Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tamera Lynn Kraft Finds History in her Hometown

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.

Tamera, it’s great to have you at Novel PASTimes today. Could you share with us some of the surprises you’ve encountered along the road to publishing?

I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but when I started out writing novels seriously for publication, I was surprised at how long it would take and how much perseverance I would need. I thought I was a pretty good writer, but I found out I had a lot of work to do to write at a professional level. Then there’s the waiting game every time I sent a submission to another agent. Once I received representation from an agent, I thought I would be published in no time. But again, I was wrong. It seemed to take forever. Writing is not for the faint of heart.

Please tell us something about your novella, Soldier’s Heart.

Soldier's Heart is a Civil War novella about a married couple dealing with PTSD after the husband returns from fighting in the war.

Here’s the Blurb: Noah Andrews, a soldier with the Ohio Seventh Regiment can’t wait to get home now that his three year enlistment is coming to an end. He plans to start a new life with his young wife. Molly was only sixteen when she married her hero husband. She prayed every day for him to return home safe and take over the burden of running a farm.
But they can’t keep the war from following Noah home. Can they build a life together when his soldier’s heart comes between them?
Soldier’s Heart is set in Ohio in 1863, after the Civil War. What drew you to write about this time period and the location of your story?

The Civil War was such a pivotal point for the United States. I love reading about it. I was researching the Ohio Seventh Regiment for another Civil War novel and was amazed at the courage of this regiment from Northeast Ohio. This regiment was considered the most heroic by many historians and fought in more major battles than any other. Yet their worst battle was their last. At the battle of Ringgold Gap, they were ambushed, and most of their officers were killed.  It haunted me what these men must have gone through coming home a few months later feeling defeated when the war wasn’t over yet. I decided to set it in the small city of Ravenna, Ohio because a couple of companies from the Seventh came from that area, and I grew up there. It was fun researching where I spent my childhood.

Have you found that similar themes throughout your writing? Why?  Or why not?

Yes, I have. It seems my novels revolve around two themes: redemption and courage and sacrifice in the face of evil. That’s probably because those are the stories I love to read. Soldier's Heart has a bit of both themes.

What drew you to writing historical novels or novellas?

That’s where my ideas come from. I don’t think of a story and then set it in the past. I love history, and I usually find an interesting historical event and wonder how the people in the time period managed being in the middle of these pivotal moments in our nation’s history. Generally that’s how my stories are birthed. I would love to write a contemporary story, but when I try to, I draw a blank.

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?

More tomorrow from author, Tamera Lynn Kraft. 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?


Sandy Holliday said...

I tensely watched my son when he returned from Iraq. Each time he returned on furlough, he was different. After boot camp he was a better man, peaceful, respectful, happy. On subsequent leaves after being in Iraq he wouldn't talk about the war, he would only talk to his Dad, and I was a non-person. He DID mention being "forced" to go to memorials for each man that died. This book was a very good read for me.

Kathleen Rouser said...

Thank you, Sandy, for sharing your heart with us. Sending up prayers for your son today!