Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Jannine Gallant - Bringing History and the Beauty of Nature Together

Write about what you know. Jannine Gallant has taken this advice to heart, creating characters from small towns and plots that unfold in the great outdoors. Jannine lives in beautiful Lake Tahoe with her husband and two daughters. When she isn’t busy writing or being a full time mom, Jannine hikes or snowshoes in the woods around her home. Whether she’s writing historical, contemporary, or romantic suspense, Jannine brings the beauty of nature to her stories.

Jannine, 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’d have to say the biggest surprise is the number of really close, supportive friends I’ve made among fellow authors. Writing is lonely work, and this is one benefit I never anticipated when I began my journey. Sometimes only other authors can really appreciate the trials and triumphs we experience.

Please tell us something about your historical novel, An Uncertain Destiny.

Haunting visions have plagued Megan Pendrake for years, a dire promise of a turbulent future. When Megan and her brother are forced to flee England aboard a ship bound for the colonies, trouble looms. In 1692, Salem, Massachusetts is a hotbed of suspicion and persecution where the mere hint of witchcraft is a death sentence. Remaining in Salem is courting disaster, but Megan’s heart won't allow her to leave the man she has grown to love.

Nicholas Thayer is mesmerized by the beautiful, unconventional young woman who boards his ship posing as a cabin boy. But his future is predetermined, including a fiancĂ©e waiting for him at home. When Megan faces inconceivable peril, Nicholas must make the ultimate choice between family and faith or a love he can’t deny. But will he be able to save them both from An Uncertain Destiny?

An Uncertain Destiny is set in 1692, in Salem, Massachusetts. What drew you to write about this time period and the location of your story?

I’ve always been fascinated by early American history, and this particular time period is filled with the unique and horrifying drama of the witchcraft trials. I majored in history in college and took an in-depth course on Puritanism. I always knew I wanted to set a story during this time so filled with possibilities for conflict. It just took me twenty plus years to get it published! 

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

The major theme in this book is the clash between loyalty to family and faith vs. a love that rocks the foundations of my hero’s world. Nicholas must choose between everything he’s ever believed in and the woman he loves. I’ve never explored this theme, mainly because most of my other books are contemporary. This type of conflict seems more fitting for a bygone era. The tension invoked really plays on the emotions of all the main characters in the story.

What drew you to writing historical novels?

As I mentioned, I majored in history. I love learning about the past and analyzing the differences and commonalities I see through the centuries. Sharing another world, hopefully giving readers some insight into a long ago time, is a rewarding experience.

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?

I’d have to say my favorite historical author of all time is LaVyrle Spencer. It broke my heart when she retired from writing. I’ve read all her books, and the historicals perfectly capture the emotions of a time and place. I’d recommend any of them.

What do you consider the best resources for historical research? 

More tomorrow from author, Jannine Gallant. Please leave a comment by answering the question Jannine is asking below for a chance to win an ebook copy of her novel, An Uncertain Destiny. Don't forget to include your email address in the form of name[at]domain[dot]com before 8:30 a.m. ET this Friday morning to qualify for the drawing.


Jannine's question for you:
What is your favorite era in American history to read about?


Patty said...

I particularly like to read about the American west. Sort of mid to late 1800's... love a good Oregon Trail story!


Jannine Gallant said...

Hi Patty, I have an 1880's western historical called Bittersweet. Love that period too!

Amy C said...

I think I lean more toward the Revolutionary War era.
campbellamyd at gmail dot com

Jannine Gallant said...

Amy, such an awesome period. I have a book set during the Revolutionary War I wrote a million years ago that's never been published. Needs a massive rewrite first!

bn100 said...

the American West

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Jannine Gallant said...

Thanks for visiting bn 100, a great period.