As the child of a career military man, Rosslyn Elliott lived in four states and two foreign countries before she graduated from high school. She attended
, where she earned her BA in English and Theater
Studies. After five years working first in corporate Yale University , then as a schoolteacher, she entered the Ph.D.
program at New York City and finished her dissertation in 2006. Emory University
Her study of American literature spurred her to pursue her lifelong dream of writing fiction. She has won awards for both her fiction and non-fiction writing, including two Carol Awards for Fairer than Morning, which was also selected as one of Lifeway’s Ten Favorite Fiction Reads for 2011.
Here's the backcover copy for Rosslyn's recent release, Sweeter than Birdsong:
Music offers Kate sweet refuge from her troubles…
But real freedom is sweeter.
’s musical genius, sees Kate
Winter as an enigmatic creature, notable for her beauty, yet painfully shy.
Then he hears her sing—and the glory of her voice moves him as never before. He
determines to cast her in his musical and uncover the mystery that is Kate.
Still, he must keep his own secret to himself. Not even this intriguing woman
can know that his passionate faith is driving him to aid fugitives on the
Underground Railroad. Otterbein
A terrifying accident brings Kate and Ben together, but threatens to shatter both their secrets and their dreams. Kate can no longer deny the need to find her courage—and her voice—if she is to sing a new song for their future.
Sweeter than Birdsong is a stirring novel of hope and faith inspired by real historical people and events.
Welcome, Rosslyn. What else can you tell us about Sweeter than Birdsong?Many of the people in the novel are real historical figures, including Ben Hanby and his family as well as Kate Winter, a brilliant young woman who was one of the first women to graduate from college in the
What was the initial spark for this story? Describe the journey from story idea to finished manuscript.After I finished my doctoral dissertation, I had decided to try my hand at writing my first historical novel. I was living in
In what (if any) ways is Kate Winter like you? Was this intentional? Does she have qualities you wish you possessed?
Kate is like me in my late teens, when I was very unsure of myself in many ways. Like Kate, I had been sheltered to an almost unhealthy degree, so I didn’t really know how to make my own decisions or how to know that what I believed was true. So I could understand Kate’s process of coming to know herself and learning to examine her beliefs and her faith for her guidance, instead of looking for the approval of others. I do wish that I were as ladylike as Kate! But, having been raised in the twentieth century, there are some historical graces that I simply didn’t absorb. However, I’ve never been as shy or reserved as Kate, and that is a good thing since her extreme shyness is a problem for her!
Thank you, Rosslyn, we look forward to learning more about you and your writing tomorrow.
Answer Rosslyn‘s question below for a chance to win a copy of Sweeter than Birdsong. Include your email address in the form of name[at]domain[dot]com and respond before this Friday morning to qualify for the drawing. This week,
and U.S. readers may
As I come to a transitional point in my writing career, I’d love to know about your own big decisions. Have you ever made a decision that went against conventional wisdom, but proved to be the right one nonetheless? How do you know when to follow that inner calling?