Welcome to the Barn Door Book Loft Kathleen!
Is there a story behind the book, Brave New Century?
Lisa Lickel sent out an email to ACFW Midwest, and I believe some other loops, looking for authors who wanted to write romances set in urban areas around the year 1900, to put together an anthology. Since I had looked into Detroit’s history around that time for another story I had been working on, I thought it would be a good fit for me. I still had to do additional research, but I didn’t mind.
In Brave New Century the heroines in each of the four stories are facing the new challenges of changing times. Automobiles are rather new, electric lighting is available, people are communicating by telephone and women are asking for the vote. In the midst of such times, these young women are searching for an identity and how to make their way in the world. Each one of them has been orphaned or abandoned at some point. Unbeknownst to one another, we had written in this similar theme. That had to be orchestrated by the Lord, I’m sure!
Question: What started you on your writing journey?
When I was four years old, I loved stories. My mom read aloud to me quite a bit and I would try to memorize the stories, so I could “read” them too. I had a friend who taught me about having imaginary adventures and I was hooked on making up stories. I believe the Lord put the desire in my heart to write books before I could even read.
Question: What kind of books do you enjoy reading?
I enjoy the classics from 19th century English literature, especially anything Jane Austen, and Middlemarch, by George Eliot. Of today’s books, my tastes can be rather eclectic. I love historical and contemporary romance of the Christian genre. More recently, I read For Such a Time by Kate Breslin, which was a wonderful retelling of the story of Esther, set during World War II. I also enjoy biblical fiction, especially “The Wives of the Patriarchs” Series, by Jill Eileen Smith. Last, but not least, I enjoyed reading The Pastor’s Wife Wears Biker Boots, by Karla Akins, which is sort of a mid-life chicklit book.
Question: Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote? Why?
Isabel Jones, is the heroine in my novella, The Pocket Watch. Someone very close to me had grown up in an orphanage in Detroit. Thinking about what she went through led me to develop Isabel’s character, though she is completely fictional. Isabel is very much her own person. She has new opportunities, which she never expected to have, but her unknown past haunts her. She wants to know who her parents were. Add to that, she is falling in love with someone she believes to be out of her reach. All of this is taking place within the parameters of the societal restrictions of the turn of the century. She was a really fun to write about.
Question: If you could paint or sculpt like a famous artist who would it be and why?
While I lfind the soft, colorful impressionist works of Monet and Renoir quite beautiful, I think I would like to paint like Mary Cassatt. While she was an impressionist at one time, she evolved into painting in a crisper, more vibrantly colored style. Some of her paintings are like softened photographs. Her subjects are often touching, such as the bond of mother and child.
Question: What is your favorite season of the year?
Autumn has always been my favorite season, but I’m starting to like spring better when we have it! (In Michigan it seems many years we’ve been going pracitcally from winter right into summer.) However, the beauty of the changing leaves, along with cool, but often sunny weather is a nice combination. I like the smell of woodsmoke in the air. Also, I always looked forward to starting a new school year as a child and when I homeschooled my children. It was a chance for a fresh start.
Question: What do you like most about the area where you live and/or grew up?
Probably that the old-fashioned homes have so much character and it was family friendly. There were many beautiful, old trees there too. It’s a lovely place to take a walk. I liked the neighborhood so much that we bought the house I grew up in from my parents and brought our children up there for eleven years! It’s a nice slice of mid-20th century American suburbia.
Question: Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?
Picking out shoes or frames for glasses! My right foot is at least a size bigger than my left, which presents a challenge for fitting a shoe that is comfortable for the right, yet not too big on the left, often something that ties or is adjustable. And since I can’t wear very high heels, it’a challenge to find something rather stylish, but quite flat. Yes, figuring all that out within a budget can be a challenge.
Glasses frames are a whole other story. Suffice to say I am picky and on a budget.
Question: Where is your favorite place to travel/vacation in?
Every summer my husband and I rent a cottage, for a week, on the Straits of Mackinac, about eleven miles to the west of Mackinaw City. There are plenty of things to do and see within driving distance, but I also enjoy just resting and reconnecting with the Lord as I am awed by His beautiful creation, whether looking out at Lake Michigan, walking in the woods or picking wildflowers by the side of the road.
Question: Share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you. (and why it's special)
The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!”
(Lamentations 3:22-24, NLT)
It’s good for me to remember that whatever trials I’m faced with, each day I have a fresh start. The Lord wants us to hope in Him, to look forward and run the race, rather than look back on our past mistakes. I need to be reminded of that as a rather introverted person who thinks too much!
Question: What or who inspires you to keep writing?
I had to go through several chapters in my life before I understood that writing is a calling. I write, not just because I enjoy it, but because I believe the Lord has given me a job to do. I pray that my writing will touch others with whatever message or encouragement He has for readers. I must look to Jesus for the strength and inspiration to keep writing for His purposes!
Thank you so much for joining us today, Kathleen.
Or have your local library order it in for you!
KATHLEEN ROUSER is giving away a copy of BRAVE NEW CENTURY. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses.