1. How did you come up with the title?
Folk music and old hymns play such a large role in my writing. The nod to music through the series title, The Cadence of Grace, was sort of a happy accident. And it was while listening to the old hymn, Be Still My Soul, that the phrase just spoke to me and felt like the perfect fit for the title to Lonnie and Gideon’s story.
2. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I love to write about redemption. I love to take people who are unlikely heroes and show their growth throughout the story. I hope readers will be reminded that hope is never lost, change can always happen and that happy endings aren’t just for fairy tales.
3. How much of the book is realistic?
Fun question! The setting for the book is completely real, but the characters were who I imagined may have lived there during that time. During my research, I found the biography of the actual midwife who lived in the Blue Ridge Mountains during the time of Be Still My Soul. In wanting to honor her legacy of midwifery and nod to the history buffs of the region, I based the midwife of my story around her.
4. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
Oh my goodness, it is so hard for a writer to look at their book and officially feel like it’s done. I try and remind myself that writing is a lot like art—it’s the expression we make at a particular time in our lives. I love this story and these characters and am really satisfied with how it’s all turned out.
5. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Probably the hardest part was not being able to reach out and give Lonnie a hug when she needed one the most. But the best part about being a writer was being able to work the people who could into the story. Even though this is a book that begins with heartbreak, it’s also a romance and a story of redemption, so even when my heart ached for Lonnie, I knew good things were on the horizon.
6. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
One of the greatest things I’ve learned is thinking outside myself and really getting to know different types of people. Writing my character, Lonnie, wasn’t too difficult. We share a lot of the same characteristics, so she was like listening to a kindred spirit. On the other hand, writing Gideon was a new experience all together. But surprisingly, it was quite fun to get to write from his point of view. He’s cocky and confident and keeps God at arm’s length, certain redemption wasn’t meant for him. Working through Gideon’s character, from his sins and struggles, to his hopes and fears, was one of my favorite parts of working on the book.
7. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I devoured books when I was little and one of my favorites was the Little House series. I loved how this young girl that I was reading about, Laura Ingalls, had actually written her stories and adventures down. It was then that I developed a love for storytelling.
8. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
It is so hard to choose a favorite! There are so many great authors and books but if there is one author who readily makes her way onto my bookshelf its Liz Curtis Higgs and her Scottish fiction. She has written some of my all-time favorite characters.
9. Tell us your latest news.
As of today, Be Still My Soul is officially released, so I’m super excited about that. Plus, today is also my anniversary so I get to spend the day with the love of my life (who has promised to take me to a bookstore so I can see my book on shelves) My hero! Also, I’m putting some final polishes on the second book in the series, Though My Heart is Torn and I’m looking forward to sharing the next phase of Lonnie and Gideon’s journey with readers.
10. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I would love to connect with you! Whether on facebook, twitter or on my blog, I hope to get to know you a little more! I also have newsletter, The Heartfelt Post, which I send out each spring an autumn and readers can sign up on my website. Thanks so much for having me today!
About the Book
Night’s chill tickled her skin. Lonnie pressed her hands together and glanced up. He was even more handsome up close. Having grown up the shy, awkward daughter of Joel Sawyer, she’d hardly spoken to any boy, let alone the one who had mothers whispering warnings in their daughter’s ears and fathers loading shotguns.
Pretty Lonnie Sawyer is shy and innocent, used to fading into the background within her family, and among the creeks and hollows of the Appalachian hills. Though her family is poor and her father abusive, she clings to a quiet faith. But when handsome ladies’ man and bluegrass musician Gideon O’Riley steals a kiss, that one action seals her fate.
Her father forces her into a hasty marriage with Gideon—a man she barely knows and does not love. Equally frustrated and confused by his new responsibilities, Gideon yearns for a fresh start, forcing Lonnie on an arduous journey away from her home in Rocky Knob.
Her distant groom can’t seem to surrender his rage at the injustice of the forced matrimony or give Lonnie any claim in his life. What will it take for Gideon to give up his past, embrace Lonnie’s God, and discover a hope that can heal their two fractured hearts?
Gideon only ever cared about himself. Now that Lonnie is his wife, will he ever be worthy of her heart?
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group
Release Date: October 2, 2012
Prices/Formats: $14.99 paperback, $9.99 ebook
Buy Links: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kindle, Nook
About the Author
Married to her first sweetheart, Joanne Bischof lives in the mountains of Southern California where she keeps busy making messes with their home-schooled children. When she’s not weaving Appalachian romance, she’s blogging about faith, writing, and the adventures of country living that bring her stories to life. Be Still My Soul is her first novel.
Links to connect with Joanne:
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