Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! I’m always excited to discover new authors of the World War II era – my favorite era. I really enjoyed getting to know Pat Jeanne Davis this week, and can see her love of writing for Christ in her words. I hope you enjoy her interview as much as I did. Read on to see how you can read an excerpt of her book and enter to win a copy!
Tell us a little bit about yourself. I enjoy flower gardening, conducting genealogy research and traveling with my British-born husband. We have two grown sons. I write from my home n Philadelphia, Pa. and have published essays, short stories and articles online and in print. When Valleys Bloom Again is my debut WWII inspirational romance set in England and the States. My longtime interest in that era goes back to the real-life stories I heard about family members who served during the war. I’m a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Faith, Hope, and Love Christian Writers.
Tell us about your current release. As war approaches in 1939 Abby Stapleton’s safety is under threat. Her father, a British diplomat, insists she go back to America until the danger passes. Abby vows to return to her home in London—but where is home? With her family facing mortal danger so far away and feeling herself isolated, she finds it hard to pray or read the Bible. Did she leave God behind in war-torn London too? Then Abby becomes friendly with Jim, a gardener on her uncle’s estate.
Jim can’t get Abby out of his mind. Did she have a sweetheart in England? Was it foolish to think she’d consider him? He curses his poverty and the disgrace of his father’s desertion and drunkenness haunts him. Can he learn to believe in love for a lifetime and to hope for a happy marriage?
Abby couldn’t know the war would last a long time, nor that she would fall in love with Jim—soon to be drafted by the U.S. Army—or that she’d have to confront Henri, a rejected suitor, determined by his lies to ruin her reputation and destroy her faith in God’s providence. Will she discover the true meaning of home?
Have you always wanted to write a book? While staying home raising my sons, I wrote an occasional article, short stories or essays—some published in anthologies such as Chicken Soup for the Soul—before I started my first novel. I had an interest in the World War II era for some time. I wanted to write a faith based story set in that period with a strong Anglo-American connection. My husband is British and his father served in the British 8th Army from 1939 to 1945 at Dunkirk, Normandy and throughout Europe. Also four of my great uncles, all brothers, served in the European and Pacific Theaters during the Second World War.
What inspired this story? The opening for my WWII inspirational romance was conceived after reading a biography on the life of Kathleen Kennedy, daughter of Joseph P. Kennedy, the United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom. He and his family were living in London when Britain declared war.
Kathleen Kennedy’s story intrigued me. She was forced by her father to return to the U.S. for her safety. Kathleen had made many friends while living in London and was determined to return some day. She eventually did go back, served in the British Red Cross, and married William Cavendish who was in line to become the next Duke of Devonshire.
I based my protagonist, Abby Stapleton, loosely on Kathleen Kennedy’s situation at the outbreak of war in 1939. However, in this story Abby is the American-born daughter of a British diplomat. Her father sends her back to the U.S. to escape impending war. She too vows to return to London.
Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful? As a writer of historical inspirational romance living in a world that places so much value on the material and the external, I seek as a Christian author to give God preeminence by weaving Him into my story. In When Valleys Bloom Again, I show how a couple from a different social class fall in love and grow in step with God’s plan for them as they live through the trauma of war on the home front and the battlefield. Abby and Jim are drawn together and changed by this event, while their relationship grows in depth and beauty.
Why do you write the kind of books you do? The study of history fascinates me, especially that of the early to mid-20th Century. I write historical inspirational stories that reveal God’s sovereignty in times of global upheaval and during worldwide social change. I attempt to write stories about events in our past in an informative and entertaining manner while staying true to the facts of history. I strive to give my reader a story that reveals God’s overruling providence through all of life’s experiences and that with our confidence in God and submission to His will, we can be hopeful and steadfast in purpose, trusting in the promise from Him that all things work together for good. If my story does not always have a happy ending, it will have a satisfactory one that provides hope for those who commit all to Him.
What do you do when you hit a roadblock and have NO idea what to write? Sometimes if I go back and re-read prior chapters in the story I get momentum to move forward with the rest of the novel. Then at other times if I put aside a particular scene I’m struggling with and try to create another one I know will be necessary later on in the story.
I assume when you start a book, you pretty much have the plot laid out. Do you ever change your mind later on in the book, and go in a different direction? When I begin writing a first draft I don’t have a fully formed plot. The direction for the story can change as I do further research or as I receive input through brainstorming plot ideas with others. At times I’ve eliminated scenes and created others in their place.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers? As a new writer, you may cringe when told by a more advanced writer to rework a paragraph or get rid of a sentence or scene. Carefully consider their suggestions and follow them wherever you feel you can. They only want your story to shine and you to become a better writer. I’m thankful for the numerous critiques from editors and other writers who have helped me to improve my work.
Read an excerpt from her novel. Download the pdf here:
Here is where you can find Pat online:
Amazon Author Page: https://amazon.com/author/patjeannedavis
Pat is giving away a Kindle copy of When Valleys Bloom Again to a reader! See below how to enter to win: