Anne: Our interview this morning is with Roseanna White, a prolific and terrific author, writer of the Culper Ring Series. For a review of the most recent book in that series, Whispers from the Shadows, click HERE.
So, Roseanna, as usual the first question is: What inspired you to write Whispers from the Shadows?
Roseanna: Well, I knew when I planned the series that the second book would be about the children of the characters from Ring of Secrets. I had the basic kernel of an idea before I sold the series to Harvest House. But as I dug into it, I was really inspired by a few ideas. First, hidden meaning in art. Second, the masks used to reveal hidden messages in letters at the time. And finally, the way Baltimore joined together when the British advanced upon them and won the day because of their unity.
Anne: And I loved the way you wove those little intricacies into the work. What was your most valued research source for the history of the War of 1812 period?
Roseanna: My main source for this one was Battle for Baltimore: 1814 by Joseph A. Whitehorne. He combines traditional with original research to really bring to life that particular area during the war.
Anne: I like that. What is your favorite part of the book?
Reseanna: The big reveal of Thad’s past in the middle of the book, which comes in the same scene as the first kiss. =) I love both kisses and surprises, LOL, so that was a scene I’d been looking forward to writing through the whole first half! And I was thrilled when my critique partners were all shocked, but in the “Now it makes sense!” sort of way. Definite victory for me. ;-)
Anne: What is your least favorite part of being a writer?
Roseanna: I love everything about it, though these days my biggest stress is in not having enough time! Oh, I guess I do have one least-favorite part. See, I’m really long-winded, but my contracts specify a certain range in word count. So too often I have to cut a lot of words from my books, line by line, and that is definitely not fun!
Anne: You're also an editor and I think you still homeschool your kids--how do you juggle the editing time with your own writing time with the demands of being available to help the children?
It’s tough! I actually just had an article about this in Practical Homeschooling Magazine. =) I usually have to get up at 5:30 to get some writing time in before the kids get up. Then we have the first half of our school day. During our break, I do my editing work for WhiteFire or more writing or marketing stuff, depending on the day and what deadlines are looming. More school, more work, some blatant neglecting of household chores, and sometimes I squeeze in another hour of work in the evening. My day is usually non-stop work, be it writing, editing, or schooling, from 5:30 to 9:30. Luckily, I hate being idle, so it’s not too bad, LOL.
Anne: If you had to quit one of those jobs, which would it be?
Roseanna: Oh goodness—I love them all! But I think if I had to delegate some of my tasks, it would be certain aspects of the editing. Not all of it, but certain responsibilities are very time-consuming and could be easily handled by someone else. I’m seriously considering finding someone to help with those. =)
Anne: Would you like to tell us about your next book?
Roseanna: Absolutely! First, on 1 January 2014 a second free novella in the Culper Ring Series will release. A Hero’s Promise is the story of Jack, the little boy from Whispers from the Shadows, and Julienne (nicknamed Lenna) Lane, Thad and Gwyn’s daughter. It’s a really short little story, but it’s a fun glimpse into their love.
The next full-length book is Circle of Spies, releasing in April 2014, the final installment of the Culpers. I absolutely adore this book—it’s got a reformed bad girl as a heroine, one whose reformation only begins at the start of the book, so she’s still battling a lot of negative influences. I don’t have official back cover copy yet, but here’s what’s up right now.
Baltimore, 1865—Marietta Hughes never wanted to be a spy…but espionage is thrust upon her as the War Between the States rolls on. Unbeknownst to her, a Confederate secret society bent on destroying the Union she loves has been meeting in her basement. When she discovers the plots and papers covering her walls, she feels as though she is losing her world.
Slade Osborne, an undercover Pinkerton agent, is determined to do whatever is necessary to help end the conflict between the North and the South. When he infiltrates this secret cell, it isn’t just their inner workings that baffle him—it’s the beautiful woman who seems to be a puppet for the new leader and yet…somehow not an enemy of the Union.
Can he trust her? Will she trust him? Will their shared faith sustain them? And can Mari and Slade stymie the enemy long enough without being discovered to see their beloved country reunited?
Anne: Thanks, Roseanna, for being here today. And I love the thought of the free betweener book between the books. May God bless you and your writing!