Tuesday, February 05, 2013
ANN SHOREY has been a full-time writer for over twenty years. She made her fiction debut with The Edge of Light, Book One in the At Home in Beldon Grove series for Revell, followed by Books Two and Three, The Promise of Morning and The Dawn of a Dream. The Sisters at Heart series, beginning with Where Wildflowers Bloom, is her latest offering from Revell. Book Two in the series, When the Heart Heals, officially releases on February 15.
Welcome, Ann Shorey, and thanks for joining us at Novel PASTimes! We’re glad to have this chance to learn more about you and your books. Tell us a little bit about the storyline for your latest novel, When The Heart Heals.
Courageous and unconventional, Rosemary Saxon served as a nurse during the War Between the States, a service that has caused most women in Noble Springs to regard her as unfeminine and even downright vulgar. Although she would like to put that part of her life behind her, she needs to support herself. She takes a nursing position with Dr. Elijah Stewart, but whenever they are together they always seem to do or say the wrong things. When someone threatens Rosemary, will she find the courage to stand or will she leave town—and Elijah—forever?
Introduce us briefly to the main characters in your most recent book.
Rosemary Saxon has learned to show a brave face to the world when she meets opposition—which comes both from her employer, Dr. Elijah Stewart, and townspeople who distrust the thought of an unmarried woman touching men’s bodies in the course of her nursing duties.
Rosemary is a loyal friend, caring and compassionate to a fault.
As a new physician in Noble Springs, Dr. Elijah Stewart carries scars from his past. Between his father’s tainted legacy and painful memories of injured and dying soldiers on the battlefield, Elijah can appear stern, although inside he longs to form friendships and be accepted in Noble Springs.
As a registered nurse myself, I was very excited that you chose a nurse for your heroine. Is there someone in your own life that inspired the character? Was it difficult researching that aspect of your novel?
The whole idea of creating a character who was a nurse during the War Between the States came about when I did the research for Where Wildflowers Bloom, the first novel in the Sisters at Heart series. Rosemary Saxon is the best friend of the heroine in Wildflowers. I knew I wanted Rosemary to be a nurse, and was amazed to learn there were essentially no nursing schools for women during that period. During the war, nurses were desperately needed, but the doctors of the day preferred older married women, or widows. Unmarried nurses were looked down upon, since young women of the time were sheltered as much as possible. So Rosemary’s courageous character was born!
There’s been quite a bit written about nurses, and nursing, in the years since the War Between the States, but not too much specifically about the nurses who served during the war. After the conflict ended, most of them went back to their previous lives. So I wondered what life would be like for a young woman who had no connections to return to. How else would she support herself when what she knew best was nursing?
What drew you toward writing historicals? What do you like most about it?
I love the research! A little over ten years ago I wrote a family history, drawn from family memoirs that had been written and collected since the time of the American Revolution, right up to the 1950’s. As I worked on that project, I realized that all the memoirs were written by men. What were the women’s lives like?
I started writing fiction to answer those questions for myself. In the process, I fell in love with making up stories.
I try to treat my writing like a job, in that I have a set time every day to work on my current project. I write all afternoon and sometimes into the evening, depending on how close a deadline might be. I do the “business” aspect, publicity and marketing, before noon or on weekends.
Historical fiction requires a lot of research. What’s the most interesting (or unusual, or funny) thing you’ve done in the name of research for a book?
To read Ann's answer to this question and more, come back tomorrow to read her interesting take on the writer's life!
Ann is offering a copy of her latest release, When the Heart Heals to the winner of a drawing! Be Sure to leave a comment along with your e-mail address and answer this question from Ann to qualify. Here is her question:
Since historical fiction is the focus for this blog, when you choose a novel to read, which time period is your favorite?
Great question, Ann Shorey, and I'm sure our readers have a variety of great answers. Be sure to come back tomorrow for the rest of Ann's wonderful interview!