Anne: Our interview today is with the lady who wrote the first novella of the four short historical romances in Colonial Courtships, Carla Olson Gade.
Carla, my first question is, as always: What inspired your novel--or in this case, your quarter of the book?
Carla: Carving a Future, my novella in Colonial Courtships, is about a ship’s figurehead carver. There were many shipbuilding communities in New England in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. One of the trades involved was figurehead ship carving. There was something romantic about the beautiful figures that were created. While researching them to develop the idea, I discovered a nineteenth century illustration of a figurehead carver sculpting the image of a beautiful young woman in his shop. That gave me some inspiration. I knew there was a story there. I felt it would be a good trade for a strong hero and wondered just who his model would be.
Anne: Did one of the four of you come up with the idea of novellas based on four brother's courtships?
Carla: I have a fascination for the colonial era, having lived in historical New England throughout my life. I imagined a time that four brothers, each with unique occupations, would find a special ladylove. After doing some research, I presented my coauthors with the theme and setting for the book, The Red Griffin Inn on the Connecticut River.
Anne: What inspired you to collaborate with these particular authors (Laurie Alice Eakes, Lisa Karon Richardson, and Amber Stockton) to write this four-in-one?
Carla: I’ve long enjoyed the fiction of Amber Stockton and Laurie Alice Eakes. Amber and Laurie Alice each have written books of the colonial era and I was looking for authors who not only were skilled writers, but had a handle on that time period. Lisa is a new author whom Laurie Alice recommended, and she was a natural fit. Her novella, Impressed by Love, closes the book with a strong story.
Anne. Do you plan any more novels with these three great authors?
Carla: We have discussed a few potential projects in the future. It would be great to work with them again.
Anne. I love the faith interspersed throughout the books--it sounds like you really know the subject. Does part of the story include your own story?
Carla: There is a similarity only in that Constance and Nathaniel each need to learn to trust the Lord for the outcome of their circumstances, a lesson I’ve had to learn a time or two. It was a situation of them growing in their faith. I’m still on that journey, as I hope we all are.
Anne: Which of the characters do you most identify with?
Carla: I think Constance shows some resemblance to me, my personality. Amiable, reserved, contemplative, hopeful, a planner. I definitely identify with her difficulties in the kitchen! We try!
Anne: Okay, enough about this book; tell me a little about your next book.
Carla: My next book, Pattern for Romance, is nineth in Abingdon Fiction’s Quilts of Love Series, (also at http://quiltsoflovebooks.com), due out in August of 2013. An other colonial adventure, this story takes place in 1769 Boston.
Honour Metcalf’s quilting needlework is admired by a wealthy customer of the Boston mantua-maker for whom she works. In need of increasing her earnings, she agrees to create an elaborate white work bridal quilt for the dowager’s niece. A beautiful design emerges as she carefully stitches the intricate patterns and she begins to dream of fashioning a wedding quilt of her own.
When Honour is falsely accused of thievery and finds herself in a perilous position, merchant tailor Joshua Sutton comes to her aid. Joshua risks his relationships, reputation, and livelihood to prove her innocence, but even that might not be enough.
Anne: Thanks for your valuable time, Carla, and I do hope you'll come back and visit with us again. Do any of you readers have a question for Carla? I know she'd come back and answer.
By the way! IF there are at least five commenters on yesterday's book review and today's interview, Carla will give a book to one of those commenters!