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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Author Interview - Roseanna White

Roseanna White with her latest book, Ring of Secrets
Anne: Today's visit is with an inspirational and talented young woman, Roseanna White. She homeschools her children, edits books for Whitefire Publishing, and in her spare time--she writes dynamite books. Her most recent is Ring of Secrets, a spy story set during the American Revolution. (If you'd like to see a review of her book, click HERE).

Good morning, Roseanna. Tell us what inspired this delicious story?


Roseanna: Well, my hubby had been watching a History Channel show that was delving into the real-life Culper Ring; and he, knowing how I love this stuff, told me all about it. I was writing Love Finds You in Annapolis, Maryland at the time—a similar time period—and at first wondered if I could work them into that somewhere. Um, no, LOL. But they were cool enough to deserve their own book, so I sat down and asked myself my usual series of “What if?”s. What if the primary agent in the Culper Ring was aided by a childhood friend, a fictional female? What if she was the perfect Patriot spy because everyone thought her a ditzy Loyalist? What if the hero were on the opposite side? How would I bring them together at the end?

Anne: Tell us a little about the real Culpers?

Roseanna: The Culper Ring was George Washington’s most trusted band of intelligencers during the Revolution. At that point in time, spying was a dirty business usually only taken on by money-grubbing scoundrels. But the Culpers were different—they were the first organized group of spies who did what they did for love of their country, never asking for monetary recompense.

Anne: If Winter were going to go a-spying now, where would it be?

Roseanna: Oh my, interesting question. I think Winter would consider America’s greatest enemy today to be the antipathy of her citizens, the “let someone else fix it” mentality so many of us have. I don’t think she would be spying on some foreign enemy—I think she would be trying to rouse her neighbors to care, so that together they could effect a change.

Anne: How many of your characters were historical figures?

Roseanna: Quite a few! I made up Winter and her family (including Freeman), Bennet and his family, and Fairchild. Most of the others were historical figures. Tallmadge and Townsend and Roe and Brewster and Woodhull were the real Culper Ring. Hercules Mulligan was really Townsend’s accomplice and a premiere tailor. Rivington really owned the coffee house and newspaper, John Andre was really a British officer captured in the Benedict Arnold affair and executed—and was really mourned by both sides, he was so very likable. I had such a rich cast of real-life characters to draw from!

Anne: When this is made into a movie (!), who will play Winter and Ben?

Tee hee hee. =) I already have my selections made, and you can see them on my Pinterest board for the book (http://pinterest.com/roseannamwhite/ring-of-secrets/). Anna Kendrick would be my Winter (some may have seen her in Twilight, where she played the ditzy friend). Chris Hemsworth would be Bennet, though he doesn’t need to be quite so, ahem, bulky as he was in Thor. ;-)

Anne: Do you feel as strongly about your country as Winter?

Roseanna: You know, I’m not sure I did before I started writing this series. I loved my country, but I would just toss up my hands at all that was going wrong. Now, as I’ve read about so, so many people who took history into their own hands and followed the path the Lord put them on, the path that led America to greatness through the actions of her citizens, a new love has been inspired in me for the United States. We are a nation built on grit and determination, on brotherhood and bravery. And we’ve let division, always there among us but fought off time and again through history, crop up once more. Where are the Culpers this time to help us find our way? Right here—you and me. We have to step up and be willing to do whatever the Lord asks of us to revive our nation.

Anne: And finally--Would you like to tell us a little about the next book?

Roseanna: Sure! Whispers from the Shadows releases in August and is set during the War of 1812. Winter and Ben and Fairchild are still present, but this time they’re the parents of the main characters. Thaddeus Lane is an adventurous privateer stuck on land behind the British blockade of the Chesapeake...and the head of the revived (and now fictional) Culper Ring. Known and loved by all, he recognizes that this war isn’t the same as the one his parents fought—this war is one that requires rousing his neighbors to action, not fearing which side they’re on. My heroine is Gwyneth Fairchild, who flees London with a grisly murder haunting her...and a murderer on her heels. She goes to the Lanes because they’re the only ones her father trusted, but when she realizes the business the family deals in, she can’t fathom that safety waits for her in America any more than it did in England...just as she can’t fathom why her father, a beloved British general now, would ever send her to the enemy for protection. Naturally, love awaits them. =) Along with mystery, spiritual discoveries, and secrets hidden in Gwyneth’s artwork.

Anne: Wow, Roseanna, thank you so much. I love interviewing folks who  give in-depth responses, and you have gone above and beyond. No wonder your writing soars!