This is the first of two spotlights today. As things fell, I ended up being booked with 2 authors, so everyone here gets another bonus. :) Not one, but *two* chances today to win a free book and learn about another author.
Tricia Goyer was named Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference "Writer of the Year" in 2003. In 2005, her book Life Interrupted was a finalist for the Gold Medallion and her novel Night Song won ACFW's Book of the Year for Long Historical Romance. She has written hundreds of articles, Bible Study notes, and both fiction and non-fiction books. In addition to writing, Tricia enjoys sharing Jesus' love through volunteering as a mentor for teenage moms in her community. And she also joins the rest of her family, leading children's church every week. Tricia's also blessed to travel around the nation as a speaker, mainly giving presentations to women's groups. She loves hearing from you, so contact her through her web site.
She has a blog post listing every stop on this tour. I encourage you to check out the other sites to learn even more about Tricia and to enter for more chances at a free book.
Get yours today!
And now, on to the interview:
1. You have found a niche in the eras that are often overlooked because publishers can't seem to determine the true genres. What gave you the inspiration for this story?
When I was researching for my novel, Arms of Deliverance, one of the autobiographies I read was from a man who was a B-17 bomber pilot over Europe--but before that he was an American volunteer for The Spanish Civil War. I had never heard of this war before, which happened right before WWII in Spain. I started researching and I was soon fascinated. Some people call it "the first battle of WWII" because it's where that Nazis first tried their hand at modern warefare.
Once I started researching, I was fascinated with the history. On one side was the fascist dictator, Franco, trying to take over Spain. He had Hitler and Musolini backing him up. On the other side were the Spanish people backed up by The Soviet Union and International Volunteers. How could I NOT find an interesting story in the middle of that.
2. How much of your own experiences influenced the characters of Sophie and Philip? What aspects became traits that were theirs and theirs alone?
Oh my, that is a deep question! I've said it before that when someone close, and who really knows me, reads my novels it's like handing over my personal journal! It's like giving them the key to my secret diary. YIKES!
I would say that Sophie's emotions are all mine. Her longing to be loved. Her desire for the wrong guy. Her finding someone worthy of her heart ... Yes, that's all been inside me. I'm not sure how good it is for my mental health, but when I'm dealing with an emotional scene I take myself back to my own past experiences. I remember the pain and heartache and with tears dripping down my cheeks I write the scene. Of course, I also write about joy too, and those moments are much better to relive!
As for Philip, well, he reminds me of my husband John--dedicated and faithful. Yeah, that's him.
3. What themes exist in Valley of Betrayal that you hope the reader sees? Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the story progressed?
The main theme is one of "God's Providence." We think we're doing someone for one reason, but then later we discover that God's plan was even bigger! There are no coiendences with God.
Also, the theme of "discovered strength." I love the verse that talks about, "In my weakness God's strength is complete." Only when we are weak can God's strength truly shine through us.
4. What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?
The most difficult parts are those dealing with the political climates of that time. One of my characters, Deion, is part of the Communist party. Today's reader has one view of what that means, but in the 1930s there was hope found there. In a country that was still segregated, the idea of "equality of men" was a huge draw, especially for African Americans.
My favorite parts dealt with the Spanish culture, the bullfights and the flamenco dancing. The attitudes and the beliefs. Fascinating.
Oh, and I love getting swept away with my characters. They always surprise me! In fact, at the beginning of the book I added a minor character because my girl, Sophie, needed a ride across the border. As it turns out her driver ends up being one of the major players in the book. Who knew?
5. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?
My next novel, A Shadow of Treason, picks off where A Valley of Betrayal leaves off. It starts THE DAY the first book ends. It continues on in Spain in the lives of these characters, and ... well, soon they discover that more is at stake than what any of them originally thought. It's also published by Moody and it will hit store shelves September 1, 2007.