Today I am a guest blogger on American Christian Fiction Writers. I was inspired by one of my favorite authors, Patrick F. McManus. Check out my post “Writers and People Who Write.”
Today my guest is Carole Brown, another writer I met through ACFW. Carole writes in multiple genres — cozy and romantic mysteries. But today I am interviewing her about her series set during WWII.
Me: Why did you select World War II as the time period for your novels?
Carole: Mostly because my interest was piqued after listening to my mother’s tales of living through that era, the pictures I saw, and the small book that was loved in our family and written by an elderly gentleman with whom we were friends. It was said he was the civilian spy in the book, but he never confirmed or denied it.
Nevertheless, I fell in love with the era. The fashions and hats, the music, the courage and sacrifice so many gave. All of it is such a drawing to me.
Me: Which comes first – research or storyline?
Carole: Probably the story line then research. I have to know a basic plot structure before I can fill in the blanks with my research. I love research—such a world of interesting material out there to be learned and used for my writing purposes. It’s second only to the writing itself. But if I don’t know the storyline, for me, it’s hard to know what to research.
Me: What resources do you rely on for research?
Carole: Lots of internet study, books I buy or use from the library, some personal information from others, information I’ve learned through our own travels and any other way I can find what I need to be as correct as I can be.
Me: What is the most unusual resource you have used?
Carole: Hmm. Not sure. Maybe learning that my husband has a tad bit of Blackfoot Native American in him. That sparked my interest in including a BNA in the first, full-length book I wrote. It’s not published yet, but I hope it will be someday.
Me:What advice would you give to someone interested in writing historical fiction?
Carole: The first thing that comes to mind with historical writing is getting the facts right. Historical readers—many of them—are picker readers. They want to read a good book that is historically accurate and interesting. Play it safe and do the research.
Example: One man I know wrote a western book. The thing that stuck out for my husband was the season—things happening in the spring that just didn’t vibe. A little thing like that completely turned off the reader.
Thank you so much for inviting me to visit your site. Always a pleasure.
Both rebels in their own way, Josie and Jerry Patterson must figure out how to keep the other’s love…and keep the German enemy at bay.
She has two loves—her skating and Jerry, her husband. But when he returns home looking like a skeleton trying to return to life, she’s scared. What happened in Germany to change a man so much? Has another woman captured his heart?
Jerry has vowed to let Josie live her own glamourous life…especially after what happened in Germany. But when his wife’s life is threatened, Jerry realizes he can’t stand by and do nothing. Jerry has to risk all for the very soul and life of himself—Josie.
These two damaged, rebellious people learn the hard way that leaning on God instead of their own selves and abilities is the only true way to love and happiness.
To learn more, check out A Flute on the Willows on Amazon.
Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. An author of ten books, she loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?
Personal blog: http://sunnebnkwrtr.blogspot.com/
Stitches in Time: http://stitchesthrutime.blogspot.com/
Since it’s Memorial Day in America, and we have been talking about research and historical fiction all month, I thought writing a tribute about a loved one who has passed away would be appropriate.
The house of my maternal grandparents was one of my favorite places growing up. No matter when we dropped by their home out in the country on an acre of hillside, they were always glad to see me and my sisters. We had pizza suppers on the weekend and watched old Tarzan movies or the Wonderful World of Disney. Grandma canned throughout the summer in the large, cool basement. In the winter, we had many family dinners down there, sitting around a long table, or if we were young enough, at the smaller, children’s table. Grandpa would work puzzles in the basement, and the wood burning stove smelled of comfort.
When they had to move next door to my parents, I thought I would desperately miss the house I knew as a child. But as soon as I stepped through the door of their new home, it felt exactly like their old one. The house wasn’t special. It was my grandparents.
I come from a family of storytellers. One way we get to know people is to swap stories. I am fortunate to have been told stories about my great-great grandparents. Such as I have a great-great grandfather who died in the notorious Civil War prisoner of war camp at Andersonville.
So if you are blessed with older family members with long memories and great stories, interview them. Besides preserving family history, you may find literary inspiration.
What inspiration from family stories have you gained?
I have several favorite time periods, eras I would enjoy researching if I ever turned my attention to historical fiction.
- Dark Ages and Medieval Europe
- The Golden Age of Exploration — I did my research paper for my history major on Prince Henry the Navigator of Portugal.
- Victorian era — Especially Europe, but any location during this time period in which Sherlock Holmes could plausibly appear.
- Golden Age of Hollywood — Since I love movies from the 1930’s, ’40’s and ’50’s, I’ve already read a lot about the people working in the Hollywood studio system. A mystery set then would be fun to write.
So what’s your favorite?