10 April 2012

Interview with Rosslyn Elliott

Rosslyn, 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?
By far the most difficult time in my life was the decade after I lost my faith at the age of 16. I really needed God’s help in a very special way, as I wasn’t even able to call for it. Instead, He found me, like the good shepherd of the parable who never gives up until he brings back the lost sheep.

I was raised by one Catholic parent who took us to church every Sunday and one agnostic parent who did not attend church. This was a very confusing way to grow up, and I did not have any idea how to answer some of the common postmodern attacks against Christianity. After taking a class in World Religions during my junior year in high school, I became convinced that all religions were the same, and therefore, none of them must be true. It was a very painful time, as my faith in Christ had given me hope even as a child and young teenager. I did not want to lose my faith, but I didn’t have any answers, so my faith shattered. 

For the next ten years, I muddled my way through college and life beyond, often in a state of despair. I could not understand why the world was so harsh and so many people suffered for no apparent reason.  Finally, I realized that there was something very wrong with my viewpoint on  life—I had made a wrong turn, somewhere, and I had to find a better way. Even though I didn’t understand what was happening, my spirit had become open through the pain I had experienced. And because of that openness, I was able to receive the gift of faith once more, ten years after I lost it. It was the greatest thing that ever happened to me, but it was quiet, and gradual.

What is your favorite bible verse and why?
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness does not overcome it. (John 1:5)

Disability friendliness:
Is this latest release available in audio format or do you have any other works available on audio? 
I wish it were! I am praying that my novels will sell well enough to eventually generate audio versions. I know from personal experience how audio books can reach people who can’t always read a print version. And even people without physical limitations often prefer their books on audio because they want to listen while commuting.

What has been the most important thing you hope your readers will get from your books and why?
I want my readers to gain hope. I spent so long without hope that it is especially precious to me. The true story of the Hanby family that appears in Sweeter than Birdsong and the other Saddler’s Legacy novels is tremendously uplifting. We can all gain strength and hope from their example.

As you researched your books, did you learn anything that particularly touched your heart?
I was touched by the fact that in real life, Kate Winter and Ben Hanby had a beautiful marriage, and she adored him for being a good husband and father. It’s not common to see that true affection between wife and husband, especially in the Victorian period. It says a lot about both of them, because a good marriage is always the product of selflessness.

In this latest work, do you have any topics useful for bibliotherapy, or therapeutic influence through reading about a disorder or situation?
Sweeter than Birdsong is encouraging for anyone who is struggling in ministry, wondering whether their efforts to serve are doing any good. Ben Hanby, the hero of the novel, goes through similar doubts, and yet in the end, he accomplishes something beyond his wildest dreams. His real-life story shows that we have to persevere and keep doing what we know is good, loving others and using our gifts to serve. God will take that and use it in ways we can’t predict. Sometimes one sentence said at the right time, to the right person, can change the world. We may never know in this life the impact we have on others, but Sweeter than Birdsong shows the power of one person to make a difference.

Rosslyn Elliott's books can be purchased at CBD, Amazon, Lifeway, Barnes and Noble, and other book stores. Facebook link is www.facebook.com/rosslynelliottauthor, twitter link is twitter.com/#!/rosslynelliott

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


  1. I haven't had a chance to read these books yet but they have been high on my list having read many wonderful reviews. Thanks for the a great interview and giveaway!


  2. Thank you ladies. I enjoyed the interview and I look forward to reading this book.

  3. I haven't read anything by Rosslyn, but her books look great! Thanks for the chance to win it!


  4. Ooh, awesome giveaway! Count me in!


  5. CARRIE and ROSSLYN thank you for the interview. I read SWEETER THAN BIRDSONG, it was a great read. ROSSLYN I was impressed by how much detail you put into it. IMPRESSIVE!! Thank you! :)

  6. TERESA, We are looking forward to having your review up in a couple of days!

    LIZ, if you are a music-loving person, I heard this is an especially great book!

  7. DEBRA, with my eye problems, my reading seems only God-allowed. And some of those times are when I am sick, which is weird. At least I don't dread my times in bed so much!!!

  8. ELYSSA, yes, Thomas Nelson seems to have picked some great covers. Between DIANA's previous review and TERESA's upcoming one I suspect I'll be reading one of these books soon!

  9. JENNY, we will count you in! Please pray for Diana Flowers, our senior contributor, who sprained her left wrist yesterday.

  10. Wonderful interview, ladies! It's great that God is so loving, that even when we may wander off for a time, He is right there waiting---with arms wide open.

    I have a lovely young niece in CA who came to visit me, and for a week we would stay up till 2:00 in the morning, talking about the Lord, and memories of her deceased mother. Now she seems to be in that place where ROSSLYN said she was. She has taken all of these classes in theology, and has renounced her faith in Christianity openly on FB. And she seems so cynical now for one so young, but I think it's just a cover up for the pain she is dealing with on the inside. My heart is burdened for her, so please pray for her.

    AND kudos to me!!! I typed all this with one hand...only took me an hour. lol! Pray for me as well; I sprained my hand and it is very painful and useless right now! But all I need is my right hand to turn the pages on my Kindle. ;)

  11. Diana, I'm so sorry to hear about your wrist! And impressed by your determined typing. :-) I do love the way that the Kindle is easy to read with one hand. I'm sorry to hear about your niece, though. I pray her story will have the same progression as mine. It is indeed very painful to lose faith.

    Teresa, thank you! I appreciate your kind words about Sweeter than Birdsong and look forward to your review.

    Jenny, Elyssa, Liz, and Debra, thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and comment.

    Here's a funny thing: I forgot to mention the other obvious ministry topic for disability in the novel. Kate Winter has terrible social anxiety disorder which she must overcome in order to help others. I'm laughing at myself for leaving it out of the interview! That's what happens when we live with our books for too long. I received an email from a reader who said that getting inside Kate's head helped her understand her daughter, who has similar social anxiety. That was a lovely and encouraging response to the novel. :-)

  12. I'm actually in the middle of reading this book right now! Well, not in the middle as I've only read a few chapters so far... Would love to win a copy to pass on to my aunt.


  13. Rosslyn, So good to see you here and learn more about you and your wonderful books. I've read your first and enjoyed it so much, then sent it to a friend in Nashville who loved it and shared with her mom, etc. They were anxious to read STB - me, too! I think the stories I often enjoy best are based on real-life people, incidents, and history. Truth really is stranger or more interesting than fiction oftentimes. Praying your books do go audio and more. You're a blessing!

  14. Ladies, thanks for the interview. I always look forward to the new interview every week. We all have different things to overcome, but what ever it is we all need God's help!

  15. Patty - I'm so glad to hear you're reading it! I'm passionate about the true story behind these novels, because I think we all need to hear positive stories about real people overcoming. And it doesn't hurt if there's a love story and adventure thrown in. :-)

    Laura - Thank you for your kindness, my friend. You are one of my favorite fellow authors, not only for your well-written books but also because you are such an encourager.

    Marian - Thanks for commenting! I appreciate your work on the blog...I think it's an excellent community for readers and writers alike to focus on faith.

  16. Sounds like an enjoyable read. rmjagears AT gmail DOT com

  17. I read sweeter than bird song and loved it would love to win fairer than morning. thanks

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  18. What an great interview! I have Sweeter than Birdsong sitting on my shelf right now :) a lovely friend of mine just gave it to me :) Can't wait to read it!

  19. Melissa, thanks for your interest!

    Apple Blossom - I really appreciate your support. Thanks for reading Sweeter than Birdsong--I'm so glad you liked it.

    Faye - Fantastic! I'm excited for you to read it.

  20. I very much enjoyed Fairer Than Morning and would be delighted to win a copy of Sweeter Than Birdsong. FTM dealt with difficult subjects of slavery and indentured apprentices but at the same time had a very sweet love story. I'm looking forward to reading more about this family in subsequent generations.


  21. Pam, thank you! I remember when you won that copy. I have a pretty good memory when it comes to readers I've met online. :-) I'm glad you enjoyed it and I think you will find Sweeter than Birdsong a similar blend of spiritual drama, suspense, and a tender romance.

  22. I've never read any of Rosslyn's books, but they are on my "to be read" list! Plus, the covers are beautiful!


  23. Ohhh, wonderful! I have Sweeter Than Birdsong in print, but not Fairer Than Morning, it's on my wish list and I can't read 'Sweeter' until I get the first one, right? That's the way I see it anyway, lol.


  24. Sounds like a great book! Please enter me.

    Salena Stormo
    srstormo at yahoo dot com

  25. WENDY, I have to go ice my foot and recline so am looking at whether I have Fairer than Morning on my Kindle like I thought. I love the storyline.

    SALENA, will do!

  26. This comment has been removed by the author.

  27. CARRIE, great minds run alike, except I am icing my hand and reclining. UGG! I thought the only thing one was supposed to ice is a cake, for Pete's sake!

  28. Waving way up there to MARISSA, with my good hand. lol! I agree...the covers are gorgeous!

  29. Third cripple reporting today. ;)

    Hi everyone, thanks for commenting!

    I'm not going to ice anything, but I'm going to put the heat on my sore muscles.
    I wonder if TERESA is going to ice or heat any body part... :))
    CARRIE and DIANA, be careful for frostbite!

    I'm off to bed. I hope you all enjoy the rest of the day!

  30. LOL MARIAN, Hope that helps you! I find the cold packs help a lot and staying off my feet. I went to NetGalley and I ordered this book, yay! Will have to pay for the Kindle version of Fairer than Morning, though. That book does sound right up my alley.

  31. What gorgeous covers! I haven't read any of her books yet, would love to, though. I can relate to the High School years and losing our way. What a difficult period.

  32. Hi Marie, good to see you here! Maybe you win one of Rosslyn Elliot's books. :)

  33. Thank you for your interview! I have not read Fairer than Morning and would like a print paperback; please add me for the drawing!

  34. Guess what? I did something weird to my upper back while working with the horses today...FOURTH injured person reporting! LOL! Fortunately, it's not serious and I will use Marian's technique of heat to the sore muscles...plus ibuprofen.

    Marissa - Thanks for your compliment about the covers, though of course the credit belongs to my excellent cover designer, Kristen. I'm grateful for her hard work and I especially love the way she did the lighting on the covers for Sweeter than Birdsong and Lovelier than Daylight, the third novel coming in the series in November.

    Salena, thanks for coming by!

    Marie - Thank you about the covers--I will pass on the word to Kristen. And thanks for taking the time to comment.

  35. Lady DragonKeeperApril 11, 2012 at 5:44 PM

    I'd love to win "Sweeter than Birdsong" --I currently have "Fairer than Morning" on my TBR pile, but with the semester winding down, I haven't gotten the chance to read it yet! This series sounds wonderful though --and with lovely cover art as well. =)


  36. LADY DRAGONKEEPER-Perhaps you will win here and be able to read them back to back!

  37. Oh, no! How about a round of Ben-Gay for everyone? Or some Icy Hot? Actually those Salonpas pads are the bomb for any kind of body aches (especially back and neck). I just so happen to be out of them. Hope everyone feels better and ache free in the morning. Frostbite remark-too cute, MARIAN. lol!

    LANE HILL HOUSE-Good luck in the giveaway!

  38. ROSSLYN - so sorry to hear that! Hey, did you complete your Ph.D. (I saw somewhere that you were a doctoral candidate.) I have to say novel writing has not been as brutal as producing a doctoral dissertation (doing all the research, etc., etc.) although there are some commonalities. Hope you are feeling better soon.

  39. Lady Dragonkeeper - What a neat internet 'handle.' I hope you enjoy Fairer than Morning!

    Lane Hill House - Hello again! I love to see people stopping by when I already know them from other venues.

    Diana and Carrie - The heat worked! (Plus 800 big fat milligrams of ibuprofen--sometimes you have to whop it hard when those muscles rebel. :-)

    Carrie, I did in fact complete the Ph.D., back in 2006. Finishing it gave me the confidence to write novels. Before that, I always wondered if I would ever finish a full-length project. But for me, novel writing has been the hardest writing I've ever done. I never feared my dissertation in the way I have feared my novels at times, especially under deadline! :-) But I knew you had also been through the doctoral wringer, and I think it's great experience for a novelist, even though it's hard. Studying is a beautiful thing. I even appreciate the studying I have to do for my novels. In this third novel that I'm just line-editing for its final deadline, the heroine is a fan of botany. It has greatly enriched my life to know more about flowers as a result of my research. Now, if I could just get a greener thumb...

  40. would love to read 'fairer than morning' thanks for the chance :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  41. I've heard great things about Rosslyn's books and would love to win one. Thanks for the opportunity! Blessings!

    reneeasmith61 [at] yahoo [dot] com

  42. I haven't had the chance to read Rosslyn's books either and would love too. They look and sound wonderful. Thank you for the entry.

    Have a blessed day,


  43. SANDEE, Thanks for coming by. RENEE, too!

  44. I haven't read any of Rosslyn's books but I did win a copy of Sweeter than Birdsong. After reading her answer to your bibliotherapy question, I need to bump StB to the top of my list. Thanks for the encouraging interview, Carrie & Rosslyn!

  45. Anne, thanks for coming by and commenting!

  46. Anne, thanks for coming by and commenting!


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