Good morning! This morning I'm delighted to introduce you to historical author Rebecca DeMarino. Without further ado here's the interview:
Welcome to PASTimes! Thanks for joining us and sharing a bit about your writing world. Congratulations on the release of your new book To Capture Her Heart. Tell us a bit about it.
Thank you so much! I am really delighted to be here. Here’s a synopsis of my second novel: In 1653 Heather Flower, a princess of the Montauk tribe, is celebrating her wedding feast when a rival tribe attacks, killing the groom and kidnapping her. Though her ransom is paid, she is nonetheless bound by her captors and left to die—until she finds herself rescued by handsome Dutch Lieutenant Dirk Van Buren.
Still tender from her loss, Heather Flower begins to heal in the home of Englishman Ben Horton, a longtime friend of her people. But despite Ben’s affectionate attentions, she can’t stop thinking about the handsome Dutchman who saved her from certain death. Can she find peace again among her own people? Or will her growing affection for her rescuer draw her into conflict with everyone she loves?
What drew you to write this book? This is the second book of The Southold Chronicles series, and as I was researching book one, A Placein His Heart, I discovered a nugget of information about Quashawam – some call her Heather Flower – the daughter of the Montaukett sachem, Wyandanch, and it proved a gem. She was kidnapped on her wedding day and her groom killed by a fierce rival tribe. Records exist that indicate an Englishman, Lion Gardiner, paid her ransom. Details were scarce, but the story was too good to ignore!
How did you get the idea for To Capture Her Heart and your Southold Chronicles novels? The Southold Chronicles are based on my ninth great-grandparents, the Hortons, who came from England in the 1630’s on a little ship called The Swallow. My mother was born a Horton and I grew up hearing the stories she grew up with. In 1999 we discovered Horton Point Lighthouse, named after our ancestor, and I took her out to Long Island to see it. In the cemetery you can still read the epitaph on his blue slate that he is said to have written himself. There was much information about Barnabas – he was a widower with two young sons, Joseph and Benjamin, when he married my ninth great-grandmother. But there was little about Mary. I tried to imagine what it was like for her to marry and leave her family for the wilds of New England, and I knew I wanted to give her a voice. In the second book of the series, To Capture Her Heart, Joseph and Benjamin are all grown up. The Hortons and Southold, the town they helped found, are still very much part of the story.
What was the greatest challenge in writing this book?
The greatest challenge is also something I enjoy the most – the research! Though some documents exist such as Barnabas’s will, and some that pertain to his landholdings and tenure as a magistrate, I didn’t have any diaries or letters. And I found many controversies of “facts”. Though that could be frustrating at times, it also afforded some leeway which is nice when you are writing fiction!
What did you learn as you wrote To Capture Her Heart?
Personally, I learned to come to God in the morning, and ask Him to lead my day. To ask Him to take my worries and cares and give me His peace and joy, to fill my words with His love. While writing ToCapture Her Heart, I also reflected about how we are all loved by God and even with all of our blunders, He forgives and His love is steadfast.
What do you hope readers remember after your stories end?
I hope my readers savor the romance and rich history of the early beginnings of our country, and come away feeling they were entertained and their time well spent.
What surprises you most as you write your books?
The story itself and the twist and turns it takes with my characters. I’m not a plotter—I write the story as it flows. A little scary for me as I begin the story, so it surprises me as it takes me down the path and I find I’m loving what I see.
What piece of advice do you have for readers who want to write?
Write your passion—not the trends—and don’t give up! I would love to teach a class on “Discovering Your Passion in Writing.”
What’s next for you?
I just turned in the manuscript for the third book in The Southold Chronicles. It moves up another decade, to 1664, and Patience Terry, the young girl who sails on The Swallow with the Hortons and settles in Southold, is my heroine. So edits and all that goes with publishing are on the horizon!
What are you currently reading? Reading is one of my biggest pleasures. On the fiction side, I just finished reading Nancy Horan’s Under the Wide and Starry Sky, about Fanny Osbourne Stevenson—wife of Robert Louis Stevenson—it was fantastic. And I’m just beginning My Dearest Patsy, the Early Years of Martha Washington, a novel by Barbara Vest. I’m also reading Founding Mothers, The Women Who Raised Our Nation, by Cokie Roberts – a nonfiction look at the women behind the men during the American Revolution.
Which of your books would you love to see turned into a movie?
I think To Capture Her Heart, with all of its elements of the rich history, culture and romance of Long Island in the 1650’s would make both an exciting and beautiful movie. It’s packed with scenes I can picture on the big screen!
Do you participate in author book signings or events?
Where can readers find you? I love to! I will be going to the International Christian Retailer Show in Orlando, FL, at the end of June. And then on the Fourth of July I will be on Long Island for Southold’s 375th Anniversary! I will be signing copies of To Capture Her Heart at Burton’s Bookstore on July 4th, and the Tall Ships will be in port! I am truly excited to be a part of their grand celebration! For more information about my new release and future book events, please visit me at www.rebeccademarino.com. And click here to find me on Facebook!
Rebecca is graciously giving away a copy ofTo Capture Her Heart. To enter, just use this form. Good luck!