Wednesday, April 21, 2010
The Revolutionary Era with Guest Novelist Louise M. Gouge
Welcome to Inkwell Inspirations, Louise. To start off, why do you write historical novels?
You can certainly say it as far as I'm concerned. I love to learn from reading novels. Probably why I'm such a huge historical fan. So, Louise, have you written any contemporaries? If so, what is different about the experience?
Successful fiction relies on good research, whether historical or contemporary. My first two published novels (from Crossway Books in 1994 & 1998) were contemporaries, and I had a blast writing them. Because the hero was an NFL quarterback, I needed to research professional football. The Lord put a man in my path who had played for the New England Patriots (and was a Super Bowl MVP!), and he generously helped me with the entire picture of that world. Also, although I had once lived in my Colorado setting, I still needed to call an old friend to do some research for things I’d forgotten. Writing historicals, I have much more research to do, everything from clothing to customs to locations, but in either case, that’s one of the things I love about being a writer.
Your new release, The Captain's Lady, is set in the time of the Revolution. Why did you choose this period?
This book is a sequel to my first Steeple Hill book, Love Thine Enemy, which takes place in British East Florida. I love to tell people about this because there are two remarkable things about it. First, I have lived in Florida for thirty years but never considered setting a novel here until the late Kristy Dykes asked me to write an anthology with her. We roughed out our respective stories, but it didn’t sell to the original target publisher. But then Melissa Endlich at Steeple Hill bought my part of the anthology, and I fleshed it out as a full novel! Second, in all these years in Florida, I never realized this was a British colony until I began to research the idea Kristy gave me. Just think about it: if colonists in East Florida had joined the Revolution, the United States would have begun with fourteen colonies instead of thirteen! So I wrote Love Thine Enemy and used the war that was a part of my home state’s history. Then, in one of those lovely things that can happen to a writer, one of my secondary characters asked for his own story. I was happy to comply, and thus, The Captain’s Lady came to be! But I set this book in London to raise the stakes for my dashing hero, a true Patriot and a spy! I’ve fallen in love with this era because this is the foundation of our country, and I’m a flag-waving American!
Your excitement is contagious, Louise. I have to say, your love of the period came through in the book and made me fall in love with it as well. But, what do you think was the greatest weakness of the people of this era?
I think the greatest weakness of our founding fathers was their failure to abolish slavery and grant women’s suffrage at our nation’s inception. Think of all the pain and death that would have been avoided had these men gone deeper into the mind of God and set all men and women free and raised them up to full citizenship!
Beautiful answer. I couldn't agree more. What do you think was the greatest strength?
That they were willing to die—and many did—because they had a vision for what this land, this new nation could be. We hold our lives so dearly, yet these people counted the cost—their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor—and were willing to pay the price so WE can be free. What a responsibility we have to live up to their expectations, don’t you think?
What was the spiritual climate of this time period?
The plot thread could definitely work in other eras. The emotional thread involving people with opposing views falling in love can also be placed in other eras. The romance thread works because historically people on opposite sides of issues and wars have fallen love. Sometimes it works out better than others. Finally, the spiritual thread, which centers on the hero and heroine both growing in the grace of God, can also find a home in any other era. So, yes, I think these conflicts are universal and can be found in any era.
Any parting thoughts for our readers before we say goodbye?
I pray that those who read my books will discover their roots in American freedom and come to appreciate all that has been done for them. Of course, some readers may live in other countries, so I pray they will enjoy my story and apply the spiritual themes to their own lives. God knows you, He loves you, and He has a plan for your life. To seek that path and to trust His wisdom is to find the greatest happiness in life.
Excellent words of wisdom, Louise. Thank you so much for visiting today. I enjoyed learning more about you and your writing. I hope you'll come again sometime.
The Captain's Lady
Torn between love and duty, American Patriot James Templeton must deny his heart to help win his country's freedom. Captain Templeton's orders from General Washington are clear. His target: Lord Bennington, a member of George III's Privy Council. The assignment: find Bennington's war plans. The risks: the future of the East Florida Colony, Jamie's life...and his heart. In spite of the dangers of their hopeless situation, he's fallen in love with Lady Marianne Moberly, Lord Bennington's daughter. Desperate to protect his country, Jamie carries out his orders with a heavy heart. But Marianne's persistence is a challenge he never expected. With love and faith, they must navigate troubled waters to win their future together.
The Captain’s Lady is available at eharlequin.com, amazon.com, cbd.com, borders.com, barnesandnoble.com. ISBN: 13-978-0-373-82832-6
Click here to read Dina's review of The Captain's Lady
Louise should be stopping by today, so please leave your questions and comments for her.
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