Novel PASTimes's own Tamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures and writes Christian historical fiction set in America because there are so many adventures in American history. She has two novellas published, Soldier’s Heart and A Christmas Promise. She is married to the love of her life, has two married children, two grandchildren and lives in Akron, Ohio.
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?
Wow, only two or three? I’m going to recommend authors instead of limiting myself to one story. I love Julie Lessman’s historical romances because they’re full of passion and unpredictable. Ann Shorey’s novels touch my heart with stories of courageous women trying to cope with the turmoil around them. I also just read a novel by Mary Ellis set in the Civil War, The Quaker and the Rebel. It was very good.
What do you consider the best resources for historical research?
Google, of course, is my best friend. But there are other great resources I also use. Sometimes I can find an obscure, dated, out of print books written in the time period from Google Books. I also love to visit or call museums, colleges, and historical societies in the area. You would not believe how helpful the people at these places are when you tell them what you’re doing and ask them questions.
What or who inspired you to write inspirational fiction? How does that keep you plodding ahead with your writing each day?
I don’t think I ever decided to write inspirational fiction. That’s just the way I write. The Christ in me comes out on the written page so strongly that my fiction wouldn’t be acceptable to secular publishers. I truly believe I’m doing what God wants me to do, so He keeps me going.
What helps you maintain productivity as a writer? And what do you find most challenging about the business of being an author?
I have a schedule that I try to stick to every day. If I leave it up to inspiration only, I never get anything done. I don’t always manage to maintain my schedule because my family sometimes requires my attention. That’s when I have to remind myself that people are more important than fictional characters even if the characters sometimes seem more real.
I’d have to say the most challenging part about the business is waiting for things to happen and not getting discouraged when God’s timing is not my timing.
Do you feel you are more of a character driven or plot driven writer? How do you think it comes across in your writing?
I’ve been asked this before, and I honestly don’t know. I start with an historical event, so that would lean more toward plot driven. Then I develop my characters. I can’t start writing until I get to know my characters, so that would tend to lean toward character driven. Then the stories are created by dropping the characters in the historical events and writing down what happens. I can’t really classify myself as either.
Would you like to share about what you are working on now? Perhaps you’d also like to tell us about your recent novella, A Christmas Promise.
A Christmas Promise was published by Harbourlight Books in November. It’s about Moravian missionaries in 1773 who decide to live in the wilderness of Ohio to bring the Gospel to the Lenape Indians. Moravians developed many of the Christmas traditions we celebrate today.
Another story I just finished is Alice's Notions, a post World War II novel I co-wrote about Communist spies in a small Appalachian village in West Virginia. It was a lot of fun to write. It’s sort of a cozy romantic suspense.
Do you have any last words of wisdom to share with aspiring authors?
My best word of advice is to not become discouraged too easily. The publishing business takes patience and perseverance. The authors who do the best are those who spent a lot of time perfecting their craft, continued to write and develop a backlog of novels while they were waiting, and who didn’t give up or take shortcuts. The best writers might never be published traditionally because they didn’t follow my “words of wisdom” in their writing careers.
Thank you, Tamera, for joining us at Novel PASTimes. It has been a privilege to interview you.
Thank you for having me. You can connect further with Tamera Lynn Kraft at the following places online:
Word Sharpeners Blog: http://tameralynnkraft.com
Please leave a comment by answering the question Tamera is asking below for a chance to win her novel, Soldier's Heart. Don't forget to include your email address in the form of name[at]domain[dot]com before 8:30 a.m. EDT this Friday morning to qualify for the drawing. (U.S. entries only qualify to win the paperback edition. Entries outside the U.S. qualify for the ebook.)
Tamera would like at least 10 comments for the drawing to take place:
Have you known any soldiers personally who struggled coming home from a military conflict? How did they handle it?