Welcome back for Day 2 of our interview with Lynn Lovegreen, whose young adult historical Fools Gold will release in December. Here are some places where you can connect with Lynn and learn more about her books:
- Website: www.lynnlovegreen.com
- Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lynn-Lovegreen/398231060237488?ref=hl
- Twitter handle: @lynnlovegreen
- Pinterest page: http://www.pinterest.com/lynnlovegreen/boards/
- Tumblr: http://www.tumblr.com/blog/lynnlovegreen
Lynn, if you could be any character from a favorite historical novel for a few days, who would it be and why?
So many good historical novels out there—it’s hard to pick one! But I guess I’d go with Calpurnia from The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly. She has such curiosity and lively interest in what’s going on around her. It would be fun to see things through her eyes for a little while.
When starting a new project, do you tend to begin with a time period or event and create the characters to live it, or do you start with characters and then find their story?
I always start with the time period first, and usually the place as well. Fools Gold is first in a Gold Rush series, and for each book, I thought of the setting and researched it, then built characters around what was happening then. For example, what would bring a proper young lady to Skagway, Alaska in 1898? What would she have to do there? And Ellie and the other characters came from that process.
Reading fiction can be a way to escape reality for a while, but those stories can still teach some valuable lessons. What points do you hope readers take away from your books?
I hope they learn a little about Alaska history and what happened during the Gold Rush, because I think it’s interesting stuff. But more than that, I hope readers are inspired by how strong the characters become. They do what they have to, even when it’s not easy, and develop into amazing people. Sometimes I tell myself, “If Ellie can do the Chilkoot Trail, then I can do this.” (Then I remember she’s not real—but real people did those things too!)
Just for fun – you’ve lived in Alaska since childhood. What are a few things about life in Alaska that most of us probably don’t know?
Our state is very diverse in our population. Alaska has had indigenous people for thousands of years, and many people of European heritage more recently. But we also have a history of other groups here; just to give you two quick examples, Filipinos were often workers on whaling ships that came to Alaska, and Japanese adventurer Jujiro Wada helped spread the word about the Fairbanks gold strike which led to the town being settled. Today, most towns in Alaska are multicultural, and students in the Anchorage School District’s English Language Learners program speak 93 different languages at home.
A more trivial fact is that we Alaskan take pride about landing on lists of the best or worst things. One week, Alaska had both the most scenic drive (Seward Highway) and the worst airport location (Ketchikan). It hit the paper and became a big topic of conversation.
Very interesting! Those are all things I didn’t know. J You say that one of your interests (when you’re not writing!) is participating in Cowboy Action Shooting with the Alaska 49ers. Can you explain that to us? And has being a part of that helped your writing?
The Alaska 49ers is a local chapter of the national Single Action Shooting Society. Our sport is cowboy action shooting, which involves dressing up like cowboys or other characters from the late 1800s West and shooting old-style guns at steel targets. Each of us creates an alias and story about what our character was doing in that time period, and our shoots have scenarios where we are shooting to protect the stagecoach from the robbers or whatever. It’s basically a fun way for adults to play pretend.
It did help my writing, in that I got to use my imagination in that time period. I think some of it spilled over—my alias came to Alaska much like Ellie did. (Shameless plug: to see photos and a fun video on the Alaska 49ers site, go to http://www.alaska49ers.pistolshooting.com.)
Can you share a sneak peek at the other books in your series? Or are there other projects you’d like our visitors to know about?
My next book is a novella that is kind of a prequel to Fools Gold. You get to see how Ada and Tom met, and what influenced her most when she was a young lady. Worth Her Weight in Gold will be released by Prism Book Group this spring. Here’s a teaser: Ada Weiss is content to sing with her family at the new Juneau Opera House. But when she meets miner Tom Hickok, she wonders if there's more to life than the stage.
Sounds like another great story! Any final words?
Fools Gold will be released by Prism Book Group on December 4th. You can check out the direct page at www.prismbookgroup.com/foolsgold.html or see the major online book retailers to order in ebook or print format.
Thanks so much for having me! I really enjoyed working with NovelPASTimes.
And we enjoyed having you join us! Visitors, don’t forget to answer this question from Lynn to be entered in our drawing for a copy of Fools Gold.
The last name of my main character in Fools Gold, Ellie Webster, is a tribute to one of my favorite authors. Which classic American author was raised in Webster County, Nebraska?
The drawing will be held Friday, Nov. 15 around 8 a.m. ET. Leave your answer in the comments, spelling out ‘at’ and ‘dot’ to help cut down on spam. Good luck, and be sure to come back tomorrow for a great book review and next week for our interview with author Linda Carroll-Bradd.