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! This week, I am so happy to have Pat Jeanne Davis as my guest. I L-O-V-E anything WWII, and I especially love reading an author who makes sure her research is spot on. Pat is giving away a copy of her latest release! Read on to see how you can enter to win!
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 written 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. I’m a member of American Christian Fiction 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?
What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? I find the study of history more entertaining when reading a well researched piece of fiction with believable and sympathetic characters inhabiting a world set in a bygone era.
Have you always wanted to write a book? I started out writing essays and short stories. I was motivated to write a novel after hearing accounts from someone I worked for about her husband’s experiences while serving in US Intelligence during WWII and when the war ended his experiences serving on the Nuremberg trials.
What is your inspiration for writing this story? As the ranks of those who lived through the WWII era gets smaller, I wanted to highlight their lives in an instructive and entertaining way. Some of their experiences inform the context of this inspirational novel. Military and history buffs alike will appreciate the references to battles and hardships faced by soldiers. When Valleys Bloom Again unfolds through the eyes of Abby Stapleton with the flavor and sensibilities of the 1940’s home front—from an estate in Pennsylvania with its numerous landscaped gardens, to the bombed-out inner-city and suburbs of London.
My story relates the experiences from both an American and British perspective of two sweethearts, each from a different social class, 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. A twist in the story introduces espionage and a closely guarded family secret.
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.
Who do you envision your typical reader to be? Like myself those who enjoy Christian historical fiction and a story set against the backdrop of the Second World War that contains loyalty, heroism, espionage, romance and faith will also enjoy When Valleys Bloom Again.
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.
Here is where you can find Pat online:
Amazon Author Page: https://amazon.com/author/patjeannedavis
Pat is giving away a copy of When Valleys Bloom Again to a reader! See below how to enter to win:a Rafflecopter giveaway