How was one of your book heroines, “A Lady in Defiance” of the times or circumstances in which she lived? AND What real-life “Lady in Defiance” has impacted your life or writing?
As I pondered this question, I thought to myself, which one of my heroines has not defied the conventions of her time? Let me see, I have women who left everything to run away all alone, lady pirates, a French spy, a stowaway on a ship, a woman who harbored an enemy combatant, a woman intent on providing for herself, a slave woman who ran away from her master and masqueraded as a white woman, women who uprooted and moved to Brazil, and a woman accused of killing her husband. I suppose I have a thing for strong, independent women.
Unfortunately, I don’t know any women this unconventional in my life, but my favorite example from history is a lady named Fanny Campbell. She was a Revolutionary War Privateer in 1776. Here’s a link to a small article I wrote about her: http://www.marylutyndall.com/2015/03/fanny-campbell-revolutionary-war-pirate.html
I see you’re an ocean lover! What has been your favorite body of water to stare out from and why?
The Caribbean of course! I’ve never seen such gorgeous seas as the turquoise waters of the Caribbean. I’ve heard the Mediterranean is even more beautiful, but I’ve never been there. There’s something very calming about gazing over the ocean, isn’t there? It’s not only soothing, but it also reminds me how wonderful and powerful God is and how small and weak I am. In a good way, of course. In a way that makes me realize God is in control and I am not! As much as I’d love to think I am, from time to time.
I know you’ve dipped your toe into the world of mermaids in Tears of the Sea. Have you thought about doing a full YA/Teen series fully embracing this underwater setting?
Yes, I have, actually. I’ve always loved mermaids and been fascinated by the myths surrounding them. I think people were afraid to pick up Tears of the Sea, thinking that the storyline took place underwater, when in fact most of it took place on land. I wrote this story for young women struggling with value in a culture that tells them in so many subliminal and outright ways that their worth is in their beauty and their body. As a woman who believed that same thing when I was young, I saw the damage it did to myself and others. Also, the story is an allegory of the Gospel message which is a kinda cool added benefit.
Do you think “Christian fiction” is too soft at times? Why do you feel it is important to make your characters and storyline rough and tumble instead of sugar and spice?
Life is rough and tumble, isn’t it? And lately, the world seems to be getting more rough and tumble. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the need for sweet, light-hearted stories that provide an escape from the real world. Several of my author friends write stories like that and they do very well. But for me, I need something with some teeth to keep my interest. I suppose that’s why I write stories that some would call a tad gritty. Yet I don’t write gritty just for the sake of gritty. I use the struggles of this life, the struggles of normal people, and I hopefully offer the solution or at least point the reader in the right direction to find the solution. I don’t think I have all the answers, but I know the One who does. So, for me, I need to write stories that not only entertain, but that help people too, and mostly stories that bring others closer to God. No matter how edgy my books are, there is one thing you can count, a happy ending. I’m a sucker for a happy ending!
Do you have a God-moment to share? An instance where you knew you were in the right place, doing the right thing, for His greater purpose?
I’ve had many God-moments, but I guess the biggest one was getting published. You see, I never knew what God wanted me to do with my life. I’d spent so many years away from Him making a muck of things, that after I came to my senses, I wanted to make an impact. I spent years trying to figure out what that was. One day very clearly God told me to write a story about Christian pirates. (Yea, I thought I was hearing things too.). Mind you, I’d never written a novel before, though I had dabbled in writing my entire life. Anyway, I wrote it. Took me over a year. Then step by step, God led me to learn all about agents and query letters and publishing, all the while I’m thinking nothing will ever come of this. Only 4% of writers ever get published! It’s a highly competitive business and one where you need to know people who know people. I was a nobody. Yet God kept opening door after door. When I got the call that I’d been offered a contract for my book by a well-known publisher, and not only that book but two more I hadn’t written yet, I nearly fainted. I remember running into my backyard and screaming my praise to God for all the neighbors to hear. It was truly a miracle and the first time that I finally knew what God called me to do. I was in the right place at the right time and I was obedient to His call. So, when people ask me how to figure out what God wants them to do, I always say, Love God with all your heart and then do what He puts on that heart!
About the Book
Suspected of killing her husband, Charity Westcott flees on the first ship out of England heading for the colonies. Loathing all men after her abusive marriage, she hopes to reunite with her family in Charles Towne, but she ends up in Nassau. When she spots her husband’s brother, who is intent on seeing her hang, boarding her ship, she jumps overboard.
Elias Dutton must get to Barbados as soon as possible. His sister is in danger and his parents have charged him with her safety. He cannot let them down—again. But after rescuing a madcap woman from the bay, he now finds himself tricked into masquerading as her husband so they both can procure passage to Barbados.
Pirates, storms, shipwreck, and betrayal threaten to delay the couple in their journey even as sparks fly between them. With her brother-in-law in fast pursuit, the last thing Charity wants is help from a man, but she has no choice. After Elias’ heart was broken by a sordid woman he seeks a lady with a pure heart. He believes he has found such a woman in Charity. Until he discovers she is a murderer and is now faced with two choices: letting her go or turning her in to the authorities.
The giveaway is open internationally. A US winner will receive a paperback copy of the book or an international winner will receive a Kindle copy of Charity’s Cross. Enter through the Rafflecopter below:
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