaplain’s Daughter, Book 2 in Sons of the Shenandoah series.
A minister’s daughter abandoned during war must rely on faith to survive. A wounded widower feels God has forsaken him. Will her devout care bring medicine to his soul or rub salt in his wounds?
This series follows the sons of
horse trader Sam Sharpe through and
after the Civil War. Book two focuses on the eldest son Captain Gideon Sharpe.
It is a story that explores an unlikely hero—a broken man in desperate need of
restoration—and the mending of the masculine soul. It explores the roles of men
and women, and how modern fads and ideology cannot change who God made us to be—unique
and equal but not same or interchangeable. Virginia
Please give us the first page of the book.
August 30, 1862
Ellen White jolted on her bed roll and her dream of home faded into the predawn hour. A noise filled her A-frame tent, leaving her blinking into the darkness.
The sound which had woken her came again, a moan so near the hairs on her neck tingled. Raising the tent flap, she focused bleary eyes out onto the dim camp avenue. A man lay not two feet away on a stretcher, shivering despite the heat.
Ellen sat up and pushed tendrils of hair from her forehead to gain a better look at the wounded man. His ragged breath and stifled groans launched waves of urgency through her.
But then, knee boots stepped in front of her tent, blocking her view.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
I can be found on the group history blog the 8th of every month:
and on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/kathleenlmaher
Thank you, Kathleen, for sharing this new book with my blog readers and me. Both the beautiful cover and the first page have made me eager for the arrival of my copy, so I can dive into the story.
Readers, here are links to the book.The Chaplain's Daughter (Sons of the Shenandoah) - Paperback
The Chaplain's Daughter (Sons of the Shenandoah Book 2) - Kindle
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