Welcome Carrie Fancett Pagels to the Inkwell!
First of all, thanks for having me on again, Susie!
I have an upcoming release, Saving the Marquise’s Granddaughter, that had so much help given to it that it feels like a seven to eight year birthing process for this novel!
I got started on the book eight years ago when I did some genealogical research and discovered an interesting ancestor, Johan Adam Rousch, who had a memorial from the Sons of the American Revolution dedicated to him because nine of his sons fought in the war. I asked myself, what would compel a young man from the Palatinate of Germany to come to the colonies? And I began researching. For a year or two I got assistance from my wonderful local librarians at Yorktown Library, including a special reference desk librarian who steered me toward a huge volume of European history that addressed the impact of the Hundred Years War on Europe and in particular the Palatinate/Germany. I also got to spend a special afternoon at the University of Virginia Rare Books collection, a climate controlled environment where the librarians wore gloves to handle the books. I was able to read from some volumes that were specifically about Johan and his descendants and felt I got to “know” him better. I was also blessed to be able to spend many hours visiting a real Palatinate house at the Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton, Virginia, and was able to discuss mid-18th century Palatinate with some of the staff there. It allowed me to actually visit what would become Johan’s house and farm in the Palatinate!
Besides researching, I spent a great deal of time on improving my writing craft. So I took every class that ACFW offered! Thank you to all the authors who have volunteered their time over the years! I “found” Camy Tang’s wonderful blog and began reading all her posts on writing and I took several classes from her for synopsis development. That was extremely helpful in getting a newbie ready to have the framework for writing the story. And I had my first experience with critique partners. I had some great help from my very first critique partner, and then joined a group that regrettably included primarily contemporary writers. Don’t believe people if they tell you although they don’t read or enjoy historical romance they can critique your work. It isn’t that you won’t get constructive feedback, but you won’t get the encouragement you’ll need from folks who enjoy reading your genre. Best to stick with writers in your own genre.
Then the realization hit. I had to have my manuscript all completed and polished before I submitted it to Joyce. My FCW critiquers, in particular Vicki McCollum and Lynn Squire, helped me get started on organizing myself.Then God sent me Kimberly D. Taylor, a petite spitfire from out west who was in the Tidewater, Virginia, area for a few years while her husband completed some studies at Regent University. Every week we’d exchange chapters and return them to each other. Later, I agreed to also work with Sarah E. Ladd, Kim’s critique partner, who was entering the Genesis with a story that had already won accolades but, like mine, needed to be finished. The three of us tended my book baby as well as each others’! Then came the time I needed an editor’s help, and once again God blessed me by sending Susan Lohrer to help. She was an amazing editor and gave me so much insight into the more subtle, and some not-so-subtle, things I was doing wrong that my fellow newbie critique partners and I weren’t seeing. It was like having someone point out that your child shouldn’t really be dressed in mustard yellow nor would people caring for the child want to know certain “things.” I learned a lot and we all shared our thoughts on how to use the feedback for each of our stories.
There is so much MORE that went into the creation of this upcoming release, but I hope this little bit is helpful to someone who is new to writing and wonders what it takes. Some people may tell you they read a ton of books in their genre and then sat down and wrote. That didn’t work for me, nor does it for most authors in my opinion. Working on my own isn’t my style, so I am very grateful God has brought me a lot of helpers and I hope I’ve been able to return the assistance, too!
Saving the Marquise’s Granddaughter releases in ebook in early June (Pelican Books) and is available for pre-order now! The paperback will be available in July. Bloggers, please note the PDF will be available from NetGalley during the month of July for download for reviews.
Giveaway: Winners choice of any one of Carrie's currently released books, choice of format (Kindle, Nook, or paperback). Answer the question to enter. Question: What experiences have helped your “book babies” along the most?
Please leave a way to contact you (email address). Winner will be drawn at random at 12:59 pm EDT Thursday, May 19, 2016, and announced the following day. Void where prohibited.
Bio – Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D.
Carrie Fancett Pagels is a multi-published award-winning author of Christian historical romance. All three of her Christy Lumber Camp books were finalists for Family Fiction’s Book of the Year. Twenty-five years as a psychologist didn't "cure" her overactive imagination! She resides with her family in the Historic Triangle of Virginia, which is perfect for her love of history. Carrie loves to read, bake, bead, and travel – but not all at the same time!
Links to purchase:
“Requilted with Love” in The Blue Ribbon Brides Collection (Barbour, November 2016)
Saving the Marquise’s Granddaughter (White Rose/Pelican Book Group, June 2016)
Return to Shirley Plantation: A Civil War Romance (2nd edition, January 2016)
The Steeplechase (Forget-Me-Not Romances, February 2016)
The Substitute Bride: A Novella (October 2015)
“The Fruitcake Challenge” in the Christmas Traditions Collection (Forget Me Not Romances, July 2015)
The Christy Lumber Camp Series: Lilacs for Juliana (August, 2016), The Lumberjacks’ Ball (April, 2015), The Fruitcake Challenge (2014)
“Snowed In”, in A Cup of Christmas Cheer, (Guidepost Books, 2013)
Contributor to God’s Provision in Tough Times (Lighthouse of the Carolinas, 2013)