Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Meet Author Carla Olson Gade - Day 1

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.


KayM said...

Carla, your novel sounds like it tells a wonderful and inspiring story. I can't imagine the hardship and suffering that went on during the times of the birth of our country. I am looking forward to reading Pattern for Romance.

To answer your question, I do have numerous family heirlooms. Since we've been celebrating Veterans Day, I'll mention a clock that I have. My father, who fought in the South Pacific during WWII, bought a wonderful mantle clock for his father during a R&R in Hawaii. When my grandfather died, my father received back the clock. When my father died, I received the clock with the instructions that I was to pass it on to my firstborn and so on.

I'm looking forward to the rest of the interview--you left us hanging--LOL!

Susan P said...

I love the Quilts of Love series! I am hoping to get the whole collection at some point. :) Thanks for sharing with us - a fun interview. As for a family heirloom - we don't really have any that are worth money, just heavy on sentimentality. I like it that way.
lattebooks at hotmail dot com

Carla Olson Gade said...

That's a wonderful heirloom, Kaye. Thank you for sharing about it, especially in connection to the military. It sounds like it will be special for many years to come!

Carla Olson Gade said...

Susan, the sentimental type of heirlooms are priceless, aren't they? I'm glad you enjoy the Quilts of Love series. It's been a joy to be a part of it.

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

I really look forward to reading this book, Carla, since you did some of the research at CW when you were here visiting a few years ago. Your enthusiasm for your subject was wonderful! Loved your story in A Cup of Christmas Cheer, too--lovely!

Barbara Thompson said...

Enjoyed your interview. Book sounds great. I have quite a few family heirlooms, but the one I treasure the most is my Grandmother's Bible. My Mother is the youngest of eleven children, so my Grandmother died when Mom was 14years old. All I ever heard about Grandma Stella was good. I was told how precious her Bible was to her and she wrote in the sidelines as she read and searched for the plan of salvation. Now, I know how precious this Bible is to my Mother, so it will be very precious to me coming from two wonderful women. Thank you for the chance to enter the giveaway.
Barbara Thompson

Linda Finn said...

I am looking forward to reading this as well. I have my great great grandmother ingisons wooden rolling pin ! I also have a glass candy dish and china hutch top and a sampler quilt of my grandmother fishers and several depression glass pieces of my MIL's and several cookbooks of hers as well. Love old things.
~Linda Finn
Faithful Acres Books

Carla Olson Gade said...

Carrie, it was so wonderful being at CW with you for that research. I had just sent the proposal in for this book! Thank you for coming by!

Carla Olson Gade said...

Barbara, how wonderful that you have your grandmother's Bible. I have a few from my grandparents, 2 of them in Swedish. I treasure them so much.

Carla Olson Gade said...

What lovely items to have, Linda. I have several old cookbooks from my grandmothers and a great aunt. I just love having them and still use the recipes.

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed this interview Carla. I love old things but have just about none of my folks. They never had a lot with having gotten burned out 3 times through the years. I do have an old iron that I got from my mother. With 6 older siblings, not sure who got what when my folks passed away. I know mother had pillowcases's with knitted lace trim and some stuff like this that belonged to my dad's mom. You see she was the mom to my mother having married at 15 and losing her own mother when she was 5. i also know there was embroidered and crochet things mother made, but I got none. I do have some old stuff from my husband's family. He would be 93 if he were still here. I have a family Bible that belonged to his dad where he had put the births and deaths from way back. So it is really old. And an old iron clock that my brother-in-law had since just a kid about 111 0r 12 from an original Drugstore in Elgin,Ks. many years ago. He was always admired it sitting on a shelf so when the owner sold his business, he gave it to Frank. It is the shape of a rectangle about 12 or 13 inches tall and so heavy I can hardly lift it. I'm sure it is worth a lot, but put it in a closet when we were going out of town in case someone got in the house and wish I hadn't for the closet got flooded from a leaking hot water tank, and messed up the writing etc. at the bottom. Never checked to see if there was anyway to restore it. And, have my husband's mother's China. I do have a lot of old pictures that were given me by one of my dad's sisters that I treasure I would love to win your book Carla. Thanks!
Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

Anonymous said...

Sorry about the errors in my comments. That was 11 or 12 years old. And, Elgin was a lively old west town way back when the cattle drives were taken there from Texas to load onto the train. There are still people there, but no businesses. It is listed in some of the Ghost Towns books. Maxie

Malvina Beatrice said...

It would be the family album where everyone will gather around and look through together, adding more to the collection, making memories. I am absolutely taken into reading your book!


Carla Olson Gade said...

Wow, Maxie I'm sorry to hear that your parents got burned out so many times. How tragic. I'm glad you were able to come by some special keepsakes like your father in law's Bible. That is a treasure especially with the family genealogy recorded inside.

Carla Olson Gade said...

I love that you have a special family album, Malvina. Great fun to look through, aren't they? And congratulations, you won a copy of my novel!