Ann Shorey is the author of the At Home in Beldon Grove series for Revell. Where Wildflowers Bloom and When the Heart Heals are the first two books in her “Sisters at Heart” series, also for Revell. Love’s Sweet Beginning is the final book in this series. Ann and her husband make their home in southwestern Oregon. She can be reached through her website http://www.annshorey.com/. Find her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AnnShorey.
What drew you to writing historical novels?
My family history was the catalyst for my fiction. I have a number of family memoirs dating from the American Revolution on down through travel over the Oregon Trail. In the 1990’s I used these memoirs to write a nonfiction family history, and in so doing realized that all of the reminiscences were written by men. I wanted to write fiction to get into the women’s point of view.
If you’re anything like I am, one favorite book is hard to pick! Do you have two or three top picks among the historical genre that you would care to recommend?
You’re so right—it is hard to choose! I know my recommendations will leave out some favorites, but here are my top picks from the last couple of years:
Burning Sky, by Lori Benton
Widow of Gettysburg, by Jocelyn Green
Courting Morrow Little, by Laura Frantz.
What do you consider the best resources for historical research?
There are so many it’s hard to say. When I am plotting a book, I often read nonfiction titles that are tied in with my subject and time period. Diaries and actual accounts of events are priceless, if I can find them.
Traveling to the area I’m researching is valuable, not only for soaking up local atmosphere, but for finding historical accounts written by local authors. These books are often self-published, so they’re not generally available outside their geographic area. If I find books containing old photographs I’m in author’s heaven! Pictures are fantastic resources.
What or who inspired you to write inspirational fiction? How does that keep you plodding ahead with your writing each day?
As a Christian, it never occurred to me to write anything other than inspirational fiction. I believe the Lord gifted me with the ability to write, and I want my work to honor Him.
What helps you maintain productivity as a writer? And what do you find most challenging about the business of being an author?
Having my novels sketched out before I start writing gives me a roadmap to follow as the days go by. The most challenging part of the business is the time marketing takes away from writing. I don’t multi-task very well!
Do you feel you are more of a character driven or plot driven writer? How do you think it comes across in your writing?
Is it possible to be a combination of both? My plots cause my characters to change in some way, but I believe that caring about the character is what drives the plot. How’s that for a confusing answer?
Would you like to share about what you are working on now? Or about your upcoming novella release, in April, Lessons in Love, part of the Sincerely Yours novella collection?
I’m excited about the upcoming novella release. Each of the stories begins with a young woman receiving a letter that changes the course of her life. I love the title Revell chose for the collection—Sincerely Yours is perfect. Amanda Cabot, Laurie Alice Eakes, Jane Kirkpatrick, and I contributed to the collection, which spans the 19th Century.
My novella, Lessons in Love, concerns Merrie Bentley, an unmarried woman who writes a marriage advice column for a weekly magazine. From her initials, the publisher assumes she’s a man. When he asks to meet Mr. Bentley, how will Merrie manage to keep her writing job?
Do you have any last words of wisdom to share with aspiring authors?
Keep writing and perfecting your work. Don’t be in a hurry. I thought I was ready for publication long before I really was. A good critique group is a great help, both with writing suggestions and networking opportunities, but try to find one that has a couple of writers who are further along the journey than you are. Praise from your mom or best friend is nice to hear, but not very helpful.
Thank you, Ann, for joining us at Novel PASTimes. It has been a privilege to interview you.
I’ve enjoyed being here! Thank you for inviting me.
Please leave a comment by answering the question Ann is asking below for a chance to win her novel, Love's Sweet Beginning. Readers from the United States and Canada only qualify for this week's drawing.
We need at least seven entries this week
to hold a drawing, so please bring on your comments!
To be entered in this week’s drawings, please do the following:
1) Answer Ann's question.
2) Leave your email addy in the form of name[at]domain[dot]com.
3) Leave your answer in the comments before 8:30 a.m. ET. Thank you!
Here's Ann's question for you: In Love’s Sweet Beginning, Cassie is called a hurtful name, one that she can’t easily dismiss. Has this ever happened to you?