Tuesday, August 07, 2012
Welcome back to author Naomi Musch. Naomi and her husband Jeff live as epically as God allows on a ramshackle farm in Wisconsin's north woods near their five young adults and three grand-children. Amidst it, she writes stories about imperfect people who are finding hope and faith to overcome their struggles. Her entire Empire in Pine series, available now in eBook from Desert Breeze Publishing, will also go to print in 2013. She invites new friends and old to say hello and find out more about her books, passions, and other writing venues at http://www.naomimusch.com or look her up on Facebook and Twitter (NMusch).
Naomi is offering a .pdf of her latest release, The BlackRose, Empire in Pine book #3.
To qualify for the drawing, please leave your name and contact e-mail in the comment section through early Friday morning, and answer Naomi’s question: Do you prefer a book with a.) Only one main storyline and told through 1-2 points of view or b.) A main storyline as well as 2 or more subplots and told through 3-5 points of view?
Naomi, welcome to Novel PASTimes! What can you tell us about your journey along the publication path in a few paragraphs?
Thank you for having me on Novel PASTimes! My journey started years ago with the commitment to craft -- to write and re-write until I had a novel that was as polished as I could make it to submit. Even then I suffered through a writer's typical series of rejections, but fortunately, the rejections were always promising. What that means is that the editors took time to write thoughtful comments concerning my stories, ways to improve them, and sometimes even left the door open for re-submission. But ultimately, by the time I'd written the first book in my Empire in Pine series and gone through many months of the querying/proposal-sending/rejection process, God prodded me to give a smaller publishing house a try. I also thought it might be the right time to jump on the opening eBook market. When Gail Delaney at Desert Breeze Publishing offered me a contract for a three-book series based on my synopsis of Book One and a proposal for the other two, I said, "Praise the Lord, YES!" It's been a pleasure to be part of such a fine team there. In the meantime, I also published a novella with Black Lyon Publishing, and I continue to develop and grow in my craft.
How do you “write what you know”?
I know about messes. Ever met a sinner? Not only am I one, but I seem to be surrounded by them. J Thankfully, God cleans up messes. But I try to transfer the life lessons from messes that have come my way or have come through the lives of those I've known in bits and pieces through my characters. I'm referring to lessons about pride, selfishness, humility, anxiety, forgiveness, love, hope and on and on.
And "writing what I know" is also in the little things. I know how to fly fish, and my dad is a guide, so I've written about character that fly-fishes. I'm a hunter, so one of my characters in The Black Rose can be found skirting brush piles and stepping over fallen tree branches while watching for the flush of a grouse's wings. Another can be found kneading bread or walking along a railroad grade. In the same token, I don't enjoy sewing, and neither do some of the characters in my family saga. It's a bit of an Achilles' heel for them in a period where most women had to sew a lot. So I write about the details of everyday life with which I'm familiar and which will bring sensory and emotional details to the scenes in my books.
I loved your novella, Heart Not Taken. Can you tell us something about The Empire in Pine series that we won't find out about from your web site or other interviews?
Many of the characters have names spun from forms of my kids' first or middle names. For instance, the family name Kade comes from my son's first name, Cade. Beaumont from Beau. Jesilyn from Jessamyn. A few stayed the same: Kenton, Winter, Marie. I used my son Quinn's name in a separate novel a few years ago. It's my way of giving them a little tribute because they've grown up with a mom who gets that far away, glazed look while writing at times.
I love that. The Empire in Pine is a generational family saga. Do you miss one generation when you move on to the next? How do you move with them in time?
Previous generations always make appearances in each book. In fact, in The Black Rose, the whole family is together again. I think readers like to know what becomes of these characters. In fact, there's a subplot included involving Manason and Colette from Book One.
While I am concluding the Empire in Pine series because I have covered the rise and pinnacle of the Wisconsin's historic logging era, I would like to write another story that takes place during the important time period of prohibition -- about 25 years or so after the Empire in Pine saga, as a sort of spin-off, but I can't tell you how just yet.
Where do faith elements fit into your stories? Is it hard to work with your publishers considering that side to your story?
My publisher is very encouraging when it comes to including the so-important faith elements of my stories. But the main thing is that I try to weave them naturally into the storylines in a way that doesn't make non-Christians gag. I don't want to preach in my stories. My characters are very human and very flawed, and they learn things the hard way, just like most of us do. The thing is, I let them come to faith or hope or spiritual encouragement in the way that God often lets us -- naturally, and sometimes despite ourselves.
Research and attention to detail make or break the historical novel. Share with us your best strategies for research and fact-checking. Have you caught yourself up on any unusual details or fantastic sources material that you’d like to share?
Come back tomorrow for Naomi’s response to my query and the rest of the interview. Remember, to qualify for the ebook offer, please leave your name and contact info, along with an answer for Naomi. Drawings are held early Friday morning!