Please tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a middle child from a large family. I had a vivid imagination, still do, and made lots of stories up. I have a memory as a pre-schooler standing in my mother’s kitchen chattering on and on about some event. She paused from washing the dishes and said, ‘Re Re, are you telling me a story?” I smiled and nodded that I was. And here I am so many years later, still telling stories. Only now I’m writing them down.
I married my high school sweetheart — a state champion gymnast back in the day, who traded in tumbling for fly-fishing and raising our two sons. I was a stay at home mom thankfully to his job, and was able to write full-time while the boys were in school. I have a cousin who is a famous romance writer, (no name-dropping) and though we are miles apart in our beliefs, she inspired me to start writing after giving me a signed copy of one of her books back in the late 80s. Yes, it’s been that long!
It took some time, many rejections and setbacks, but I’ve published four historical novels. The Daughters of the Potomac Series will make seven. Each of my novels transverse between England and the Colonies and have a romantic edge, some reviewers say with a mix of Dickens and Austen.
What is your favorite Bible verse? Why?
Revelation 21:4: He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.
This verse has given me a great deal of comfort through the years, when I’ve experienced loss. It is a beautiful reminder of God’s love for us, and what joy we have waiting for us in the future.
How did you come up with the concept for Before the Scarlet Dawn?
Originally, I had begun writing book 2, Beside Two Rivers, in the series as a stand-alone novel. But one day it hit me that this should be a series that tells the story of the three woman who were major to the overall story. There I was, singing in the shower, when all of a sudden it dawned on me like a blinding light. This should be a series. First Eliza’s story.
The concept for this novel evolved as I wrote it. But I knew from the beginning I wanted to share Eliza’s story, whose beauty becomes an obstacle. She yearns to be loved for whom she is inside. Not what she is. The concept of the novel also deals with the longing to be forgiven, the need to forgive others, and the consequences of unforgiveness.
What was your inspiration to develop the story Before the Scarlet Dawn?
It is never ever one thing for me, but a combination of things that inspire the development of a story. But if I were to narrow it down to the barebones, I’d have to say the Potomac River. I live in a historically rich area. The Potomac is not only beautiful but it is rife with history. Everyone has heard about Harper’s Ferry. Within a few miles south and a few north of there, is the setting for Before the Scarlet Dawn.
On the Virginia side, there is an overlook, and when I visited there and looked down into the deep gorge, across to the Maryland Heights, my mind drifts back to the past. So, instead of a person or a historical event being the inspiration for this story, I found it in a place where the water flows placid over boulders and joins with the Shenandoah.
How much of this story is based on fact?
The story is solely a work of fiction. However, there are historical details interwoven into the story, such as the American Revolution, the culture of the time period, food, clothing, and more that bring Before the Scarlet Dawn to life.