How do I best describe this month’s featured author? I mean, you can read her bio and be duly impressed. But, another of Carrie’s assets is her gift of encouragement. As a pastor’s wife, she has encouraged many. But, as an author, she has encouraged thousands and thousands across this planet. And as my friend, she has encouraged me for many years.
We have been friends for around twenty years. I’ve been a grateful recipient of her encouragement and compassion, but I’ve also learned from her steel-magnolia-type of perseverance. When I wanted to give up, she didn’t. When I did give up for a time, she pressed on. Today she is an award-winning author of more than twenty inspirational novels and novellas and a winner of the ACFW Carol Award, the International Digital Award, and the Holt Medallion.
Her novels have received stared reviews from Christianbooks.com and Library Journal. They have been translated into several languages and enjoyed by readers around the world.
I am so excited to introduce you to this great writer and friend.
What was your inspiration for writing in general — why did you choose writing?
I’ve always loved to read, and I have a good imagination. Those are key qualities for any writer. In 1996-97, our family spent a year in Kenya East Africa. When we returned to the US, I missed it so much I thought I would write a story set there to relive my experiences. I did it mainly as a creative outlet, and I was hesitant to call myself a writer or tell others about it. But I enjoyed it so much I joined a writers’ group at my library and set off to learn more about writing fiction.
I love that you began writing to remember and relive your experiences while in Kenya. Did you love to read? What did you read as a child, and what did you read to your children?
When I was young I had a great aunt who was a teacher. Each Christmas she would give me the Newbery Award winning children’s book from that year. One Morning in Maine and Make Way for the Ducklings by Robert McCloskey and The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare were some of my favorites. I remember my fifth grade teacher reading Charlotte’s Web aloud to the class. And because of that happy memory, I’ve always loved that story.
I home schooled our five children, and reading aloud to them was always my favorite time of the school day. They are all grown now, but I remember we enjoyed The Winged Watchman, Heidi, Little Women, My Side of the Mountain, and Anne of Green Gables together.
Sounds like you instilled a love of reading to your children as well. Now that you are writing your own novels, who are your favorite authors, and why do you enjoy reading their novels?
I enjoy reading historical fiction so I can step back in time, travel to new places, and learn something while enjoying a story. Some of my favorite authors of historical fiction are Cathy Gohlke, Tara Johnson, Joanne Bischof, Roseanna White, Carolyn Miller, Erica Vetch, Joanna Davidson Politano, and Laura Frantz.
Do you have any strange writing habits or quirks?
I tend to way overwrite, so I always need to go back to simplify and tighten what I’ve written.
Which of your characters has really stretched you as a writer?
Grace McAlister Hamilton in No Journey Too Far was a challenge to write. She is a British Home Child who was adopted by a wealthy family, and she was pressured to keep her background a secret. My editor helped me see that she needed to have more gumption and take more action in the story. I had to do quite a bit of revising to give Grace the strength she needed to be a heroine readers would want to cheer for. That was a challenge, but in the end I’m glad she encouraged me deepen and develop Grace.
What is the story Behind No Journey Too Far?
No Journey Too Far is the second McAlister Family novel. Book One is No Ocean Too Wide. In that book the three youngest McAlister children are taken away to a children’s home after their mother becomes ill and is sent to the hospital. A short time later they are sent to Canada as British Home Children without their mother’s knowledge or permission. Laura, their oldest sister, travels to Canada to search for them and try to reunite the family.
When I researched British Home Children and child emigration I learned that when these children grew up, many of them struggled to build a life on their own after they finished their indentured contracts. There was a huge prejudice against them, and some kept their past a secret even from their own family.
This second book is set ten years later and tells what happens to the youngest daughter Grace, who is still missing in Canada. Her brother Garth has just returned to England after fighting in WW1, and he goes back to Canada to search for Grace and also to look for his missing sweetheart, Emma.
I couldn’t believe the story of the British Home Children. Human nature hasn’t changed much has it? What is something God taught you while you wrote No Journey Too Far?
My editor asked for a lot of revisions, more than any other book I’ve written. That was frustrating at first, but as I worked on making the changes she suggested, I could see the value of her advice. After having twenty books published, I didn’t expect to be asked to make so many changes. It took perseverance and humility to work through those edits. I guess the Lord knew I needed to exercise those character muscles! I’m very happy with the final version of the story and glad for skilled editors.
What is one of your favorite quotes from No Journey Too Far and why do you love it?
I love this quote from one of Emma’s prayers:
“I know You are good and You are faithful. You see the end from the beginning. You’ll carry us through this dark time to a brighter day. I believe it. Please give me strength and help me believe.”
Like Emma, I often remind myself that God is faithful and I can trust Him. I pray it and I say I believe, but I also know I need His grace and strength to act on what I say I believe.
That is a beautiful prayer. What are you working on now?
I’m working on a time-slip story set in the Lake District of England. The working title is A Shepherd’s Heart. I’ve enjoyed reading several time-slip novels, but I’ve never written one, so it’s a fun challenge. I have written both contemporary and historical novels, so that helps me understand the difference, but weaving them together in a meaningful way is new for me.[NOTE: The time-slip genre is defined as a storytelling format that bridges two or more timelines.]
How exciting! I’m looking forward to learning more about your new story. Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Release day for No Journey too Far is June 8. I have some special gifts for those who preorder before that date. They can receive an exclusive short story that is set in the time between No Ocean Too Wide and No Journey Too Far. It features Garth and Emma and shows how their friendship moves toward romance while they worked together at Mr. Gilchrest’s farm. It’s a sweet story that I hope readers will enjoy. They can also download a pretty recipe card with Grace’s Apple Cinnamon Muffins recipe, and some pretty Edwardian style stationary. Visit my website Extra Page for more info and the link. http://carrieturansky.com/extras/
I also have a special giveaway readers can enter during launch week. More info about that can be found at the blog on my website Jun 8 – 14. I hope they’ll stop by and enter to win a lovely tea-for-one teapot and cup, a tea collection from Harney & Sons, and a beautiful framed print by artist Ruth Chou Simons. http://carrieturansky.com/blog/
The June Author Highlight Giveaway!
Carrie has graciously offered a great giveaway for this month’s winner! An autographed copy of No Ocean Too Wide (NOTE: If the winner already has this book, Carrie has agreed to give a copy of No Journey Too Far). To enter, post a comment below about the interview. On Friday, June 11th, one entry will be randomly selected.
And if you haven’t already, I hope you’ll subscribe to my monthly newsletter below — I have two special surprises for you. And, you’ll have another entry into the giveaway!
One Winner! And it could be you! Be sure to tell your friends and family to come on by and enter! Drawing takes place on Friday, June 11th!
NOTE: WANT TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING THIS INCREDIBLE PRIZE PACKAGE?
Check out my YouTube Author Highlight interview with Carrie. In the video interview she will answer different questions, and provide some fun insights. By Liking and Commenting you will have one more entry. Sharing the video, another entry. Subscribe, and you have TWO entries for the chance to win.
That means, my friends, if you comment and subscribe -– or are already a subscriber -– to my blog, then watch the video and LIKE, SHARE, and COMMENT, then Subscribe to my YouTube Channel, your name will be entered SIX TIMES!
Be sure to tell your friends! See you there!
Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed getting to know my friend Carrie Turansky and her books. Next month’s Author Highlight is award-winning author, Gail Pallotta. God bless and Keep Reading!