Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Carrie Turansky - Writing Fiction Reminiscent of Downton Abbey

Carrie Turansky is the award-winning author of more than a dozen inspirational novels and novellas. Her latest releases are The Daughter of Highland Hall, and Where Two Hearts Meet. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, Scott, who is a pastor, author, and counselor. They have five adult children and four grandchildren. Carrie leads women’s ministry at her church, and she enjoys gardening, flower arranging, and cooking healthy meals for friends and family.

Welcome, Carrie, please tell us about your latest book, The Daughter of Highland Hall.

The Daughter of Highland Hall follows 18-year-old Kate Ramsey on a journey of faith and self-discovery as she travels to London to make her debut in society. Her overbearing aunt insists she secure a marriage proposal from a wealthy, titled man to gain a position and secure her future. As Kate begins making the round of balls and garden parties, she attracts the attention of Edward Wellington, who seems to have all the qualifications she is looking for, yet, she’s not sure if he is the best choice. Will that lifestyle bring her true happiness?

When a shocking family scandal forces Kate out of the social spotlight, she has time to volunteer with medical student Jonathan Foster, the handsome and caring brother of her governess. Jon, a strong Christian, is determined to help the poor in London’s East End. As her friendship with Jon deepens and her faith grows, Kate begins to envision a different kind of future, one that includes Jonathan. Is she ready to make the sacrifices that choice would require? If she does, what will her family and society think?

What led you to write this story?

The Daughter of Highland Hall is Book 2 in the Edwardian Brides Series. While I was researching book 1, The Governess of Highland Hall, I read some interesting articles about how wealthy young women prepared to come out in society and meet their future husband. The first event of the season is their presentation to the king and queen. I thought it would be interesting to explore how a young woman like Kate would face these events and make their choices for the future. I loved learning more about English society and customs during Edwardian times. I’m a Downton Abbey fan, so I wanted my books to have a similar feeling and include the wealthy family who live upstairs and the servants who live and work below stairs.  

How do you schedule or find time for your writing? What does your average day look like?

I’m blessed to work at home, and my kids are grown, so that gives me a bit of freedom to plan my own days. I like to exercise and have some time of Bible study in the morning, then check email for a few minutes before I start writing. I do my best writing in the morning, but I usually work into the afternoon as well. Mid-afternoon I usually take a break to go for a walk or run errands then cook dinner. Evenings are time to relax with my husband, although I often use that time answer email, write blog posts, and check in with social networks. Once or twice a week I’m out to see friends or attend our women’s Bible study. 

As a Christian author, what do you feel is the best way to weave God’s truth into your story?

I like to give my characters issues they need to overcome and conflicting desires that push them to seek answers as they make important decisions. I like to bring different people and influences into their lives to help them find the answers they are seeking. I try to think of the ways God has shown Himself to me, my family, my friends, and then use some of these same experiences to help my characters. I sometimes use Bible passages to illustrate a truth for my characters, but I try to have another character share it in a realistic way or have the character read it themselves. I want to show a natural progress and journey of faith rather than sudden insight.

Are you an introvert or extrovert? And why do you think this?

I think people are born with their personality type, and I’m a homebody and an introvert. I like one-on-one conversations rather than interacting with large groups. But I’m learning to be more comfortable as a speaker. I’ve had several opportunities lately, and each time it’s getting a little easier.

More tomorrow from author, Carrie Turansky. Please leave a comment by answering the question Carrie is asking below for a chance to win a paper back or Kindle ebook copy of her novel, The Daughter of Highland Hall. 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. entrants only for paper back.) 

If you could visit any country in Europe, which would it be; and what would you like to see?


Kate said...

I would love to visit the Scotland, Ireland, entire Great Britain area. Seeing castles, ruins, and Stonehedge would be fascinating!

Thanks for the giveaway!

Jeff and Shaun said...

I would like to go to Ireland, Scotland and Norway. I would love to see the castles. A long time ago there use to be a show on TV about castles and they have always fascinated me.


Tricia Mingerink said...

I'd love to visit England and see Portsmouth. I'm a big naval history fan, so I'd love to be able to see the HMS Victory, which is in permanent dry dock there.


Deanna Stevens said...

I too would love to explore a Castle. I have cousins who play the bagpipes at family reunions & I've always want to go see Scotland, I can only imagine :) dkstevensne AT outlook DOTcom

Beth Gillihan said...

I would love to visit Ireland and Scottland. I would visit the castles.

traveler said...

I would travel to and visit Italy, and France. Fascinating places, and historic and wonderful. saubleb(at)gmail(dot0com

Amy Putney said...

I've been to the British Isles for a short tour, but I would LOVE to go back and spend more time there! I'd also love to go to France, Italy, Switzerland... most of Europe! I have a lot of Medieval royal ancestors so I'd like to see where they lived and explore their castles (at least the ones that are still standing) and maybe even see where some of them are buried. :)

Love your writing Carrie! I can't wait to read this book!

amyputney89 [at] gmail [dot] com

Carrie Turansky said...

Hi Friends, it's fun to hear where you'd like to travel in Europe! I've been blessed to travel to the UK twice to research this series. The last time was in May when I visited Tyntesfield, the estate I have in mind as Highland Hall. It's near Bristol in South West England. Beautiful! But Italy is high on my list like "Traveler" said.

Carrie Turansky said...

Deanna, when I was in Scotland in May there was a wedding at one of the hotels where we stayed. Many of the men wore kilts and there was a bagpiper. It was wonderful to hear him play!

Terri Wangard said...

I've been in Germany briefly before, but I'd love to spend some time there. See Neuschwanstein castle, castles of the Rhine, and towns where my ancestors lived.
tlw131 [at] gmail [dot] com

Amber Schamel said...

I have the audio version of this book, and can't wait to listen in as soon as I'm done with Nancy Kimball's Chasing the Lion.

I've posted about the giveaway on my goodreads group.
Many blessings!
Amber Schamel

Anne said...

If I could travel anywhere in Europe, I would go to England!! I read a lot of books set in England, and I would love to see London and Bath, particularly. :)

Thank you for the giveaway!


Kathleen Rouser said...

Like Ann, I would love to go to England and visit
Bath and London, especially since my niece lives
in Bath and it was once the home of Jane Austen.

For several years I have wanted to visit Italy. I had
ancestors in Sicily, but I would like to see many
places there. So much history!

Thank you for your comments, everyone! And
I'm so glad you will be with us one more day,

Melanie Backus said...

Lush, green rolling hills, quaint cottages, plaid kilts and scarves....yes, Scotland is where I would love to visit.

mauback55 at gmail dot com

Sandra Padgett said...
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Sandra Padgett said...
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Sandra Padgett said...

I would love to visit Ireland. I've read a lot of historical fiction about that country and I love it. Thanks for the giveaway. slvie50athotmaildotcom.

Jan Wallace Reber said...

Finally had a chance to visit Great Britain this spring. Wow! Sadly, I went to Highclere but it was closed to visitors that day! Love your books,

Bree said...

I've been blessed to have had the opportunity to visit many countries in Europe, but I'd love to go back to France. I was only in Paris for about a day and half, which isn't nearly enough time to experience the beautiful city and eat their marvelous food.

Deanne said...

I would love to go to Ireland .
My Grandmothers mother came over on a boat from Dublin and I've always wanted to investigate my family history from Ireland.

Deanne said...

Cnnamongirl (at )aol (dot)com

Britney Adams said...

I loved Carrie's interview and am so eager to read THE DAUGHTER OF HIGHLAND HALL! I would visit Switzerland and enjoy the picturesque villages, the Matterhorn, and the delicious chocolate!!

texaggs2000 at gmail dot com

Charlyn said...

There are so many places I'd like to visit, but I think I'd choose Vienna Austria. My husband & I went there 31 years ago with family. I'd like to return with my grown children. The city had many historic places that had been restored after WWII.

Thank you for the giveaway opportunity.