09 September 2010

Interview With Rita Gerlach – Author of Surrender the Wind


Surrender the Wind, Published by Abingdon Press Fiction, 2009

 

 
Rita just celebrated the first anniversary publication of Surrender the Wind. As a fan/writer of colonial fiction, last year I started searching out books/authors of recent publications. Rita's book has romance, history, and suspense and takes an American Revolutionary patriot back to England.

 
In this book, Seth Braxton returns to England to reunite with the sister her left there as a child. He arrives to find her grieving the loss of her son then meets Juleah who steals his heart. However, this enrages the man who had wished to marry her and who was also trying to take Seth's ancestral home from him. Will their love survive of murder, abduction and betrayal?

 

 

 
What inspired this story?[Rita Gerlach] What sparked my imagination to write Surrender the Wind was a single thought. What would happen if an American patriot of the Revolutionary War inherited his grandfather's estate in England. It was like tossing a stone in a pond and it causing a ripple effect. Everything followed suit after that, the characters, the setting, and the plot line. 

 
You have a love of history, particularly colonial era.  What influenced this interest?[Rita Gerlach] The town I live in is rife with history. The old buildings, the historical sites, all echo of the past and are treasured places. Not long ago, I visited Antietam Battlefield. I stood there, on the grass looking down Bloody Lane, with only the sound of the wind whispering across the fields, trying to imagine what it must have been like for those men. It is a sad, hallowed place. It is of a different time period, but history is history no matter the century. Whenever I visit such a place my imagination comes alive. My love for the colonial period is not just about dates and facts, but about the people and how they lived.

 

 
You are known among writers as being a very kind, generous, and thoughtful person and hostess.  Is this one of your spiritual gifts?  If you are too embarrassed by this question, I will just write my own little comment on how super you are![Rita Gerlach] Not embarrassed. Just a bit shy to answer this. But I do love helping others.

 

 
Do you find male or female characters more challenging, and why?[Rita Gerlach] Whether male or female charactization is challenging. Women are said to be more emotionally complicated then men, but I don't think that's completely true. It depends on the character's personality, what made them the person they are, what influenced them to be either the protagonist or antagonist. For example, I find Darcy more complex than Elizabeth in Pride & Prejudice. Jane is more complicated than Rochester in Jane Eyre. In Surrender the Wind, I found Seth more challenging than Juleah. He had been through a war, and experienced things Juleah had not. He was wounded inwardly. She was more open having lived a more sheltered life.

 

 
Your ability to pull the reader right into the setting is phenomenal.  Can you comment on the trend in writing toward minimalism and the tendency away from narrative writing.  [Rita Gerlach] It is a very complex trend, to say the least. I sometimes wonder if it is due to changes in our culture. My parents' generation read the classics in school. Not so today. So not to offend anyone that leans one way or the other, I'll say this. Good writing strikes a balance between dialogue and narrative writing. I began to read a particular novel that was nothing but dialogue for pages and pages, with an occasional break with narrative. I got lost not knowing which character was speaking. I could not finish that book. I was unable to visualize them or the setting in my mind. On the other hand, a book that is all narrative will put a reader to sleep. If you want to hook me, the story must have a rhythm to it, meat, substance, discription, action. Tend away from narrative and you'll lose me.

 

 
Do you have a favorite scripture and what is it?[Rita Gerlach] 
My favorite scripture is Revelation 21:4.
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

 
Thanks, Rita!

 
Thank you Rita!

 
Book Contest
For a chance to win a copy of Surrender the Wind, leave a comment on this blog!

 

21 comments:

  1. I have been looking forward to this book.
    Thanks for the chance to win it.
    wsmarple/at/gmail/dot/com

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  2. Sounds good. Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy.

    homesteading[at]charter[dot]net

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  3. Sounds like a good read.

    Blessings,
    Jodie

    digging4pearls(at)comcast(dot)net

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  4. I'd love to win!
    Ann_Lee_Miller@msn.com

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  5. the book sounds great - please include me in the giveaway - I'd love a chance at winning this book!

    legacy1992(at)gmail(dot)com

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  6. Great interview Carrie and Rita. I'm like you Rita, I love history. When ever I go to a historical site I stand there and try to envision the people moving around in their daily life. I think for someone who truly loves history, it's a very emotional time, especially when your visiting places like battlefields. They just suck you in and you want to go back and see and help and become a part.

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  7. Great interview. This sounds like a wonderful book. Please enter me.

    ~Steph
    soklad@hotmail.com

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  8. Sounds like an intriguing book!! Thanks for the interview. Glad for the chance to win this book!
    suefoster(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  9. Thank you, Carrie, for the opportunity to be featured on your blog and for the book giveaway. Thanks to everyone that has posted.

    Blessings,
    Rita

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  10. Thanks so much for all the posts. I am so fortunate, Debbie Lynne to live in the historic triangle of Virginia and to have grown up in beautiful upper Michigan, full of history of the French voyageurs and the Ojibways (the English were there, too, but not as much until later.)

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  11. Enlightening interview Rita and Carrie. I appreciated what Rita said about striking a balance between dialogue and narrative writing. As a beginning writer at a late age, I can use every learning tip. Stories written around historical events and time periods are my favorite. Thank you for offering your book as a giveaway. I appreciate the chance to win...and I hope I do!

    Sharing God's Love,
    Barb Shelton
    barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

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  12. Would love to win and read this book.
    Thank you for the chance.
    Wendy
    wdesirees@yahoo.com

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  13. This book sounds like a great book. Please enter me in the drawing.

    Blessings,
    Jo
    ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

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  14. Barb, That is one of my "pet" issues - this whole trend toward throwing out as much narrative as possible. I sometimes wonder if we historical readers end up re-reading back list, older books because we can't even figure out where the characters are, like Rita was saying, with all the talking heads!

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  15. Hi Rita, I love your story line and love books that are set during the War between the States. I have learned so many facts that I would not have known had I not read them in my books. Thanks for stopping by to chat with us about "Surrender the Wind".

    Thanks for the opportunity to enter this giveaway.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

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  16. I love your favorite Scripture. What a great choice that I've seldom seen mentioned. I love books set during this era.

    julesreffner(at)gmail(dot)com

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  17. Carrie, I appreciate your comment to me. As I am getting started at writing, it is a big surprise to me learning where to cut off one and write the other. I'm so confused choosing what I need to learn - there is so much diversity in what's available....all wonderfully educational, I'm sure; but I want to learn my own style...not copy another's. Anyway, I too wanted to tell you that your favorite scripture is also one of mine. Hope to see you around often!

    Blessings,
    Barb Shelton
    barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

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  18. Interesting interview.

    Please enter me in the drawing.

    ~Steph
    soklad@hotmail.com

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  19. Thanks for all the comments! Random generator gave me 11 as the first pick. Congrats to Barb Shelton. I need your snail mail address. Send to cfpwriter@aol.com. Thanks for reading and God bless you all!

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  20. Oh my goodness, Carrie, I didn't know that I'm a winner until I saw your note on my profile page!! I'm so surprised and delighted. So sorry I didn't read my comments earlier. Thank you! My snail mail addy:

    Barb Shelton
    1907 Avalon Lane
    Arlington, TX 76014

    I'm really looking forward to reading Rita's book. Thanks so much again.

    Blessings,
    Barb

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  21. Congrats again, Barb! I am back from the ACFW conference now and will get the books out in the mail tomorrow if my little boy isn't sick still. God bless and keep you!

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