It may be mid March, but where I live we are digging out from a snow storm. The first major one of the season. It's a good time to learn about a new author so you can settle down with a new book. :)
Today I'd like to welcome Gail Kittleson. It's great to have you here today. How did you develop a 'love of story'?
I was a little girl with thick glasses, haunting the librarian in our little rural Iowa town. Those stories I read meant so much to me—every Saturday I exchanged last week’s books for fresh ones. As a teenager, the shelves began failing me: I’d already read almost everything.
Since I can’t think of any real “storytellers” in my family of origin, I credit my insistent reading habit with giving me a love of story. Besides that, my mom loved to read, though she had little time, and my memories of primary school were pleasant.
I know what you mean by a love of reading. When did you realize you wanted to become a writer?
In Junior High...I desperately needed affirmation, and the main affirmation I received came through my writing. First from a teacher—“Your writing shows real talent.”
Eventually, I majored in English, and my creative writing class was a favorite. Journaling helped me immensely, and I created poetry and a couple of other projects. But lack of confidence kept me from writing in earnest until decades later.
I had high school English teachers that encouraged me to write as well. Is there a book you read that you had wished you'd written?
Oh, Gone With the Wind, for sure. And To Kill A Mockingbird, The Living, The Wind in The Willows, How Green Was My Valley, All Together in One Place, and... I could go on and on, but suffice it to say, all of these stories boast a strong main character, and a moral quandary. The narrator or hero/heroine suffers some type of mental and emotional angst. I guess that ought to tell me something!
The basis of a great story. Tell us about your new book.
Some who read the first book in the Women of the Heartland series tell me they wait with baited breath to find out what happens to Addie. They won’t be disappointed when they get their hands on a copy of With Each New Dawn, because Addie’s world broadens in London.
She’s so ready for adventure and a new “hood,” very little can disturb her newfound joy—except her fear that her husband Harold might show up in London, since he’s on the coast awaiting the D-Day Channel crossing. Of course, I mustn’t spoil the outcome for my readers, but I can guarantee they’ll be engrossed in what occurs.
But Kate becomes the heroine in this second book, and what a character she is! I respect her personality type, always up for a challenge. And With Each New Dawn provides a plethora of them for our orphan heroine. In all of her previous struggles, Kate analyzes and acts... but a time of helplessness comes for all of us. For Kate, this is a physical circumstance that leaves her grieving and broken.
Does she lie down and die? Absolutely not! She’s a make-do Greatest Generation woman, so she finds a way to contribute to the war effort. True to her nature, her mission involves mystery and danger—and leads her to fresh discoveries.
It sounds interesting. What is your passion as a writer?
Harriet Tubman said, “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
What a definition of passion—I like Harriet’s inclusion of patience and strength as requirements to fulfill a dream. That tells us that making dreams come true isn’t for the fainthearted.
That said, I’d like to touch readers’ lives in tangible ways. During the past year, a few readers’ comments have encouraged me to keep at this work.They appreciate my characters’ struggles, doubts, and questions. Someone told me she doesn’t normally choose Christian fiction, but liked my novel because it allowed the heroine no pat religious answers.
That’s the long way of saying I’m passionate to create down-to-earth heroines and secondary characters whose everyday lives are just as tough as regular human beings’. Through their struggles, they grow and change. I hope seeing this process in my characters encourages readers to face their own dilemmas with courage.
Thanks for stopping by today. May God bless your writing.