Women of Faith and Fiction ~ Trisha Robertson

I love reading a book review because I enjoy hearing the reader’s ideas. Every reader will bring something different to the table. So this year for Women of Faith and Fiction, I wanted to give a shout-out to the book reviewers. They do a marvelous job! Let’s begin.

Personal

Who is Trisha Robertson?

Hi, my name is Trisha Robertson. I am a book reviewer/blogger. I have always loved stories. My love of reading began around age 8 and I’ve had my nose in a book ever since. I started writing stories of my own in elementary school. Stories that have never seen the light of day, and many that are lost to the dust of time. I especially enjoy reading and learning about History. Be sure to stop by my blog and say “Hello!” You can find me at www.joyofreadingweb.wordpress.com

You can also follow me at these locations:

Twitter: www.twitter.com/JoyOfReading7

Facebook: www.facebook.com/JoyOfReadingBlog

Instagram: www.instagram.com/trishrobertson

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/trishrobertson1

Professional

Your love of reading shows, Trisha. Tell me, who is your all-time favorite character?

Honestly, I enjoy all the characters I meet in books. My favorite character changes with each book I read! 😊

I hear ya! What is your latest read about?

As I write this, I’m currently reading The Blizzard Bride by Susanne Dietz. The story is part of the Daughters of the Mayflower collection from Barbour. Each story stands on its own and can be read in any order, but it is fun to read the stories down through history from the Mayflower! This story takes place during the Blizzard of 1888 in Nebraska. It is quite a page-turning story!

I will definitely have to check it out. Please, tell us about your reading process.

I don’t really have a reading process. I just pick up a book and read it!  I do have little sticky flags to mark favorite quotes or things I want to remember. Or in my digital books, I use the highlight feature.

Where would we be without our highlight feature? I like marking my favorite quotes. Moving on… What is your best marketing tip?

Give signed bookplates to members of your influence team. I’m always more inclined to buy a print copy over a digital copy if I have a signed bookplate to add to my book!
Share your book on various social media platforms. The more people see your book, the more likely they are to buy it.

I like both ideas, especially the signed bookplate idea. Do you choose a word or scripture for each year?

No, I don’t really choose a word or scripture for each year.  I know it’s a rather popular thing to do. For me, I feel that just one word or one verse doesn’t fit the entire year.

Inspirational

I believe it’s important to encourage each other in our daily walk. Would you share a word of encouragement with our readers?

Keep your focus on God. It is so very important to have a daily relationship with God! I have found that when I lose my focus on Him, I start to fall. But as long as I’m keeping my focus on Jesus, even when bad things happen, even when I don’t understand, that He gives me the will to keep going. On my own, I’m not enough. But He is enough! Always!

Thank you, Gail, for inviting me to participate in this interview and visit with your readers today!

I agree, Trisha! Thank you for visiting and sharing. You are a gift to your readers and to authors. Keep up the good work, dear friend.

“Give signed bookplates to members of your influence team. I’m always more inclined to buy a print copy over a digital copy if I have a signed bookplate to add to my book!” ~ @JoyOfReading7 via Women of Faith and Fiction @GailJohnson87 #interviews #reviews

Research: Love It or Hate It, You Gotta Do It

Today, Crystal Caudill is sharing her ideas on researching stories. So let’s get started!

Research. You either dread it or love it. Regardless of your sentiment, as a diligent writer, you have to do it and do it right. Whether new at the researching game or old hat, it is my prayer that this post will give you a little bit of guidance, a few resources, and a “whole lotta” inspiration.

I will be tackling this from the historical fiction angle, but anything written here can be applied to any genre’s research needs.

Where do I start researching?

Think of the act of researching as similar to drawing a tornado—you start with wide broad spirals that narrow down to a very focused point the closer you get to the ground, or in this case, your story.

With this in mind, I recommend starting wide and shallow before you ever write the first word of your story. Get a feel for what the politics, economy, culture, major events, fashion, etiquette, industries, technology, and social constructs were like for the setting of your story. These could have potentially content-altering information that can cripple a story if you find out too late.

Honestly, my favorite way to get a broad overview is to find children’s history books on the topics. They often have lots of interesting tidbits while giving you a broad sense of what is going on. It also helps to guide you in to more narrow and deeper research.

Once you have a general understanding of the times, then you can really narrow in on the specifics of your character and situation. Below I’ve listed some topics for consideration and some guiding questions to help you determine what is going to matter most to your character.

Major Topics for Consideration:

Each story is going to have unique needs, so you need to gauge your research based on those needs. If your story isn’t going to have a huge political influence, stop researching politics after you have a general feel for your story’s need. If your story has a rich socialite and a poor man, you are going to need to know the intricacies of upper-class society’s expectations and how they differ from someone who has never experienced it. I think you probably get the idea. 😉

Politics: What major political events were going on during the setting of your story? How might they affect your characters? Most of us don’t live in a bubble, and what is going on in the world filters into our lives and our discussions. Take that into consideration to be sure that there isn’t something that would greatly impact your story’s plot.

For example, if you have your character’s father the owner of a railroad during the railroad strikes, that is going to affect your character in at least some manner. If your heroine lives during the era of growing awareness of women’s rights (a much longer period than you might realize), how will that influence what your character believes, thinks, and says?

Culture: This means looking at the region and locale of your story. What foods, activities, and sayings are common to that area? Are there certain expectations that aren’t included elsewhere? Do they have certain fashions? Are there certain people groups common to that area which would influence the culture of that city?

Cincinnati is heavily German. When I moved here, I experience lots of new-to-me foods, building styles, and a TON of Catholic schools. There were two for the area I’d grown up in. Do your research and you’ll be surprised about what will really add richness to your story.

Economics and Social Status: Different social classes have different expectations and behaviors. How are those going to affect your character? What obstacles will that create? Consider the careers they would be likely to have. What industry do your characters rely on? What is going on in those industries which could affect their lives? The more you know about these things, the stronger your story will be.

When researching my manuscript Counterfeit Love, I discovered there was a “Long Depression” lasting from 1873 to 1896. At the time, they called it the “Great Depression.” What I learned changed and set the baseline for the struggles my heroine faced, even though I never directly connected the two for my reader.

Join us next month for part two!

About the Author

Crystal Caudill is a tea-drinking, book-hoarding, history nerd. Her parents had no idea what a monster they were creating when they took her to her first history museum. From that moment on she has been researching and crafting stories filled with danger, love, and history. She enjoys her Kentucky life as a wife, mother of two crazy boys, and caretaker. You can join Crystal on her writing journey or peruse her book reviews at www.crystalcaudill.com.

Research. You either dread it or love it. Regardless of your sentiment, as a diligent #writer, you have to do it and do it right. @CCaudillWrites via @GailJohnson87 #writingtips

Whispering Hope

Written in 1868 by Septimus Winner, aka Alice Hawthorne, Whispering Hope has offered hope to many in their darkest hours.

This year has held many dark moments for individuals, families, and nations. More than ever, we need hope. We need the Lord to shine upon our situations.

Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon us, according as we hope in thee (Psalm 33:22).

The Song

Soft as the voice of an angel, Breathing a lesson unheard, Hope with a gentle persuasion Whispers her comforting word: Wait till the darkness is over, Wait till the tempest is done, Hope for the sunshine tomorrow, After the shower is gone.

Whispering hope, O how welcome thy voice, Making my heart in its sorrow rejoice.

If in the dusk of the twilight, Dim be the region afar, Will not the deepening darkness Brighten the glimmering star? Then when the night is upon us, Why should the heart sink away? When the dark midnight is over, Watch for the breaking of day.

Hope as an anchor so steadfast, Rends the dark veil for the soul, Whither the Master has entered, Robbing the grave of its goal; Come then, O come glad fruition, Come to my sad, weary heart; Come, O Thou blest hope of glory, Never, O never depart.

Whispering Hope Public Domain 1868

May hope fill our hearts and minds as we look to the Lord!