29 January 2012

Interview with Rita Gerlach

Author Rita Gerlach

RitaGerlach is the author of new release "Before the Scarlet Dawn" published by Abingdon Press.

I met Rita Gerlach through ACFW and when I was searching for colonial era books several years ago.  She was kind enough to send me copies of her works during a time when I was very ill and I was so touched by her generosity.  We are also both members of HisWriters, those who have either published or planned works with European characters. Rita is also a member of Colonial American Christian Writers and a contributor to the Colonial Quills group blog.

Rita, welcome to Overcoming Through Time – With God’s Help. 
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 characters has had to get past?
I don’t want to give away critical moments in my newest release, Before the Scarlet Dawn, but Eliza is perhaps the one character that has faced the most tragic moments of any of my characters in the series (Daughters of the Potomac.) That is not to say that Darcy and Sarah face horrific events, but Eliza is the springboard to the series. Life was good for her after she married Hayward, but from the time he is called away to fight in the Revolution tragedy plagues her life. Like a snowball rolling downhill each builds on the other. Soon she faces the fact that the only source of getting through them is God. In order to ‘overcome’ them, she has to trust that He will take care of her and those she loves, no matter how dire the situation.

What is your favorite bible verse and why?

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.
Why? As I watched my dear father suffer over a year’s period from Alzheimer’s, his decline and passing caused me to press into my Savior for comfort and reflect on the briefly of life. This verse sums it all up. What we will be given in the end, when He finally establishes His Kingdom, is everlasting peace and joy. The loss of our loved ones is but a temporary separation. What happiness we will have when the last enemy to be destroyed is death, and that there will be no more sorrow or crying or pain. He will make all things new.

Disability Friendliness:
Is this latest release available in audio format or do you have any other works available on audio?
Sadly it is not. I look forward to the day when audio books will become a normal part of the publishing process. For now it is expensive for publishers to put books in audio, and they have to be extremely selective. (CFP: I believe the Kindle version will have audio capability because the PDF converted document has this function.)
Surrender the Wind cover

What has been the most important thing you hope your readers will get from your books and why?
That when everything is said and done, in the end it all turns out all right. Love is the cohesive bond that helps us face adversity. For example, the message in my novel Surrender the Wind is wrapped up in fidelity and forgiveness, and the surrendering to our Creator those winds that shove and batter us. In the Daughters of the Potomac Series my hope is readers will see circumstances that relate to their own lives.

As author Marylu Tyndall put it in her review of Before the Scarlet Dawn:
 It is about a woman who so desperately wants her husband to love her that she goes to great lengths to please him. Perhaps many women out there can relate. The story brings many questions to one's mind about marriage and commitment.  .  .

As you researched your books, did you learn anything that particularly touched your heart?
This question brings me back to the new series. Most of my research I do as I am writing the novels. But before I began I read a book called ‘White Cargo: The Forgotten History of Britain’s White Slaves in America’ by Don Jordan and Michael Walsh, that touched me deeply about the horrific white slave trade that took place in the 18th century, where men, women, and children were kidnapped in England and sold into indentured servitude in the Colonies.

In this latest work, do you have any topics useful for bibliotherapy, or therapeutic influence through reading about a disorder or situation?
This is an interesting question. I’ve always believed good storytelling can have a healing effect. I see this mainly in Christian and inspirational fiction. The goal of my writing is to give readers a respite from the hectic world we live in. Sometimes immersing in a good book helps us escape the troubles we are facing and easy our anxiety.

Thank you Rita for agreeing to answer these questions.  Have a blessed day and keep on writing!!
Thank you, Carrie, for the privilege of this interview!

GIVEAWAY: A copy of one of Rita's books - your choice!


  1. Great interview! I LOVED both these books and can't wait for the next one. Rita has a way of transporting the reader right back in time.. it's amazing!

  2. Thanks for another interesting interview, Carrie & Rita. You certainly don't hear as much about the white indentured servants. I look forward to reading the new book. I have Surrender the Wind on my Kindle and need to get busy reading it!

  3. What a wonderfully touching interview, Carrie, and Rita. Rita, I am so sorry for your loss, and thankful for the comforting scripture the Lord has given you during this most difficult time. Having just lost my mom around the same time as Carrie lost hers, I, too, take alot of comfort in knowing that the loss of our loved ones is only temporary, and there WILL come a day when all of our tears will be wiped away and we WILL be reunited with our loved ones who have gone on before!

    I just can't say enough about Before the Scarlet Dawn. I know I will read alot of books this year, but it will definitely be at the top of my 2012 list of favorites in Dec! I still can't forget Eliza...poor, dear Eliza. What a wonderful heroine! This novel would make the best movie, Rita. Before I do another review, let me hush! :) I simply can't wait for Darcy and Sarah's stories! Thank you for the wonderful interview, ladies.

  4. What a lovely interview! I can't wait to read your book!! Rev. 21:4 is one of my favorite verses too. :) Blessings!

  5. I would love to win a copy of one of Rita Gerlach's books.

  6. Thank you, Carrie, for posting this interview.

    And thanks to all of you lovely ladies that have posted.

    Marylu, you are one of my favorite authors. Check out her new series everyone.

    Anne, so true about indentured servants. Wait until you read book 3, Beyond the Valley. It is Sarah's story and how she came to be an indentured servant.

    Diana, you are a sweetheart. I think I should send you a bulk pack of tissues for causing you to cry. Paul, my husband, started reading the ARC for Beside Two Rivers, Darcy's story in book 2. I just went downstairs and found him still in the recliner reading it... and he had tears in his eyes.

    Sarah and Sandi, thanks for posting and stopping by. It means so much to me, and to Carrie too.

  7. MARYLU!!! I am going to get my Kindle right now and keep reading before Downton Abbey comes on!!!

  8. ANNE!!! We love you and your comments. This book is pretty amazing, just like the author. Rita is such a dear - a true sweetheart!

  9. DIANA, please warn me if Rita is going to kill off a character!!! I will call you. I just got past where Darcy was born.

  10. SARAH!!! So good to see you hear my CPer!!!

  11. SANDI, you will be entered in the drawing!!!

  12. I am waiting to watch Downton Abby as well! I am writing a proposal for an Edwardian series, and Downton Abby is inspiring, even though it takes places a few years after what I am planning.

  13. a great posting...would love to read rita's latest novel...thanks for the chance

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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  15. I'd like to include a little more about this novel and the series. These books are not in the category of formula romances. They are what I like to call Historical Dramas. You will find romance, but you will also find a story about relationships between people. The stories are about forgiveness, redemption, loyalty, and the power of love. Each character has good points, but they are also flawed human beings that make mistakes and fall hard, and at some point struggle through the adversity, dust themselves off and move on. So the sugary sweet romances they are not. Just thought I would add a little more light to the genre.

  16. My review of Before the Scarlet Dawn, should be up in a couple of days Rita, in which I touch on that very thing. I just finished a book that I loved very much, but it was hard for this girl (meaning me):) to identify with the heroine, b/c she was perfect in every way, which this girl (meaning me):) is not!

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  18. I'm a little bit late commenting. I've been very busy the last days. But now I took the time to read this lovely interview!

    Rita I love your favorite Bible verse. It's one of my favorites too! What a joy that shall be! No more tears, death, sorrow, AND no more pain!

    Looking forward to get to know your writing. I have Surrender the Wind on my Kindle, but haven't read it yet. Your new release sounds like a great read, so I hope to read that one too!

  19. Looking forward to the new book!

  20. This interview touched me so sweetly. I can relate to the character in this beautiful book. Thank you Rita, for your favorite Bible verse. I love that one also. I honestly want to win this book because I know I'll find comfort within reading it. Thank you for the giveaway and the chance to win Rita's sensitive and believable writing.

    Barb Shelton
    barbjan 10 at tx dot rr dot com

  21. A wonderful interview! I look forward to reading Rita's new series!


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