18 October 2012

Interview with Carla Gade by Carrie Fancett Pagels

Carla Olson Gade

Carla Olson Gade is the author of Carving a Future, a novella featured in Colonial Courtships (Barbour Publishing, Oct. 2012) and The Shadow Catcher’s Daughter (Harlequin/Heartsong Presents, Feb. 2012).

I met Carla, a fellow lover of Colonial Fiction, online through facebook through mutual friends. She is a member of the group I founded, Colonial American Christian Writers and contributes to the Colonial Quills blog. Carla designed the gorgeous CQ website and there would be no Colonial Quills website without Carla, so I thank her for her persistence and talent in getting us going.

Carla, 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?
I’d have to say loss of a loved one. While writing my first novel, The Shadow Catcher’s Daughter, my stepfather passed away.  Losing a parent is devastating, yet I had to continue to write in order to meet the publisher’s tight deadline. It proved therapeutic to write through the grieving, however; though I missed being able to call my Dad whom I often consulted regarding content for this book.  My characters have also lost close loved ones, and having experienced that myself I believe I have been able to portray their experiences with greater depth and accuracy.

What is your favorite bible verse and why?
Proverbs 3:3, “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.” I received this verse at time when my heart had been broken and easily could have become bitter. It changed my perspective and taught me to trust the Lord with my heart. It ties into the previous passage of Proverbs 3:5-6 which instructs us to entrust our hearts to the Lord. (“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths.”) How often we set out on our own path and do not keep in step with God.  I’m so thankful that His way is perfect.
Disability friendliness:
Is this latest release available in audio format?

Colonial Courtships is available in print and as an ebook. I’m excited about that since ebooks provide the means to adjust the text size for better visibility and ease of reading. I would love to see my books in large print someday.

What has been the most important thing you hope your readers will get from your books and why? 

I call my stories “Adventures of the Heart.” To me this encompasses not only the general plot, but the emotional and spiritual journey as well. Throughout the adventure, I try to weave threads of healing, hope, and spiritual truths.

As you researched your books, did you learn anything that particularly touched your heart?

I was moved in many ways while researching The Shadow Catcher’s Daughter.  I was impressed, rather distressed, by the belittling attitudes toward Native Americans, including the “half-breed” of my novel, as well as toward women during the late 19th century. 


My characters discussed an incident that regarding an Indian captive (the real life Olive Oatman). Despite her horrific experience, this woman was able to realize that not all Indians were inherently bad, as many people of the time believed. Ironically, once she was free, Olive, who bore a mark on her chin that the Indian tribe had tattooed there, was often rejected, mistreated, and taken advantage of by white society. Just consider the myriad of reactions you folks would have when seeing her. What thoughts cross your own mind? All of this caused me to consider the marks that we bear that are perceived illy by others, as well as the imprint we wish make on our world, sometimes thwarted by those around us due to their attitudes. 

It also struck me what great lengths the minister missionary I included in the book (another historical person) went to in order to bring the gospel to the western slope of Colorado, which was entirely without churches at that time. These things stirred my soul that I should be so compassionate, unprejudiced, and committed to sharing the love of God to others.

In this latest work, do you have any topics useful for bibliotherapy, or therapeutic influence through reading about a disorder or situation?

Colonial Courtships


In Carving a Future, Constance was “spirited away” against her will and put on a ship from England to the Americas. How frightening that must have been for her, especially as she was finally putting her life back together after experiencing the loss of her guardian uncle and means of living. She had already lost both of her parents earlier in her life. How alone and helpless she must have felt, especially in the hands of the cruel sea captain who intended to sell her indenture. These types of circumstances can often set us reeling. 

At first, Constance was ready to take things into her own hands, but as she learned to trust God in her situation, she realized that He had a plan for her life. Although life circumstances, and the sinful actions of other, can cause us great distress, the Lord never wastes our sorrows and in fact, shows us His love redemptively. Just as Nathaniel bought Constance’s indenture for a price, so did God through His son’s sacrifice on the cross. It cost Him much, but was worth it all because of His great love for us.

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


Colonial Courtships is available in print and ebook at CBD. The Book Club Network store Barnes and Noble and Amazon.
The Shadow Catcher's Daughter is available at Signed by the Author.


Giveaway:  A copy of either of Carla's books, paperback or ebook (Ebook only for international winners.) 

This giveaway is for followers of this blog who also follow Colonial Quills and Carla's blog.  You get an entry for each of those that you follow so you have up to three entry counts.  
Put OTT if you follow us, CQ for Colonial Quills, and COG for Carla Olson Gade followers.  Leave your email address, please.

Have any of you ever had to deal with prejudice or any injustice done to you? What mark do you wish to create on the world? 

48 comments:

  1. sounds so good, would love to read,

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  2. Hi Carla and Carrie! I really look forward to reading this book and Carla's story. Thank you for this interview.
    My father is still living but in ways beyond my control, you can say I have lost him. I went through a hard time dealing with it. I've come to accept it.
    Four years ago, my husband and I, did experience a miscarriage. It was devastating. In my heart, I knew it was God's plan and knew it happened for a reason. Two months later, we found out we were expecting again. We now have a beautiful little girl and a baby boy!

    campbellamyd at gmail dot com

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  3. I forgot to mention that I follow OTT and CQ.
    Oh and forgot my name. LOL
    Amy C
    campbellamyd at gmail dot com

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  4. CARLA welcome to OTT-WGH, thank you so much for your interview. I just finshed reading Constance's story, it was wonderful!

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  5. CARLA, thank you for the awesome interview and for sharing your heart with us on OTT. I am anxious to read SCD but am just climbing through my stack the best I can. I had company from TX for two weeks and oodles of company visiting that company (lol), and got so behind on my reading.

    I'm so sorry about the loss of your stepfather. I lost my mom a couple of yrs. ago, and His grace sustained me throughout that traumatic time.

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  6. Thank you, Carrie and Teresa, for having me here. What an honor to participate on such a thought provoking and encouraging blog! I'm so glad you enjoyed Constance's story in Carving a Future!

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  7. Wondering, have any of you ever had to deal with predjudice? What mark do you wish to create on the world?

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  8. Diana, I don't know how you, Theresa, and the others manage to get through all of those books. My own TBR pile is unreal. I've found it difficult to read, as well as write, this past year because I've been in a lot of pain with my wrist injury that I got in Feb. and am still recovering from.

    Thanks for you kind thoughts about my step-dad. You know, too well, how it is to lose a parent. As does Carrie and so many others.

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  9. CARLA my TBR pile has fallen over and is now becoming the start of a mountain! LOL Everytime I read Marian's or Diana's or Carrie's and now NOELA's reviews on a book I haven't read, my mountain grows! LOL

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  10. PAT thanks for stopping by. I agree Carla's books are fantastic!

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  11. Amy, I'm so sorry to hear about your miscarriage experience. I'm so glad that you were able to conceive at last and now have a beautiful child. I, also, can relate to what you shared about your father. Although our relationships has now been restored,I have grieved the loss of relationship with my biological father through the years. Nothing can be so devastating as the death of a close family member or loved one, but it is extremely difficult to deal with the loss of someone that is still living. I'm glad you have come to terms with it, as had I. I truly had to give my pain to the Lord for His healing and He gave me His healing balm.

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  12. Hi AMY thanks for stopping by. Glad you came back and gave us your info! :)

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  13. I don't know what I did but my response was on the October 17 comments. Oops. This is my response for Carla blog post:

    I lost my father around this time almost 10 years ago. It was a horrific experience. He was on life support for almost four weeks. I grieved and now I have moved on. In fact I have designed a Butterfly Grief Labyrinth that will be going (hopefully) next year into the ground at a local retreat center. Carved wooden models have been created and have been well received. So hopefully, the butterfly labryinth in the ground will be well received too.

    lmyost@roadrunner.com

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  14. What a wonderful interview. how difficult that must have been trying to write through your sorrow. I hope the memory of your father inspired you in some way. I'm sure that he is very proud of you, looking on like from heaven in that great cloud of witnesses. Lord bless you and your writing.

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  15. BW, The mystery of death and grief is difficult to understand and overcome, but as Carrie's blog reminds us, God is near to help. Your butterfly grief labyrinth sounds like a wonderful expression of love and tribute to your father.

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  16. Kathy, I never imagined that I could possibly endure that, writing through the grief. He was my go to guy and I missed him so much, miss him! We had our own journey to get through in our relationship through the years, but with God's help we managed to enjoy a very nice father-daughter relationship in the last few years before his passing and I even started calling him "Dad". I'm glad he got to read the first few chapters, at least of The Shadow Catcher's Daughter and it meant so much to me that he was proud of me. Writing through the grief, though ended up being a surprise blessing.

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  17. CARLA and TERESA, that pic of Olive above just broke my heart. I'm sure everywhere she went people talked about her in whispers AND openly for something she couldn't even help. Much like people today still do towards people with handicaps or deformities....so sad.

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  18. So true, Diana. She did wear a veil in public much of her life, but for many years she was on the speaking circuit, pressured into it. How often people treat those who are different as curiosities. Sad, indeed.

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  19. OTT, CQ, and COG (all under the name Torrance Tiger)

    I LOVE Romancing America and I really want to read yours Carla, but now your other book sounds GREAT to! What to choose...hmmm...well I'll cross that bridge if/when the Lord brings me to it! :)

    Amada (pronounced: a.m.a.th.a) Chavez

    amada_chavez{AT}yahoo[DOT]com

    Exodus 14:14

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  20. What a beautiful woman Olive was, too, CARLA! I can only imagine how heartbreaking that must have been for everyone who loved her to have seen her suffer with those marks. I had no idea she was such a beautiful young lady when that happened to her. But God is faithful and He gave her a testimony.

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  21. Amada, it is so good to know that you enjoy Romancing America books. I enjoy reading them and writing them! Next Christmas (2013) Mistletoe Memories will come out with my novella "Season of Love". Looks like you'll have some reading to do! :) I love your Exodus 14:14 verse, btw!

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  22. She was a very attractive woman, Carrie. Sometimes I wish we all wore veils and would not judge by outward appearances, but get to know the person on the inside. Though in actuality, I'm grateful we do not, as it makes me think of veils that other women are forced to wear. But, yes, it was horrible to have been the victim of receiving a permanent mark like that.

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  23. Great interview! I enjoyed learning more about you, Carla, though sorry about the passing of your dad.

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  24. No my father is still living I haven't lost him however, I'd love to win a featured book thanks

    ABreasding4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

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  25. Thanks for the contest. I would love to win one of Carla's books. A new author to me. Thanks for the interview Carrie. I am a follower of 1. OTT, 2. CQ, and 3. COG blogs. Maxie ( mac262@me.com )

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  26. Carrie, I followed Carla on Facebook. Saw no other way except Pinterest and I don't do that one. Hope that's okay. Maxie ( mac262@me.com )

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  27. CARLA, thank you for sharing your testimony with us in this interview!
    I was shocked to read about Olive - so sad!

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  28. Carla, whether I consider a book worthy of a read or not depends on the characters' spiritual journeys. Being the time stressed nut that I am I will set down a book that is only fluff. When I read I want to be challenged and drawn closer to God. I am so grateful for authors like yourself who see the importance of planning and portraying the characters' spiritual journeys.

    I have Colonial Courtships on my to-read list, and I am looking forward to it!

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  29. LYNN, you will really enjoy this book! Do you have it yet? Carla has the spiritual thread prominent throughout. Thanks for coming by!!!

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  30. MAXiE, You are a follower here and I think on CQ, right? CARLA, where is your follower button on your blog?

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  31. My follower button is in the left hand side bar. As well as my networked blogs button.

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  32. I appreciate that, Lynn. The spiritual thread is important to me. You'll find an especially strong one in The Shadow Catcher's Daughter. It is such an important element to me to include and I love weaving the character's faith journey throughout, as you'll also see in Colonial Courtships right from the first when Constance is feeling like her prayers may have fallen upon deaf ears. But she will realize that the Lord has been listening to her heart all along, even when she didn't realize what her own heart was speaking. I love Christian fiction and enjoy seeing the many creative way that authors incorporate the spiritual message into the story without the sound of preaching.

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  33. i am never sure if Canada counts as an international country or not, as some posts include Canada with U.S. - i prefer the printed version. These sound intriguing. If i win the printed, i will blog about it. Thanks for the great post awesome giveaway
    OTT, CQ, COG
    Marianne Barkman

    marianneDOTwanhamATgmailDOTcom

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  34. MARIANNE, if you win, let me see what we can do, esp with you following all of us, okay! Blessings!

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  35. I really enjoyed the thoughtful interview. You both gave me pause to think this morning. Carla, I can't imagine how difficult it was for you to continue writing to meet your deadline, when you were grieving. I'm sorry for your loss.
    may_dayzee(AT) yahoo (DOT)com

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  36. KAY, I dk how she did it either. I got to meet Carla's mom, such a sweet woman, and she was holding up pretty good last year after losing her hubby. He sounded like a wonderful man, too.

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  37. Carrie, here I am again. I went to Carla's Blog and followed. (missed seeing blog on the sidebar before.) Now I have earned my 3rd entry.

    I hated the way the white people treated their women if they came back after being with the Indians. They weren't there by choice. To them these women were worthless now. Maxie ( mac262@me.com )

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  38. A very touching, insightful and interesting interview CARLA and CARRIE.It's incredibly sad what that beautiful woman Olive Oatman would have gone through, particulary from white society after she was freed. Thankful to the Lord for His grace and strength that helped you CARLA,and the rest of us to get through such heartbreaking times. I really look forward to reading this.

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  39. Thank you, Kay, and Carrie. Though difficult, it was an honor to be able to finish the book and dedicate it to him. There is a reason for everything, and I have no doubt that there was a purpose for me writing a western as my first novel as he loved them so.

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  40. Noela and Maxie, yes, it is God's grace that helps us through the difficulties of life, and death...and as we see in Olive's case captivity. Her little sister, captive with her, sadly did not survive at all. But it makes me think how often we are captive to the things in our lives and when we try to break away and be free don't have the support of others. It is always a blessing when we do! But the way those returning from captivity were treated was often so cruel. Author Susan Page Davis wrote a a wonderful series, White Mountain Brides, each novel about an Indian captive and their stories of redemption. I highly recommend this series.

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  41. I follow all three-OTT, CQ, COG! These both sound great! I was bullied some in school, but tried to rise above and not retaliate. shopgirl152nykiki@yahoo.com

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  42. Veronica, sorry to hear that. Bullying is a terrible problem and often leaves scars. I'm so glad you've chosen not to retaliate. You are a better person for it!

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  43. Carla, It was a special blessing that you were writing a Western and he loved to read Westerns. I love that you were able to dedicate it to him--kind of bittersweet.

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  44. Yes, it was Kay. And a special reminder that God was with me through it. Every time I see this book on my desk I think of my dad!

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  45. VICTORIA is our winner per random.org. CONGRATS, Victoria Stemberg!

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  46. I noticed on the home page it said Veronica Sternberg won, which is me! I didn't notice an email from anyone; how should I let you know my address and which book I wanted?

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