05 February 2012

Carrie Fancett Pagels Interviews Elizabeth Camden


Elizabeth Camden is the author of The Rose of Winslow Street and The Lady of Bolton Hill both published by Bethany House.  I met Elizabeth through Facebook, the place which seems to be spreading out to fill half of cyberspace!

Elizabeth, 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?
Thanks for asking me aboard!  Overall, I have been incredibly blessed, but something I’ve wrestled with for a good deal of my adulthood was simple loneliness.  I was a single woman until 35.  For a number of reasons, my career kept me moving every few years.  As a natural introvert, it gets hard to put down roots as I kept moving from one city to another.  I found that as you get older, if you don’t have children or a spouse, it can be hard to find in-roads into a new neighborhood community.  This can be true even in a church!  So I spent more holidays than I care to remember curled up at home.   This wasn’t a huge tragedy, but there is a sort of low-grade pain that comes from living year after year, decade after decade alone.
 
So this is where the Lord comes in.  Having faith means that even if you feel like the odd man out, you are confident that you have a role in this world and an important part to play.  Why hadn’t I found the man of my dreams at age 22 and commenced to produce beautiful children and become a wife and mother, which is what I had always assumed I should be?  My life didn’t unfold as I expected, but I trusted that God had a plan for me….I just needed to find it! 


(CFP: I didn't marry until almost thirty and that after two broken engagements. I feel the same way - God's plan is best!)

What is your favorite bible verse and why?
In the beginning there was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  John 1:1
This may be an odd quote for favorite, but it resonates with me like a mantra.  When I get stressed out over the minutia of daily life, that verse has a timeless quality that soothes me.  God and Jesus have always been there, they always will be.  My worries are a tiny blip in that long, unending relationship that is longer, deeper, and more profound than I can get my mind around.  The verse helps me keep things in perspective. 

Disability friendliness:
Is this latest release available in audio format or do you have any other works available on audio?
 I am thrilled to say that an audio version of The Rose of Winslow Street is on the way!  There is not a release date yet, but I expect it to hit the library shelves by mid-2012.  My first book, The Lady of Bolton Hill, is available in large text, and I am hoping The Rose of Winslow Street will be as well. 


Purchase Elizabeth Camden's books through Amazon
Buy Elizabeth Camden's books on CBD.

What has been the most important thing you hope your readers will get from your books and why?
My knee-jerk reaction is to say that I want my readers to have a wonderful, exhilarating time as they watch a great, heroic man fall desperately in love, uncover a long-buried mystery, and undertake an adventure that will open doors for his entire family.   I hope my novels are hard to put down and sweep the reader away to another time and place.   They always feature a love story that is front and center, which is my favorite thing to write.

However….you asked what “the most important” thing is.  I have found great comfort in reading novels.  They give me examples of persevering through tragedy, overcoming the odds, learning to trust your instincts, and to never give up.  The Rose of Winslow Street has several characters who struggle to overcome lifetime challenges.  They do so through faith, perseverance, and common sense.  I believe these qualities can help inspire people as they wrestle with their own problems. 

As you researched your books, did you learn anything that particularly touched your heart?
The hero and his family come from Romania, so I needed to learn about Romanian culture and customs.  I wanted them to be as starkly different from the American heroine as possible, so I had them come from a rural village, but with aristocratic roots….then I transplanted them into small town America of 1879.  It was huge fun to learn about the customs of a different country and then set them into play here in America.
 
The hero and his family are starkly different from the New England villagers…..different dress, comportment, and manner of doing business, but at heart they are the same.  When the hero’s children are bullied because of their strange clothes and rural ways, it is a pain shared by the entire family.  So even though I had fun with all the differences between the Romanian family and the American heroine, at heart, we are all part of the same human family.  How we treat people who are different from us is a theme that arises over and over in the book.


In this latest work, do you have any topics useful for bibliotherapy, or therapeutic influence through reading about a disorder or situation?
One of the characters, Lady Mirela, is wrestling with a debilitating series of setbacks which completely derails her life.  As the novel opens,  she is suffering from profound depression to the point that she cannot function in daily life.  Through the course of the book she undergoes a remarkable transformation by coming to accept that the catastrophes that robbed her of the life she hoped lead could be turned toward something positive.  She learns that God never abandoned her, and that the tragedies actually set her on a life course far more profound and interesting than anything she could have ever envisioned.   I hope that others may be able to learn from that attitude of adapting to life’s curve-balls.  Lady Mirela is a secondary character, but by the end of the novel she emerges as one of the strongest, most courageous characters I’ve ever written.  I love that woman!

Thank you Elizabeth, for agreeing to answer these questions.  Have a blessed day and keep on writing!!




GIVEAWAY:  Leave a comment and your email to be entered in this week’s contest.  Drawing will be late Saturday.  Your choice of this author’s books, choice of format.





34 comments:

  1. Loved the interview, thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. I never thought of single women being lonely, you shed light on something that we need to think about if we have single friends. I love to read and your books sound great.
    Paula O(kyflo130@yahoo.com)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you, Elizabeth, for being our guest author this week! What a wonderful interview, and thank you for sharing your heart with us. I really love your writing and appreciate the fact that you keep a strong spiritual thread throughout your novels (at least in The Lady of Bolton Hill); I haven't had the time or the pleasure of reading your newest release.

    Again, thank you, Carrie and Elizabeth, for the wonderful interview.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Both of these books sound great, good interview too. Thank you for the giveaway.

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com
    wrensthoughts.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Another great interview. Elizabeth - it was fun getting to know you on the Bethany House book banter.
    Sharon
    smoore at tcq dot net

    ReplyDelete
  5. PAULA, I found it a weird kind of lonely because at one point I had custody of my nephew (for two years) as a single parent and was connected with all these families. Holidays were awful before I had my nephew, though, for the couple of years I couldn't get home to MI from SC.

    ReplyDelete
  6. DIANA, are you wanting to read the latest release, too? I sometimes wonder when you sleep, lol!

    ReplyDelete
  7. We will enter you WREN and SHARON. And I have a Kindle copy of Lady of Bolton Hill if someone wants to borrow it before the giveaway.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Carrie, thanks for telling your story. I was 28 when I got married. I agonized over some of the same questions. However, after almost 27 years of marriage, I am glad that I waited for God choice.
    I work with 3 Romanian men and they are all Christians. I value their friendship and work ethics. I look forward to reading The Rose of Winslow Street. Please add me to the drawing and thanks so much for the chance to win.

    Debbie Clark
    debbiemcla(at)msn(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thank you Elizabeth for sharing with us. I also want to thank you for the hard work you put into your writing...it shows. I absolutely loved The Rose Of Winslow Street, it was a beautiful story.

    ReplyDelete
  10. You're too funny, Carrie. :) I do sleep, but I choose to read in the evening instead of watching tv. I want to read them all, but unfortunately I can't...my TBR stack is growing by leaps and bounds!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Elizabeth, I was so pleased when I read Lady of Bolton Hill! There was so much depth to the characters that I did NOT want the story to end. I believe you said on the Bethany House book banter that you are going to tell Bane's story. I will be first in line for that one! Thank you for sharing with us :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Wonderful interview!
    I also hope to read your latest release, Elizabeth! The Lady of Bolton Hill was a great read. Very original. :)) And like Anne I'm looking forward to read Bane's story!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Sooo looking forward to Bane's story, Marian, and Anne! I remember when reading the conclusion of Lady of Bolton Hill, Elizabeth left a little room (just a little eeny iny room) for a sequel, and I was hoping...:):)

    ReplyDelete
  14. DEBBIE, 25 years for us this coming November but I made sure I got my new diamond ring early lol!!! The first one my not-very-romantic husband actually picked out. I'll take him over Mr. Romance (fiance number one) any day!!! In fact, I did.

    ReplyDelete
  15. TERESA, MARIAN, and DIANA, what would I do without you? Probably not much, lol. Thanking God for you and your wonderful reviews!!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. ANNE, you are the second person to mention the BH book banter. What is it?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Awesome interview! I enjoyed it immensely! Very excited to get my hands on The Rose of Winslow Street. John 1:1 is one of my all time favorite verses too, I love how it ties in with Genesis and connects the beginning of time with Jesus in the New Testament, showing the grand design and it encompasses so much! Thanks :)

    crazi.swans at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  18. Carrie, Bethany House Publishers hosts a book banter day on their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/bethanyhousepublishers) where a selected author is available to chat about their books all day with the fans. It's fun! Lots of conversations going and you take breaks, come back later and catch up, ask more questions. One or more participants win a book by the featured author, depending on how many they are giving away. There were six winners from the last banter! I wasn't one of them :(

    ReplyDelete
  19. Carrie, you can follow/like Bethany House Publishers on Facebook. I believe every Friday there's another author online to chat with. That's the book banter.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Great interview! I enjoy Elizabeth's blog and her wonderful library photos.
    twinwillowsfarm at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  21. FAYE, thanks! Did you read Elizabeth's first book?

    ReplyDelete
  22. ANNE & MARIAN, Thanks! That is a GREAT idea!! I bet readers LOVE that! Bravo to Bethany for doing that!

    ReplyDelete
  23. PEGG, I wonder if Lady of Bolton Hill isn't right up your alley. Did you like North and South? Sounds like this book has some similarities but set in America.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi CARRIE....thanks for asking me aboard! I loved doing the Bethany House Book Banter a few weeks ago. I was only the 2nd author up to the plate, and since I missed the first one in November, I had NO CLUE what I was doing! Mercifully, the people who showed up to play were all terrific!

    ReplyDelete
  25. ANNE, MARIAN, and DIANA.....thanks for your enthusiam about Bane! (for those of you who haven't read my 1st book, The Lady of Bolton Hill....Bane was the villian who undergoes a huge transformation in the course of the story. As a brand new author, I think the folks at Bethany House were nervous about having me launch with a series, so they asked me to keep Bane on ice for a while as I wrote other novels. I got flooded with email asking for MORE BANE......so I have been giving the go-ahead and bring the story out. I'm hoping to have his story out in October (fingers crossed!)

    ReplyDelete
  26. I just finished The Rose of Winslow Street and I loved this story. Captivating characters, descriptive setting, great story line. Thanks for the interesting interview with Elizabeth. I appreciate her honesty about being single and marrying at a later age. Singles are often the ones left out in family focused churches.

    ReplyDelete
  27. What a great interview! And I love reading all of the comments too. The banter sounds like a lot of fun.
    You're very right about being the single - and single again - being left out ouf the family-focused churches. A dear friend who lost her husband to cancer three years ago says that she still feeels like an outcast. She's still waiting for God's plan for her.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hi CYNTHIA..... thanks for your kind words! I had a ball writing The Rose of Winslow Street, so I'm glad you enjoyed it! And REBECCA...interesting insight into widowed people. I never thought about them feeling left out once their partners are gone.....thanks for opening my eyes!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Your interview is so personal and transparent. Thank you for sharing. I would love to win one of your books.

    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  30. Great interview I hope I win so I can surprise my sister with it.(she really wants it) thanks! :)
    cryptictiger at rocketmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  31. Lovely interview. I love Elizabeth's desire to comfort, inspire and encourage through her writing; it is why I read Christian fiction. Please include me in the drawing for The Rose of Winslow Street. Thanks!
    worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  32. ELIZABETH, we are so happy to have you and your books up this week! LINDA and LEO good to have you here and we will enter you for the drawing!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Great intervview. Looking forward to reading this book soon.. angadair@nwcable.net

    ReplyDelete
  34. Looks great, please add me to the drawing!

    Librarybooks@religious.com

    ReplyDelete

Google Analytics