Carla Olson Gade writes adventures of the heart with historical roots. A multi-published author of inspirational historical romance, Carla writes from her home in rural Maine where she resides with her family. Visit Carla at her website: : www.carlagade.com and her blog: www.carlaolsongade.com
Welcome, Carla Olson Gade, 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 and characters for your novel, Pattern for Romance.
A revolution was brewing in colonial Boston during the days of trade embargoes and homespun. Honour Metcalf and her sister were left orphans when the ship with her family was attacked by pirates. Not only was her family killed, but her belongings were seized, including a precious quilt that she and her mother were creating for her dower chest. Alone in Boston, she finds employment and lodging for herself and her sister with a mantua-maker (dress maker). Her goal is to see to her sister’s welfare and education in accordance with her parent’s wishes, but when she is accused of stealing, her world unravels all around her.
Joshua Sutton, a merchant tailor, is attempting to restore his tarnished reputation as a lady’s man, but when he meets Honour he finds her irresistible. When her reputation is also called into question, it may jeopardize not only his family’s business, but her request also interferes with his loyalty to the cause of liberty in the American colonies that his family so highly values. As Joshua and Honour find their way toward one another, they discover the key is trusting God and each other.
What sparked the idea for Pattern for Romance? It sounds lovely and romantic!
Thank you! The novel is one of twenty-four (each written by individual authors) in Abingdon Fiction’s Quilts of Love series. I chose the whole-cloth quilt which was the earliest type of quilting found in America, during colonial times – a very romantic era, methinks! That type of quilting is exquisite and the history interesting! The Boston setting I chose was just prior to the American Revolution during the days of trade embargoes. The inspiration came straight out of history itself as I research historical newspapers and quilting examples. Fabric was hard to come by and when it was, it was valued highly. With this backdrop and a merchant tailor who becomes smitten with a quilter from England, there was lots of opportunity for conflict and romance. The premise for the Quilts of Love novels is that every quilt has a story. Once I decided what type of quilt I would feature and figured out who that quilt belonged to, the story was born.
You have several new releases which came out back to back. (Bravo, by the way!) Can you tell us about them?
Thank you! It has been quite the whirlwind. My long anticipated novel, Pattern for Romance, released in mid-August. A month prior, 31 Devotions for Writers, compiled by Suzette Williams was released. I was one of the contributors to this inspiring devotional along with thirty-one other authors. Within a few weeks following Pattern for Romance, my novella ’Tis the Season in Mistletoe Memories appeared in bookstores. This Christmas novella takes place in 1820 at a famed resort of the time at Schooley’s Mountain Springs, New Jersey. My latest release is A Cup of Christmas Cheer (Guidepost Books), a two volume Christmas anthology which features my story Upon a Christmas Tree Schooner set on Lake Michigan in 1880. It’s been a wonderfully, busy season!
It sounds like it! How do you balance the publicity and marketing for so many publications at the same time?
I do a lot of planning and organizing for sure. Maintaining my publicity calendar is essential and I have to make sure I manage it rather than the other way around! As I’ve gained experience with this aspect of my writing career I’ve come up with a bit of a method and just follow my marketing plan so I don’t become too flustered. Each project holds a certain value and matched with time and effort that I can put into it. Obviously a novel takes precedence. With Pattern for Romance my publishing house hired a publicist who managed the publicity for me on this project and it was so helpful. A Cup of Christmas Cheer is highly promoted by Guidepost Books, but some of the authors still got together to generate interest amongst our own audience. When I collaborate on a project, such as a novella, it is a group effort to promote so that helps. I just have to be careful not to over-fill my calendar so I still have time to write and am available when asked to do interviews.
Are you a full-time writer or do you hold a day job? What is the biggest challenge/obstacle you face in protecting your writing time?
I write full-time from home, and I’d have to say that is the challenge. Home always has the draw of family activities and chores that need to be done. But since my children are grown, and my husband is at work during the day, I’m blessed to have plenty of time to concentrate on my writing.
If you could choose one particular time period to write about, which era would it be and why?
To read Carla's answer to this and several other questions, come back tomorrow for Day 2 of "Meet Carla Olson Gade!"
Carla is offering a copy of Pattern for Romance to a very fortunate reader who leaves a comment (with e-mail addy) as well as answers her question:
Do you have a family heirloom that you treasure? I’d love to hear about it.