Thank you for willing to be interviewed! My pleasure, Em – you have a great blog!
1. I thought it was interesting that you choose to write the Ballantyne Legacy in Pennsylvania (as opposed to Kentucky), was there a specific reason for this location?
My editor came up with Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh specifically. I think there is always concern that an author might get too tied to a setting and need a fresh location. Little did I know how historically rich that state would prove to be! I love it almost as much as Kentucky and had a wonderful time researching the novel there last summer. It doesn’t hurt that my hero, Daniel Boone, was from Pennsylvania.
2. When you were writing Love’s Reckoning, did you know everything that would happen or were you as surprised as the readers?
I’m really a seat of the pants writer who just sits down and writes without any map or preconceived ideas. I just had the basic premise for this story – a blacksmith apprentice who has to honor tradition and choose between 2 sisters – but all the rest came to me chapter by chapter. In fact, the male villain in the story (there was only supposed to be a female vixen, lol) came onstage in chapter 2 and nearly took over the story. I was just as surprised by readers by all the twists and turns. Poor Eden really suffered at times though that wasn’t my original intent.
3. Elspeth somehow managed to come off as more than a little creepy, what was your inspiration for her?
Eight years of social work in the mental health field. I knew quite a few Elspeths. Clinically- speaking, Elspeths is a very disturbed individual but you’ve read the book so I don’t have to tell you that. In book 2 I try to give a little more insight into her character and why she acted as she did. But in book 1, Love’s Reckoning, she’s just pretty creepy like you said.
4. I have had the pleasure to read about Lael, Morrow, Roxanna, and now Eden, and each of them has a unique personality. Is there any one heroine who is more like you than the others? Is there any heroine that you wish you were more like?
Lael Click is most like me except she’s a bit more fearless. She’s the character I grew up wanting to be so I finally took her out of my head and heart and put her into a book. Eden Lee is the one I wish I was most like. She has that gentle and quiet spirit which may make her seem meek at first but is in fact her greatest strength.
5. Silas was a great hero which a rich history, did you have to do a lot of research to develop his back story?
My favorite heroes have always been Scotsmen. There’s just something about their rich history and the country itself. I’m headed to Scotland in December to visit the very castle I write about in Love’s Reckoning and am thrilled. Over the years I’ve collected quite a few books on Scotland and its history and customs and traditions. Silas is sort of a composite of all that. I hope he springs to life in an authentic way.
6. It will be a year before book 2 comes out, but it already sounds exciting. Is there anything you can share with us about that novel?
I’m getting ready to turn book 2 in this week! It’s 408 pages long and involves the second generation of Ballantynes, specifically Ellie and her siblings, Ansel, Peyton, and Andra. I’m afraid Elspeth reappears which always shakes things up. This book makes the leap from the 18th-century to 1822. There are quite a few twists and turns. But no spoilers!
Ms. Frantz has graciously offered to giveaway a copy of Love’s Reckoning! And so, in keeping with my Monday Musings post, what makes a Laura Frantz novel good? Is it the characters? the research? the background? the storyline? the romance?something else?
I’ll give you my answer: originality. The Kentucky setting was what drew me in to the first Laura Frantz novel and I love the fact that I can never predict what will happen in the end. Keeps me on my toes!
Contest Rules: In order to win the copy, you must leave a comment and the winner will be randomly selected. If you are interested in participating in the contest, your comment must include your email address. If you are notified as the winner, please respond within 48 hours. Winner will be announced on 9/28!