This week we have an extra special interview and author spotlight – we’re hosting Cara C. Putman, Sarah Sundin and Tricia Goyer, all of whom have a novella in When Treetops Glisten. We’ve hosted each of them individually here at PASTimes, but are excited about having them all here today.
Cara C. Putman, the award-winning author of 19 books, graduated high school at 16, college at 20, and completed her law degree at 27. FIRST for Women magazine called Shadowed by Grace “captivating” and a “novel with ‘the works.’” Cara is a business law lecturer to graduate students at Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management, practices law, and is a second-generation homeschooling mom. She also serves on the executive board of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). She lives with her husband and four children in Indiana.
Sarah Sundin is the author of six historical novels, including In Perfect Time (Revell, August 2014) plus a novella in Where Treetops Glisten (WaterBrook, September 2014). Her novel On Distant Shores was a double finalist for the 2014 Golden Scroll Awards, and in 2011 Sarah received the Writer of the Year Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. A mother of three, Sarah lives in northern California, works on-call as a hospital pharmacist, and teaches Sunday school and women’s Bible studies.
Tricia Goyer is a busy mom of six, grandmother of two, and wife to John. A bestselling author, Tricia has published forty-seven books to date and has written more than 500 articles. She is a two time Carol Award winner, as well as a Christy and ECPA Award Nominee. In 2010, she was selected as one of the Top 20 Moms to Follow on Twitter by SheKnows.com. Tricia is also on the blogging team at MomLifeToday.com, TheBetterMom.com and other homeschooling and Christian sites.
Welcome, everyone, and congratulations on the release of Where Treetops Glisten! We know you’ve all written World War II stories before and that this is a World War II Christmas novella collection. How did it come about?
Cara: It was my idea because I’d written in a couple novella collections for Barbour and wanted to do one that focused on WWII at Christmas. I was so DELIGHTED when Sarah and Tricia said yes, they’d do this with me.
Sarah: It was Cara’s idea to write a WWII Christmas novella collection. I’d always thought it would be fun to write a novella, so I jumped on the idea. And the opportunity to work with these creative and energetic women really appealed to me.
Tricia: Well, since I adore these two women—and their writing—it wasn't hard to say YES. Cara brought up the idea and after one phone conversation with both Cara and Sarah, we were off! Get three writers, who are passionate about the same time in history, together and it's easy to have something fun to write about!
Can you tell us a bit about your novella and its characters?
Cara: White Christmas is Abigail Turner’s story of finding love by moving past the pain of the past. She’s a student at Purdue University who makes candy canes at a local candy shop in town. Jackson works at a local puzzle factory and is trying to stop the foreclosure of his family’s farm. They’re thrust together trying to save it. They might just find love along the way.
Sarah: In I’ll Be Home for Christmas, fighter pilot Lt. Pete Turner has just come home to Lafayette on furlough after a combat tour, and he’s flying on empty. He meets a little girl in search of something she’s lost…and the child’s lovely widowed mother, Grace Kessler. However, Grace remembers Pete as the bully he once was. Can Pete’s unusual gift fill the empty places in their hearts?
Tricia: In Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas Meredith Turner, "Merry" to those who know her best, is using her skills as a combat nurse on the frontline in the Netherlands. Halfway around the world from home, Merry never expects to face her deepest betrayal head on, but that's precisely what God has in mind to redeem her broken heart. It's a Christmas on the warfront that Merry will never forget.
Those all sound great! Let’s imagine your main character lives with us here in 2014. What would he or she want for Christmas?
Cara: An iPad or another tablet. She’s in school and needs something that can multi-task with her.
Sarah: Pete’s very serious and mature—but he has a wild side. I could see him enjoying the latest video game system. He’d probably teach little Linnie to play and drive her mother crazy.
Tricia: Meredith would order up a full turkey dinner for everyone going through hard times. She sees needs and wants to help. If she had to pick a present for herself she'd pick something sentimental like a snow globe with white sand from Miami Beach.
Where was the idea for your novella born?
Cara: I had worked on a couple novella collections and asked Sarah and Tricia if they’d like to do one. Fortunately, they said yes!
Sarah: For me, ideas usually need lots of percolating and stoking, but Pete and Grace’s story came together in a flash on a long car drive at Christmastime, listening to Christmas music. The whole plot flew together in a matter of hours. It was a blast!
Tricia: And as soon as Cara contacted me I knew that I wanted to write about the Battle of the Bulge. I've interviewed numerous veterans who served on the war front, and what many people don't know is that there were nurses so close to the front during World War II. I didn't want the romance to be with a doctor or a soldier, so I found a way to bring in a past love in a unique way.
Would you share one of your family’s Christmas traditions with us? Or did any of your traditions find their way into your novella?
Visitors, come back tomorrow for the answer to this and other questions from Cara, Sarah, and Tricia. In the meantime, answer this question from them in the comments section to be entered in our drawing to win a copy of When Treetops Glisten:
How do you simplify Christmas at your house?
We’re looking forward to seeing your answers, and to hearing more from our spotlight authors tomorrow. See you then!