Louise M. Gouge http://blog.louisemgouge.com/
is the author of At the Captain’s Command (April 2011), from Harlequin’s Love Inspired Historicals. This is the third book in this colonial series.
I met Louise through HisWriters, an online writers group for those who have either published or planned works with European characters, and Colonial American Christian Writers, an online group I founded last year for authors of colonial-era, and slightly beyond, American books or works-in-progress.
Louise, welcome to Overcoming Through Time. Would you share either the most difficult thing in your life you have had to overcome, with God’s help, or the most tragic situation or circumstance one of your character’s has had to get past?
Hi, Carrie. Thank you for inviting me, but WOW! This is a hard question to begin with. By my age, a person usually has had more than a few difficult life situations to deal with. Not one to let any conflict go to waste, I often use my own painful experiences to infuse real emotions in my characters. That may sound a bit callous, but not when one considers that the “job” of the Christian fiction writer is to engage readers through true-to-life experiences for both entertainment and spiritual growth. In other words, I write my stories with the hope that they will reach readers on a deep level and change their lives, specifically helping them to have a close relationship with Jesus Christ. This echoes the way that Jesus used parables to reveal God’s true nature to us.
That being said, I’d add that the most painful experience in my life was the death of my beloved son-in-law Bill, a godly young pastor and teacher. Sometimes it seems unfair and maybe even a big mistake when God takes a wonderful man like Bill away from us. My faith assures me that right now Bill is happy in the Lord’s Holy presence. But he left a widow with two small children to struggle through life without his loving, guiding, protecting hand. However, true to her strong faith, my daughter has managed over the past five years to work through her grief and come to terms with her loss. She’s a wonderful and fun mother. I’m so proud of her in every way.
As for me, when Bill died, I lost a friend and fellow writer. I still miss him. A part of me still asks “Why, Lord?” But again, Faith answers the question, saying “Bad things may happen, but God never makes a mistake.” Like my daughter, I choose to trust Him.
(Louise, that had to be very difficult. To see your daughter and grandchildren suffering, too. Thank you for your assertion that trust and faith are the right choices to make in this loss.)
What is your favorite bible verse and why?
Psalms 47:4 promises us that “He shall choose our inheritance for us.” I would rather trust God’s will for my life than force things to go my way. Every time I’ve done that, I’ve regretted it. Yet when I’ve trusted Him, He has blessed my endeavors.
What has been the most important thing you hope your readers will get from your books and why?
I pray that people will understand the true loving nature of God as our heavenly Father. He isn’t angry with us, and we don’t have to jump through a bunch of hoops to earn his love. He’s already done the work by sending His Son Jesus to die for us. All we have to do is accept His free gift of forgiveness and eternal life.
As you researched your books, did you learn anything that particularly touched your heart?
Oh, yes. I’m constantly uncovering “neat stuff” about the past. For At the Captain’s Command and the other two books in this series, it was the common humanity that we all share, no matter what our opinions are about any given issue. Historically, England’s King George III was our enemy, a despot who refused to consider the colonists’ legitimate complaints about taxes and oppression. On the other hand, as borne out by detailed research, King George was faithful to his wife (very unusual for a monarch or peer of the times) and a true believer in Jesus Christ. He just believed that God had given him the right to rule however he saw fit.
Looking at the situation from the high hill of history, I can disengage my personal biases and appreciate the righteous parts of his life even as I deplore his unreasonable treatment of the colonists. And who can fail to feel some measure of pity for a man who had the enormous responsibility as leading his country wisely, and yet he fell ill to a devastating madness that impaired his ability to lead. Anyone who has watched the helplessness of a loved one with Alzheimer’s or other debilitating disease of the mind can appreciate the misery George endured for decades before he died. Death, the great leveler. Whether we be kings or paupers or just regular folks, we all share that common humanity. That alone should inspire us to look more kindly upon others.
Thank you, Louise, for agreeing to answer these questions. Have a blessed day and keep on writing!!
Thank you, Carrie, for having me.
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