When I was preparing this post, I was planning to link back to my review of Grace’s Pictures, An Ellis Island Novel #1 that I read in July 2013 and loved beginning to end. I was surprised to discover while that review is prominently on my Goodreads shelf it seems to have either disappeared or never quite made it to my blog. But then, that was a drastic summer (surgery and all). Now I’m delighted to post that review as well as this brand new interview with Cindy to entice you to the entire series!
What made you interested in writing Christian Historical Fiction? Do you write any other genres?
When I decided I wanted to write a novel, it was because I wanted to tell the story of my ancestors. That particular novel has not so far been published, but my love for telling the stories of our ancestors is what drives me. I have published other genres, and I’ve written for magazines, but historical fiction is my favorite. The Christian aspect just comes naturally for me for two reasons. Faith was an integral part of these people’s lives. You cannot tell their stories without it, and also I’m telling a truth as I see it—the theme of the novel. It filters through my perspective as a Christian.
There is one scene I have in my mind from a story of my ancestors that I’d love to tell, but who knows if I ever will get more of a story or the courage to tell it. I’m delighted with the tales that you’ve woven and I do hope that you get to that one novel sometime.
Are there any other Christian Historical Fiction authors that you think your readers would enjoy?
There are some of my favorites listed in there! Liz was my introduction to Christian Historical Fiction. 😉
Are there bits and pieces that were cut in editing that you might ever share with your readers?
I can’t think of anything. I think what was cut was necessary and I wouldn’t want my readers to see what I wrote before my talented editors got ahold of my manuscript! 🙂
What is your favorite scene from Annie’s Stories?
I love the final scene, but I tend to be that way about all my books. I love a happy ending. But another one might be when Mrs. Hawkins takes Annie to the cemetery where Mr. Hawkins is buried. It might not have come through to readers, but for me that was emotional. Oh, one more: when Reverend Clarke talks to Stephen about the feelings he has surrounding the circumstances of Stephen’s father’s death. (Guess you’ll have to read the book to see what I mean!)
How would you relate your writing experience and research to some Creative Madness?
Well, I would certainly! It’s a crazy business with lots of ups and downs. I had to do a massive rewrite in six weeks, during which time I took a trip to Ireland and my son got married. It took some creativity, prayer, and brainstorming with other novelists, but I did it. (I’m sure I had divine help.) I love being able to bring these stories to readers. I feel blessed, so I’ll take the madness that sometimes comes along with it!
Oh what an adventure!
What is something that you have never told anyone in an author interview?
Tough question since I’ve been doing a lot of these lately. Hmmm…..Annie’s Stories was originally Annie’s Letters and she was going to be writing letters for all of the other boarders at Hawkins House, even though the Wizard of Oz was still part of the plot. I abandoned that idea (or at least altered it) long before I proposed the series to my publisher. I like the bookish theme of this story a lot better!
Well that’s neat! I’m such a bibliophile that I think I like the bookish theme as well.
What is the one thing that you want to leave readers of Annie’s Stories pondering over?
How they define home.
Oh what a thing! This shall definitely be my giveaway question. *wink*
Please, please tell us about your next planned project…
Projects, you mean! I don’t have anything contracted yet, so it’s difficult to promise something to readers at this point. But I am working on a third story set at Hawkins House. In addition I’m working on an idea for a novel that would alternate between the present and the past. The past is set in 1947 at Wrigley Field, and while it involves the Cubs, the main characters are not baseball players. In the present a young woman is learning about her grandfather’s past and the mysterious woman who for one summer made a huge impact on her grandfather and she’s trying to learn why. I know that’s vague, but I’m still working on it. 🙂
What I can promise readers are the short stories that are mentioned in the novel Annie’s Stories, but don’t appear there. Those will be available to subscribers to my newsletter. You can sign up on my web site: www.cindyswriting.com
Combination historical/contemporary novels are something that I am truly loving right now! Some authors do them really well (a la Susan Meissner). I’d love to see what you come up with as well as another Ellis Island novel, that will be delightful!
Tell us about your blog and participation in other blogs…
My blog is also my web site: www.cindyswriting.com I talk about Ellis Island, immigrants, genealogy, and my books. I also own a team blog for historical fiction: www.novelpastimes.com where we interview authors and review books. We also give away a book each week. I have another blog that I used to maintain much better before I started working on the Ellis Island series. I still try to post something occasionally. It’s a bit different and centers on Celtic spirituality and all things Irish: www.celticvoices.blogspot.com. And, I occasionally contribute articles on Irish history to the Irish Fireside: www.irishfireside.com
2014 is 75th anniversary of movie release of The Wizard of Oz
Annie’s Stories by Cindy Thomson
An Ellis Island Novel, #2
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction
Pages: Trade Paperback
Date Published: July 2014
Publisher: Tyndale House
The year is 1901, the literary sensation The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is taking New York City by storm, and everyone wonders where the next great book will come from. But to Annie Gallagher, stories are more than entertainment—they’re a sweet reminder of her storyteller father. After his death, Annie fled Ireland for the land of dreams, finding work at Hawkins House.
But when a fellow boarder with something to hide is accused of misconduct and authorities threaten to shut down the boardinghouse, Annie fears she may lose her new friends, her housekeeping job . . . and her means of funding her dream: a memorial library to honor her father. Furthermore, the friendly postman shows a little too much interest in Annie—and in her father’s unpublished stories. In fact, he suspects these tales may hold a grand secret.
Though the postman’s intentions seem pure, Annie wants to share her father’s stories on her own terms. Determined to prove herself, Annie must forge her own path to aid her friend and create the future she’s always envisioned . . . where dreams really do come true.
1st Chapter .PDF
Cindy Thomson is a writer and an avid genealogy enthusiast. Her love of history and her Scots-Irish heritage have inspired much of her writing, including her new Ellis Island series. In addition to books, Cindy has written articles for numerous online and print publications. She is a mentor for the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and the Historical Novel Society. Cindy and her husband have three grown sons and live in central Ohio. Visit her online at www.cindyswriting.com.
Connect with Cindy!
Past interviews may be found here: http://creativemadnessmama.com/blog/category/books/author-interview/