Mine Is the NightMine Is the Night
Liz Curtis Higgs
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When Elisabeth and Marjory Kerr leave behind the crowded streets of Edinburgh to flee to the Borderland, they've lost their husbands, their titles, their property and nearly everything they hold dear. As supporters of Bonnie Prince Charlie's rebellion, they've been branded as traitors and outcasts. An accomplished seamstress, Elisabeth eventually finds work as a dress maker for the local gentry, which brings her into contact with Lord Jack Buchanan, an unmarried gentleman of considerable means. Will Lord jack step forward to help Elisabeth and Marjory, or will their scandalous ties to the Jacobite rebellion prove too great a risk to his reputation and wealth?
     

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An award-winning speaker, Liz Curtis Higgs has presented more than 1,500 inspirational programs for audiences in all fifty states and six foreign countries. She's the author of twenty-four books, with over two million in print, including her nonfiction bestseller, Bad Girls of the Bible, her Gold-Medallion award-winning children's book, The Pumpkin Patch Parable, and her best-selling historical novel, Thorn in My Heart. Interviews Liz lives with her husband, two teens, and too many cats in their 19th-century farmhouse in Kentucky.

 Favorite Verse: Psalms 16:11 - "You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand."


 

 Our Interview with Liz Curtis Higgs


 

Please tell us a bit about yourself for our younger readers.

I'm a Former Bad Girl who is truly thankful for God's grace! After a decade in the wilderness of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll, I found myself in a pit so deep, only the Lord could save me. Because of his goodness and mercy, he carried me out of that darkness into the light of his love. I was one changed woman! Opportunities came to share my testimony at churches around town, which turned into a full-time speaking ministry, which turned into a full-tilt writing career. I've been speaking and writing ever since: 1600 presentations in all 50 states and 12 foreign countries so far, plus 28 published books and counting. May the Lord get all the glory for every word and story!
 
How did you come up with the concept for Mine Is the Night?

The book of Ruth has fascinated me since childhood, perhaps because my first name was Ruth. Even before I knew the Lord, he planted her story deep in the soil of my heart. Decades later, when I began writing Scottish historical novels based on biblical characters, I started with Leah and Rachel, knowing Ruth and Naomi would be next. The themes in Ruth are so rich: love, loss, redemption, restoration, and always hope. What a thrill to transport that timeless story to my beloved Scotland during Bonny Prince Charlie's rebellion, with all the drama and pathos war and its aftermath inevitably bring.
 
Is this a series?

Hmmm. Is "sort of" an answer?? Here Burns My Candle and Mine Is the Night started out as a three-book series, then shifted to a one-book wonder, and finally turned into a two-book saga in 2010 and 2011. As always, God knew best: the biblical version has two parts, starting in Moab and finishing in Bethlehem; in the same way, my novels begin in Edinburgh and end in Selkirk. The relationships we explore are also two-fold: a mother-in-law with her daughter-in-law in the first book, then a young widow with her redeemer in the second. Though each book stands alone, they do flow from one to the other, covering just over one calendar year, September 1745-October 1746.
 
Do you have a favorite character in Mine Is the Night? Why?

As it happens, I posed the same question in the Readers Guide and am eager to hear how my readers will respond. Of course, all the characters captured my imagination at some level, but I became most attached to Naomi's Scottish counterpart, Marjory Kerr. Perhaps because she is an older mother with an empty nest, her story arc parallels my own journey a wee bit. And I loved watching her grow in her faith. She also provided the biggest surprise for me, when her story line took a major and unexpected shift. I love when that happens!
 
How much research did Mine Is the Night take?
 
Though I've researched Scottish history for the last 15 years, Selkirk was a new area for me to write about. So, off to Scotland I went, walking the narrow streets and closes of Selkirk, interviewing the locals, taking copious photos and notes, and drinking in the glorious green scenery. My bookshelves overflow with books about Scotland, so I'm constantly reaching for those as well. From food to furnishings to fashions I try to get every detail right, so my readers and I will be swept away to the eighteenth century.

 

What are the most interesting facts that you learned while researching and writing Mine Is the Night?

In every Scottish village and town the old parish kirk, or church, is not only in the center of town; it was also at the center of community life for centuries. In 1746 Selkirk, the setting for this novel, the 200-year-old kirk was in dreadful condition: the woodwork was rotten, the walls were ruinous, and the aisle where the merchants were seated was 8 inches out of plumb! It was fun to research those details further and weave them throughout the story.
 
What are some of the challenges you face as an author?

Time is the only real challenge, as it is for us all. Because I'm also traveling and speaking nearly every weekend in the spring and autumn, finding time to do the research and do each story justice is tricky. But somehow it all gets done!
 
What aspects of being a writer do you enjoy the most?

I actually love EVERY aspect: the plotting and planning, the research, the writing, the editing, the re-writing, the publicity. Of course, the very best part is connecting with readers who've spent time with my characters and want to share their experiences and impressions. Those emails, letters, and exchanges on Facebook and Twitter are precious to me.
 
What clubs or organizations are you involved with helping with your writing?
 
I'm honored to be a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and enjoy speaking at conferences like Writing for the Soul, sponsored by the Christian Writers Guild, and the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, where I sit at the feet of my peers and learn from their wisdom and experience.
 
What do you do to keep your writing fresh and improve on it each time you write a book?

Reading great books is the surest way to writing better books! It can be intimidating, even disheartening sometimes to read a book I know full well is more skillfully written than my own. But I learn from their craftsmanship and am encouraged to work harder, think harder, and stretch myself a bit farther with the next book. God is SO faithful to keep filling me up with stories I want to tell and biblical truths I want to explore.
 
Are there any other new projects on the horizon?

Oh, always! After two historical novels, it’s time to return to nonfiction with a verse-by-verse look at the story I’ve been immersed in for years: the book of Ruth! Like my Bad Girls of the Bible series, my next nonfiction book will filter solid, biblical research through a storyteller’s lens, yet with an entirely different approach than I've done before. And did I mention it will be fun?! Look for that one in Summer 2012.
 
What message would you like your readers to take from reading Mine Is the Night?

My prayer is they'll reach for their Bibles and read the book of Ruth with fresh eyes and open hearts. However handsome and brave our fictional hero may be (oh my, is he ever!), none can compare to our Redeemer and Savior, Jesus. Every book I've ever written has grace at the heart of it and hope at the end of it, and none more so than Mine Is the Night.


 

What is your greatest achievement?

Matthew Higgs (23), Lillian Higgs (21), and a 25-year marriage to the dearest man I know, Bill Higgs! My family means everything to me, second only to my love for our Lord Jesus. Bill, Matt, and Lilly have been incredibly supportive of my writing over the years, bouncing around story ideas at the dinner table, reading early drafts, and applying their talents in unique ways. For Mine Is the Night, my son put his B.A. in psychology to fine use, analyzing the words, actions, and motivations of my characters. Lilly, both an artist and a seamstress, helped me understand the dressmaking process and created Elisabeth’s drawing of Mrs. Pringle’s gown for the Author Notes. And Bill combed the final draft for grammar glitches and stray typos. I am one blessed wife, mother, and writer!
 
What do you do to get away from it all?

I enjoy watching movies, having lunch with friends, and exploring museums, whether art, history, or science. And traveling, anywhere and everywhere.
 
Is there anything else you would like to add?

I am SO grateful for my faithful readers! Over the last 28 books they’ve kindly followed me from humorous nonfiction to children’s picture books to contemporary fiction to Bible studies and finally to historical novels. That requires some serious flexibility, dear ones…bless you!

 

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