Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Mary Ellis talks about her Facsination with the Civil War Day 1

Mary Ellis has written twelve bestselling novels set in the Amish community and recently completed several historical romances set during the Civil War. The Last Heiress is her latest release. She is currently working on a new mystery series, Secrets of the South, for Harvest House Publishers. Before "retiring" to write full-time, Mary taught school and worked as a sales rep for Hershey Chocolate. Her debut book was nominated for a 2010 Carol Award.
Mary is giving away a copy of her new novel, The Last Heiress. For details, go to the end of this interview.

Welcome to PASTimes, Mary. Tell us a little about your current novel, The Last Heiress.
She crossed the sea to save a legacy…finding love wasn't part of her plan. Amanda Dunn set sail from England for Wilmington, North Carolina, hoping to restore shipments of cotton for her family’s textile mills, which have been disrupted by the American Civil War. But when she meets Nathaniel Cooper, her desire to conduct business and return to England changes. Amanda’s family deems the hardworking merchant unsuitable for the accomplished heiress. And when Nate himself begins to draw away, Amanda has her own battle on her hands. As the Union navy tightens its noose around Southern ports, Nate’s long lost brother, a Confederate officer, arrives in Wilmington with his regiment. Nate contemplates joining the Glorious Cause—not in support of slavery but to watch his brother’s back. Yet will his dangerous decision put his future with Amanda in jeopardy? 
Are you a full-time writer or do you hold a day job?
I write full-time, however when I started writing I held a day job for years.
What is the biggest challenge/obstacle you face in protecting your writing time? Social media. I plan to update my status on Facebook and check what my friends are doing and suddenly two or three hours have disappeared!
What historical time periods interest you the most and how have you immersed yourself in a particular time period?
I have been fascinated with American History my entire life, from the colonial period through the Civil War. Every vacation with my parents and almost every vacation during my marriage has been to a historical area, Civil War battlefield, and or colonial settlement such as Concord, MA, St. Augustine, FL, or Williamsburg, VA.
Introduce us briefly to the main characters in your most recent book.
In The Last Heiress, My heroine, Amanda Dunn, is heiress to the largest textile mill in Manchester, England. The man she falls in love with, Nathaniel Cooper, is a poor shopkeeper from Wilmington, who many believe to be an anarchist.
What are you working on now?
I am working on a series of mysteries, called Secrets of the South. The first three will be set in New Orleans, Memphis and Natchez, Mississippi—cities I have visited often and love. I’m fascinated with southern towns that have remained connected to their past. 
A reader once asked me this question, and I thought it was a good one. Is there ever a time when you feel like your work is truly finished and complete?

Find out Mary's answer in tomorrow's interview.

Mary Ellis is giving away a copy of her new novel, The Last Heiress. To find out how to be entered in the drawing, click below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Caroline said...

I'm always fascinated with Mary's writing. The depth of her research shows up in her books. Love her writing! :) Looking forward to tomorrow's post too.

traveler said...

Class distinction is no longer important and has no bearing upon our lives as it did way back when. We don't regard it as a vital and necessary component in our choices. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Loraine Nunley said...

I don't think class distinction is as important in the United States now as it was historically. Thanks for the interview and giveaway! momrain(AT)aol(DOT)com

Susan P said...

Definitely not as important today as it used to be. But we sure do look for certain things when searching for someone special in our lives.