Tricia, thank you so much for visiting us today here at the CCC blog! Can you tell us about your latest release and what inspired you to write the story?
My novel A Secret Courage is inspired by female photo investigators during World War II. Women from the United Kingdom and the United States joined together to closely examine the reconnaissance photos taken behind enemy lines.
At first I wanted to write about the American and British codebreakers in Bletchley Park during World War II. Even though this has been written about a number of times I still thought I could come up with an interesting story. Yet as I researched more about female roles in World War II I came upon a group of women who were just as interesting but had very little written about them. These photo investigators worked at Danesfield House in Medmenham during World War II, about an hour away from London. They greatly impacted the war efforts. They studied millions of photos and helped to discover secret weapons that Hitler had tried to hide. Without their efforts the war could have taken a different turn.
Of all your characters in this story, which one did you enjoy writing the most and why?
Oh, do I have to pick between Emma and Will? I loved them both but Emma was special because as an American she traveled to England with the intention of volunteering for the war effort, even before the United States was involved. It was exciting to realize what these women experienced. I can’t imagine the excitement when figuring out that a shoe factory in Germany was actually producing arms, all due to clues from photos and investigative work. At the same time, these women also were the first to witness the destruction brought on by American bombs to targeted areas that were also close to civilizations. Emma became real to me as she struggled through the highs and lows of her emotions brought on by her service.
If you could cast your characters in a Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play them?
I’d pick Natalie Portman to play Emma and Nicholas Hoult to be Will, complete with British accent.
How did you decide on the setting/location for this novel?
That’s easy! The main location of the photo recon unit was at a grand estate called Danesfield House in the village of Medmenham, on the Thames River. It was a beautiful location to write about.
Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it and why?
I’m sort of scared to say “never” but I don’t think I could write a novel about children being abused. As a mom of ten children—seven adopted—that hits too close to home.
Moving on from your story, tell us a little about yourself. We’ll help! What literary character is most like you and why?
Does the old woman in the shoe count as a literary figure? Other than that maybe Ma Ingalls. We have a houseful of children that I homeschool. Maybe that’s why those characters came to mind!
What strange writing habits do you have? Like standing on your head while you write with a pen between your teeth?
Well, nothing like standing on my head … but I’ve gotten into the habit of waking up at 3:00-4:00 a.m. and writing for an hour or two and then going back to sleep for another hour or so. I don’t mean to wake up but I do. Maybe that’s because my mind has figured out that’s the one time I’ll have a completely quiet house!
Do you have a writing mentor, or another author who has inspired/encouraged you in some way?
Robin Jones Gunn was my first writing mentor. I met her at the Mt. Hermon Christian Writer’s conference in 1994. I was only 22-years-old, and she was so encouraging. Since that time she’s become a dear friend.
We talk a lot about faith and how it weaves throughout our fiction, here at the blog. How has your faith affected/or not affected your writing?
My faith impacts every part of my writing. There is a spiritual story arc in every one of my novels. I often tell people that the relationship between my characters and God is just as important as my characters relationship with each other. God impacts every part of my lives and that’s true of my characters too.
Because Jaime has some darker elements to her split-time historical and contemporary romantic suspense coming out this year, she likes to ask weird questions. So, if you were responsible to write your own epitaph for your tombstone, what would it say?
She read God’s Word and then did what it said.
Anne is an insatiable romantic with a serious vintage aura in all she writes. Do you have fabulous love story in your family history that you could share with us in a few words? If not, what about your own?
My love story is most fabulous. When I was an abandoned 17-year-old pregnant teen I dedicated my life to God and started praying for a future husband who would love me and love my child. After I had my son Cory, a friendship started with my pastor’s son and it soon blossomed into more. We were married when Cory was 9 months old and have been married for 27 years.
Erica and Gabrielle both write sweet historical romances. How does romance influence your own writing?
All of my novels have romance—some more than others. I would say my novels have romantic elements but they are not completely romance novels. My characters get one kiss, maybe two … but the reader is ready for them by the time they happen!
And for some extra fun . . .
If you could pick one superhero to save you from impending doom, who would it be and why?
Who wouldn’t want to be carried through the atmosphere by Superman?!
If you could guest star in one TV show, what would be and what would your ideal role be?
I’d LOVE to join the cast of the Great British Baking Show as a judge. Yum!
Name one significant heirloom or keepsake you have and why it’s important to you:
I have my grandmother’s baby t-shirt from 1929 in a shadowbox on my wall. My 87-year-old grandma lives with me, too. Can I call her a keepsake? :)
We’d love you have you share a snippet from your novel to entice us and hook us! J Please share something below:
Click the link to my first two chapters: A Secret Courage
Newsletter: Click to Register
Readers: Please comment to enter the free give-away.
Have you ever heard of English lady recon in WWII?
Did your grandmother's have any war effort roles or stories?
If your grandparents are living, I challenge you to interview them about the war effort!
Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots.Nurse Practitioner by day.Wife, mother, writer by night.Coffee drinker--any time.Find me at: www.anneloveauthor.com