Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Interview With Rita Gerlach!!

For our second author today we have Rita Gerlach. She has sent me a review copy of her book, Surrender The Winds so you will be getting a review of that soon:)

How long have you known you wanted to be an author?

I’ve always loved books and reading. When I was around eleven, I wrote a short story and drew the illustrations. As a teenager, I wrote poetry and wrote essays.

The passion to write bit me in
the late eighties, after my cousin, a famous romance writer, gave me a signed copy of one of her earlier books. After I read it, I thought, “I can do this”, and a burning desire overtook me.

Can you tell me a little bit about your newest book?
An American patriot of the Revolution struggles with his loyalty to his country, by accepting an inheritance from his loyalist grandfather in England. A nephew is believed dead. A woman is found murdered in the woods, and he is told his wife has perished in a fire. Readers will ask, what is the truth behind these tragedies? As the novel moves forward, they will discover there is one man that holds the answers¾one that despises his American enemy, Seth Braxton, for gaining two things he wanted most¾Ten Width Manor and the woman he desired---Juleah Fallowes. Juleah must stand against all odds to be with Seth, no matter what the cost. In so doing, she discovers how very deep the waters of love can flow.

When a reader gets done with your book, what do you want them to come away with?
That when everything is said and done, in the end it all turns out all right. Love is the cohesive bond that helps us to face adversity. The message of Surrender the Wind is wrapped up in fidelity and forgiveness, and the surrendering to our Creator those winds that shove and batter us.

Have you ever been writing a certain direction and the Lord stopped you?
Yes, several times. I'll give you the most recent example of that. Back in July of 09, I sent my editor the first three chapters to a novel I was writing. The direction I was taking was that this book would be a stand alone. In the beginning I had two characters that I thought fit the story, but when my editor read what I had sent to her, she called me and said I had to change those characters. I then released I had these two women completely wrong. I revised the work with new characters. They were from Great Britain, one a old family retainer, the other a young indentured servant sent to America. This opened up the story to me in a broader way and added new twists.
Then one morning while in the shower, the idea hit me. 'Beside Two Rivers' must not be a stand alone. Clearly in my mind was the thought that I have to tell the story of the three major women in the book....but in a series. I was awestruck. I worked on a proposal and my editor loved it. I signed a contract with Abingdon Press for all three books in a series entitled 'Daughters of the Potomac'. The first book is due out Fall 2012, with the other two following about six months apart.

What is the funniest moment you had while writing?
When my husband acted out two of the seedy characters while I was writing Surrender the Wind.

Is there a place you have always wanted to visit? A vacation spot, historical monument, overseas, etc?
I've always wanted to visit rural England. But of late, I am content being at home, visiting the mountains of western Maryland and the shores of the Potomac River where my novels are set.

If you could have dinner with 2 people, who would they be?
I am assuming you mean living. My editor Barbara Scott, and my literary agent Diana Flegal. I think the three of us would have a blast.

What one event would you love to be at? Historical or future?
Historical -- The Resurrection of Christ
Future: The Resurrection of the Just

Do you have a favorite hobby?
I've been winding down hobbies. At one time I cross stitched, but my eyes are not as good. I made quilts. With all my time writing, and now being under contract and having the responsibility of meeting deadlines, I focus mainly on writing. There is a lovely lemon star quilt in the closet begging to be finished that I started about five years ago.

Is there something about you most people wouldn't know?
Ah, I'm pretty much an open book. One thing would be that I am the first cousin of the most famous of romance authors...I'm not a name dropper, so I hope you don't mind that I do not say who it is. I'll leave it up to your readers to guess.

Do you have any suggestions for the aspiring writer?
Read best selling books on writing. Learn everything you can about the craft, from character development to plotting, to how to write tight. Study how to edit your work. Study the industry and get an understanding of how publishing works. Read best selling books within your genre. Above all do not let discouragement get the best of you, and do not write for fame or fortune. If that is your goal, you are starting out for all the wrong reasons. Write because you love it and because God blessed you with a talent.

Any last thoughts for your readers?
I want readers to know that I am a writer whose goal is to please. I want to give you your money’s worth. I don’t want to write the same-old-same-old. So, I am hoping I will give you a break from the mundane.


misskallie2000 said...

Great interview. I have not read any of your books Rita but have added you as new author to my list and your books to my wish list.
I love historicals and this is a Great story and can't wait to read.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Rita Gerlach said...

Thanks, Misskallie, for your kind words. I really appreciate it. Readers are what keep us authors going, and I hope you will read Surrender the Wind. I promise it won't disappoint you.

Karen Lange said...

Good interview. Thanks to both of you for sharing it! I appreciate Rita's advice for writers:)

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