Monday, March 7, 2011
"America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great." ~ Alexis de Tocqueville.
The American Historical Christian Fiction blog hi-lights books by Christian authors who are led by the Lord to write about characters and stories set in America's past. They are exciting stories of romance, adventure and suspense, written to inspire and encourage.
If you're looking for a book for yourself, a loved one, or those who may need an uplifting message woven through an entertaining story, please consider new monthly releases in inspirational historical fiction found here--the kind that take you on a journey into our country's past (from early colonial times to WWII) and illuminates the trials, beauty and blessings of our great nation.
This week it's my pleasure to hi-light Author of the Week: Siri Mitchell and her latest release: "A Heart Most Worthy"
I've asked Siri some of the same questions I've asked other authors recently, yet I'm amazed at the unique backgrounds, approaches to the craft of writing, and how they got to this point in their careers. I hope something in their answers will resonate for you.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I always thought I ought to try and write a book. I started working on an idea in 1994, but the opportunity to get serious about it came in 1996 when my husband and I moved to Paris. I wrote three books while I was there and moved stateside in 2000 with the inspiration for a fourth.
How did you prepare? College courses? Workshops? Books on Craft?
I was woefully ignorant about the whole writing process. Stuck as I was in Europe, I didn’t know about groups like ACFW and RWA. And had I known about web sites like Preditors and Editors I would have saved myself from being victimized by a book doctor scam. As it was, there was a British author at our church who mentored me. Basically, I learned to write by writing.
Why do you enjoy writing historicals? (and anything more you want to add to this--anything special about time/settings etc.)
I feel like historical fiction provides a way to approach themes and address issues in a less confrontational way than contemporary fiction. It’s easier to ask a reader to think about self-esteem and the consequences of faith-by-rules, for instance, if I’m doing in the context of the 1600, 1700, or 1800s. It’s amazing how people living in different times and places ask themselves the same questions. I’m constantly surprised by two things as I write: just how similar folks in past eras were to people today…and just how different.
Do you have other work besides writing; and if so, how do you manage to balance both?
I consider writing a part-time job and confine it to the hours of 10:00 – 3:00, Monday through Friday. The rest of my time I spend taking care of myself, my house, and my family. If I don’t put boundaries around my writing, it has a tendency to take over all of my time and attention and that’s not fair to the other responsibilities in my life.
How many years/stories did you write before the first one was accepted?
I wrote three novels and one non-fiction book. The fourth novel I wrote, based on the ideas in the non-fiction manuscript, was the first one contracted. Two of the novels I’d previously written were then subsequently contracted. In all, it took ten years, four books, and 153 rejections before my fifth book (that fourth novel) was contracted.
What's your next book/release date we can look forward to? (A quick sentence or two of what it's about to whet our appetites? :)
My next book, The Messenger, will release in spring of 2012. I just turned it in to my editor last week. It’s a novel of intrigue (something a bit different for me) set in eighteenth century Philadelphia. A Heart Most Worthy was written in the omniscient point of view, but with The Messenger, I went back to my standard first-person point of view. Here’s my working blurb for the story: A veteran of the Indian Wars and a pacifist Quaker; a man who lost his arm and a girl who lost her convictions. In a city filled with partisans, it will take two outcasts to accomplish the impossible…and two solitary hearts to find a love worth fighting for.
Title" A Heart Most Worthy
Author: Siri Mitchell
Publisher: Bethany House
In 1918 Boston, three seamstresses dare to dream of a better life. Fiery Julietta pursues love recklessly. Shy Annamaria falls for the wrong man. Secretive Luciana’s past endangers them all. Drawn together amid the opulence of Madame Fortier’s dress shop, will each find the fairy-tale ending she seeks?
Thanks Siri, for letting us get to know you, and something about your latest release. Siri has graciously offered "A Heart Most Worthy" as a giveaway this week. Please leave a comment and your e-mail address if you'd like to be entered in the drawing for this charming collection of stories. If you'd like to know more about Siri and her books, go to her website at: www.sirimitchell.com
Historic Flash Facts
Curious about what happened on your birth date one hundred years ago....(wouldn't it make a great theme for your birthday party?) Or searching for an historical event to include in a story you're writing? Check out Historic Flash Facts; new entries will be added weekly to keep you "up-to-date".
March 6, 1836
The Alamo in San Antonio, Texas fell to Mexican forces after a thirteen day siege.
The United States Supreme Court ruled in Dred Scott v. Sandford that Scott, a slave, was not an American citizen and could not sue for his freedom in federal court.
U.S. heavy bombers staged the first full-scale American raid on Berlin during World War II.
March 7, 1876
Alexander Graham Bell received a patent for his telephone.
President William Howard Taft ordered 20,000 troops to patrol the U.S.- Mexico border in response to the Mexican Revolution.
The first successful trans-Atlantic radio-telephone conversation took place between New York and London.
March 8, 1862
During the Civil War, the ironclad CSS Virginia reammed and sank the USS Cumberland and heavily damaged the USS Congress, both frigates, off Newport News, Va.
The 13th President of the U.S., Millard Fillmore, died in Buffalo at age 74.
The 27th President of the U.S., William Howard Taft, died in Washington, D.C. at age 72.
March 9, 1861
The Confederate Congress, meeting in Montgomery, Ala., authorized the issuing of paper currency, in the form of interest-bearing notes, which were initially printed by a New York firm, the National Bank Note Co.
Mexican raiders, led by Pancho Villa, attacked Columbus, N.M. killing 18 Americans.
During World War II, U.S. B-29 bombers launched incendiary bomb attacks against Japan, resulting in an estimated 100,000 deaths.
March 10, 1876
The fist successful voice transmission over Alexander Graham Bell's telephone took place in Boston as his assistant heard Bell say, "Mr. Watson, come here--I want to see you."
The Salvation Army arrived in the U.S. from England.
March 11, 1861
The Constitution of the Confederate States of America was adopted by the Confederate Congress in Montgomery, Ala.
The famous blizzard of '88 began inundating the northeastern U.S., resulting in some 400 deaths.
March 12, 1912
Juliette Gordon Low of Savannah, Ga., founded the Girl Guides, which later became the Girl Scouts of America.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered the first of his 30 radio "fireside chats," telling Americans what was being done to deal with the nation's economic crisis.
"May the Lord make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: may the Lord lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace." Num.6:25-26 (KJV)