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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Spotlight on Tricia Goyer -- WWII author

Here it is, Tuesday again. I've been swamped and buried under writing crunches and other life-established deadlines, so I haven't been able to get back here to post anything else. But, I didn't want to miss the author spotlight. Blogger is also causing some problems with images, so I'll get those added later. For now, here is this week's spotlight.

Don't forget to post a comment for a chance to win a FREE autographed book. I'll announce last week's winner later tonight below this interview.

I am delighted to have Tricia Goyer visit with me this week. Not only is she a partner with me and four other historical fiction authors on our new blog, but she has written some fantastic stories about the gripping experiences of World War II as seen through the eyes of her true-to-life characters. A period in our history which is sometimes too recent and gets overlooked, Tricia tells the stories with compelling skill.

If stories of redemption and healing from war-torn lives appeals to you, don't miss her books! And now, let's chat with Tricia:

1. This is the fourth (4th) and final novel in this series depicting men and women who were swept into the horrors and action of World War II. What was the hardest part to write compared with the other three (3)? Your favorite?

The hardest part for me was definately the theme of "worth." You see, some very personal stuff came up in this book. For example, one of my main characters, Mary, was born to a single mom. So was I. Even after she met her biological father, she was always trying to make him notice her. She weighed her value according to his approval. Me too. Another one of my characters faces an unplanned pregnancy. Yup, I did that. Of course, fiction CAN have a happy ending, and I truly hope readers walk away from this book understanding that each person is "chosen" by God, even if they are born into unidealistic circumstances.

Also, trying to pick a favorite book would be like trying to pick a favorite child. They are each so unique! BUT . . . if I had to pick, I'd say Night Song really touches my heart. The main character is a fifteen-year-old Jewish boy--the same age as my oldest son at the time. I cried more as I wrote that book than any other. It was a very emotional experience with me because it dealt with children in the midst of war. Readers must approve too because in won ACFW's Book of the Year for Long Historical Romance. Of course, I love all the others too and think they are fantastic reads :-)

2. What themes exist in in Arms of Deliverance that you hope the reader sees? Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the story progressed?

Of course, the themes I mentioned above are very clear within the book. There are more subtle themes too, such as trusting in God and understanding what true friendship is all about. Oh yes, and then there's the theme of finding love in unexpected places.

3. You've received a lot of support and assistance from WWII veterans for research and details in your books. How did the inspiration strike to write stories set during WWII and what do you hope to achieve with the stories in your books?

When I started out writing fiction in 1996, I wanted to write contemporary romance. There's nothing wrong with that, but that was MY plan, thus I got NO contracts. Then, in 2000 I was in Europe with two writing friends. I met a historian in Austria who started telling the true stories behind the liberation of two concentration camps. Her stories became the bases for my first two novels From Dust and Ashes and Night Song.

The idea for Dawn of a Thousand Nights came when I was researching at a WWII reunion and a veteran told me he had been part of the Bataan Death March. Then he said, "Would you ever consider writing our story?" I couldn't say no!

And, finally, the idea for Arms of Deliverance came when I was researching women of WWII. In Dawn of a Thousand Nights, I have a female pilot. But I also read about female war correspondents. They fascinated me and urged me to give them their own book.

The main thing I hope to achieve is to make history come alive. I want to make these books so gripping that the reader CAN'T put them down. In doing this, I honor the men and women who served. Some of the veterans I interviewed have since passed away, yet I'm thrilled to know that their stories live on.

4. Describe your writing space and schedule. How many words per day do you write and do you have a minimum goal you hope to reach before you push away your keyboard?

Ha! I have to laugh at this because I have no set schedule! Since I have a full-time job outside of writing--raising and homeschooling three kids--basically I try to squeeze in any time I can. During the school year, I write while my kids work on their homework. We have ONE long desk that wrapped around the room and we all work side-by-side. During summer it's a free-for-all.

When it comes to writing novels, I spend WAY too much time researching. I want to know every little detail--to make sure I get it right--or I'm not satisfied. Then, about two months before the book is due I go into panic mode and pounding out the book. Of course, by then the story is so well-developed in my mind, that it's really just relating on paper the story in my head...for the most part. There are always those surprising scenes that I hadn't planned on. After coming up with one of those, I just lean back in my computer chair, point up to heaven and say, "YOU are too cool!"

5. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?

My next BOOK coming out is Generation NeXt Parenting. It's a parenting book for Gen Xers (those born between 1964-1981). It has a lot of cool 80s flavor mixed with a sound Biblical foundation. It works, it really does!

My next NOVEL is A Valley of Betrayal. It's also with Moody Publishing. It is my first in a three book series about The Spanish Civil War. Few people know much about this war beyond Hemingway's novel For Whom the Bell Tolls. Basically, it's a civil war that took place in Spain just prior to WWII. On one side the fascists: Hitler, Mussoloni, and Franco face off against the Spanish elected government, Russia, and International volunteers from all over the world. It's a fascinating time in history and one I'm excited to explore with three novels! The first one will be out in February 2007.

Thank you, Tricia, for joining me in the spotlight. Come back and visit again soon!


Jennifer Y. said...

Sounds like a good book! Great interview!

Anonymous said...

Oooh, I love historical romance and this one sounds like a gooder! I've never read anything by Tricia Goyer and I can't wait to get started!


Anne said...

I've always been interested in WWII history (I practically grew up with it since I'm German), but I've never read a romance novel taking place at this time. Sounds really good to me.

Best from Germany,