For an extra chance to win answer today's fun question: If your life where a book, what would the title be?
Answers to Your Questions
Reader Question: when did you first fall in love with this time period? And how did you get interested in the seafaring of that age?
LAE Answer: The War of 1812 always interested me from the time I learned of it in school, maybe eighth grade. We shouldn’t have won. That’s the bottom line. But we got everything we wanted in the treaty. It’s a wonderful demonstration of the true American spirit. Of course, we got a lot of War of 1812 history in state history, too, since I grew up in Michigan, which became part of the U.S. territories from that war.
As for the seafaring, that is due to Kenneth Roberts’ book The Lively Lady. He depicts the life of privateering and then being in an English prisoner through the eyes of a young man in love with an English woman. . . Fabulous book I reread about every five years. The privateers helped us win that war; we crippled the English merchant fleet.
Reader Question: What do you consider some of your favorite go-to historical research books or on-line sources?
LAE Answer: Google Books has been a true godsend. The wealth of original sources there has been invaluable to me from descriptions of how to perform, right down to the special instrument used, in a bit of surgery we have here in Heart’s Safe Passage, to chemistry and first-hand accounts of incidents the ballooning stuff I found for my upcoming Regency A Flight of Fancy, to phrase and word usage in context from different time periods. Nowadays, I go there first for research. I also love the Domesday Book, which is on-line, for names for English people. I also have some on-line phrase sites marked for Scottish, Welsh, or Cornish words, and have a wealth of books in my personal library, a few very old ones on the U.S. and British navies. I also love sites like etymonline.com for word origins.
Reader Question: how do you come up with such deep, interesting characters? Do you use character charts? Personality charts? Or do you take them from real life experience?
LAE Answer: The simple answer to this is yes. LOL I use a combination of personality charts like the Myers Briggs descriptions, to birth order stuff, to charts to keep basic stuff together, to personal experience. I read a lot of books on psychology and the criminal mind. True crime books. My husband says I’m scary reading about that stuff. I have read books on grief and parenting. And, yes, some of my knowledge comes from personal experience. When writing this book, I found myself emotionally drained a few days.
Reader Question: When did you get your first book published? Did you 'publish' the stories you used to tell yourself?
LAE Answer: In 1999-2001, I had three secular books published by small presses. They got great reviews and didn’t sell badly for e-books of the day. But the Lord convicted me, and I pulled them from sale and started concentrating on writing Christian fiction. I was in grad school at the time, so didn’t get to work on it until 2003 after I graduated. God handed me an agent, Tamela Murray of the Steve Laube agency. The way that happened, that’s the only way to put it. Ironically, my first traditional sale in late 2005 was to a secular publisher, but it was a traditional Regency and squeaky clean. My first Christian sale was in early 2007 and was to Heartsong Presents. This was a special sale for me and a whole other story as to why.
Reader Question: One of my life-long themes is beyond forgiveness... Loving others who have hurt us. Why is this theme important for you in the book?
LAE Answer: My husband and I were just discussing how we humans seem to be hard-wired to need someone to pay for wrongs before we can experience or give true forgiveness. If it isn’t someone else, then it’s ourselves we need to punish. God required atonement for forgiveness, too, and then provided the means for that atonement through His son. Until we humans figure that out, we suffer and, too often, make others suffer. So, after that mini sermon, the answer to your question is that this is an important theme to me because even if one person reads this book and figures out that holding grudges only hurts oneself and the people around us, but not necessarily the one we think deserves to pay, then all the effort is worth it.
Reader Question: What made you choose that time period?
LAE Answer: For one thing, after this time period, life aboard a ship just grows boring. This was the end of the true swashbuckling age. I also like to put opposites together, plus put my characters into wholly unfamiliar environments and see how they grow and change, so having a time when the Americans and English are at war just seems right. I have a lot of hero from one country and heroine from another stories. The Glassblower. Family Guardian, Lady in the Mist. A Necessary Deception, Heart’s Safe Passage. The third Regency for Revell will, too, but that book doesn’t have a title yet. It isn’t even written yet. I just know who my hero is.
Reader Question: How do you pick or decide what to name your H & H?
LAE Answer: I agonize over names. Many sources come under my fingertips as I work on just the right sound and meaning and appropriateness for the time period. Example, one learns that aristocrats and laborers didn’t name their children the same kinds of names. Country of origin is important, too. I use county records. A weird thing about Tabitha Eckles in Lady in the Mist, I picked her first name, as it just seemed right, my editor wanted the surname I’d picked changed, so I chose another from the county surname records for the Eastern Shore, and discovered later that Tabitha was a commonly used name for that surname. I also learned that Eckles is a derivation of my own surname, Eakes.
Heart's Safe Passage
Captain Rafe Docherty is a man in search of revenge. His ship is no place for women, but he needs Belinda in order to obtain information about the man who destroyed his family and his life. Between Belinda's whining and Phoebe's hostility, Rafe can't help but wonder if he made the right choice.
When it becomes apparent there is an enemy among them on the ship, the stakes are raised. Will they reach the English shore in time? Can love and forgiveness overcome vengeance?
Embroidered personalized tote bag filled with cookies, candy, tea, coffee, stainless travel cup, book light, kitty book mark and a few things that didn't make it into the picture.
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