Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Tricia Goyer blog tour

I'm an avid reader but calendarially challenged! This lovely interview with accomplished author Tricia Goyer was supposed to have occupied this space all day! Maybe it's still Wednesday somewhere in the world. Sigh. Someone please give this author the honor she's due by checking out her answers. (Hers is the gorgeous picture to the left.)

  1. A Valley of Betrayal focuses on a lesser known period of history than your previous novels. But your passion for telling the true story through the words and lives of fictional characters hasn't changed. What would your high school History teacher have to say about where the Lord has brought you in your writing projects?

Tricia: I think my high school English teacher would be shocked. I wrote lots of notes in class, but they were to pass to my friends . . . not notes of what he was teaching! Unfortunately, my history teacher stressed boring dates and stuff. I think he's be proud of how I bring history to life within the pages of a novel.

  1. You truly are setting a high standard for excellence in historical novels. But you've no doubt heard a few people say, "I don't do historicals. Give me a contemporary any day." Although authors understand that a reader's personal preference is a difficult thing to sway, what do you think a fan of contemporary novels would find appealing about your story?

Tricia: Why, thank you! I'm thrilled you consider them excellent :-) There are many people who *think* they don't like historicals that are fans of my stories. The characters are very true-to-life and readers usually get wrapped up in their stories. I'm not out to fill the pages with facts about a time in history, instead I introduce these amazing people the just happen to have lived 60-years-ago, and then we get to experience these amazing and often heartbreaking experiences with them.

  1. The cover of A valley of Betrayal is especially engaging. How much input do you as a multi-published author have in suggesting or approving a cover design?

Tricia: None! Actually, if I didn't like the covers, I'm sure they'd listen to my input, but I haven't had any problems. Moody has done an AMAZING job. I love all my covers. They come up with the design, concepts, everything. But you want to know a secret? (Of course you do!) I got a copy of the cover of A Valley of Betrayal before I was very far into writing the manuscript. I looked at the cover and thought, So that's why Sophie looks like. I spend a TON of time on character's motivations, strengths, weaknesses, etc. I usually think about physically attributes later . . . so Moody helped solve that problem for me!

  1. Which part of your writing day gives you the greatest satisfaction?

Tricia: I love it when I'm into the "flow." The first part of the day I answer important emails, and then I look for the next scene I want to write. I may check on research too. The first few paragraphs are the hardest as I figure out the best way to set up the scene. Then .... the fun begins. Once I get going, I'm there. I'm not sitting at my desk in Montana. The story pours out, and I can get a lot of words down. Some of my writer friends get upset with me by how many words I can produce in a day, but to me it's not really writing, rather it's just using my fingers to follow along with the story happening in my mind.

  1. Which task is the most challenging for you?

Tricia: Bookkeeping! Yes, amazingly this is part of being a writer, too. I love the creative stuff, but I stink at the business stuff. I have piles of receipts, bills, etc. on my desk. But why would I want to mess on that when I can head to Spain and take part of an adventure!

7. Can you point to a moment in recent history that changed the way you view your writing career?

Tricia: Just TODAY (is that recent enough?) I finished the 4th book deadline back to back. My due dates were Jan. 1, Jan. 10, Jan. 26th, and March 2. These deadlines represent three complete books--both non-fiction and fiction. (One book was due in two parts.) Up until last month I still had the mentality that I needed to accept every offer from a publishing house and work really, really hard to meet their needs. But then it just hit me . . . if I'm going to continue with this writing-thing and be successful, I need to figure out to fit writing into my life, and not the other way around. I have a husband and three kids at home. So, I'm actually trying to be more strategic about my future contracts and deadlines!

  1. When faced with a plot problem, what are your top three reactions and/or problem-solving techniques?

Tricia: 1. Pray. Since I'm writing about history, I usually need to work my plot amongst real events. So I pray, "God, you were there, PLEASE show me how to make this work!"

2. Flip through my research books. I probably have 40 books on the Spanish Civil War (the series I'm finishing up). I read what was happening and how people responded ... then it usually gets me brain working, considering different possibilities. And soon I all the pieces start clicking together.

3. I take a bath. I don't know what it is, but I usually get setting into the water and 2 minutes later I have my answer. (Of course, that means jumping out and getting dressed again.) It's great for problem solving, but not so good for our electric bill since I have a huge, two-person tub I like filled to the brim!

  1. It's been said that every novel contains autobiographical threads. Do you find that true for your historical works? If so, which character(s) in your book reflects some of your own thoughts or fears or victories?

Tricia: Definitely Mary in Arms of Deliverance. Mary was born to a single mom. She later met her dad who was the editor of a major NY newspaper. After that Mary tried to earn her dad's love/attention by taking on dangerous, overseas assignments during WWII. I had the same type of experience (except for the dangerous assignment parts). Only a few people know about my biological dad (until now!), but having them read that novel was like giving them a glimpse into my secret diary--the emotions were THAT real.

  1. To what lengths do you go to create an atmosphere in your work environment that reflects the era about which you write, or do you decorate for the project in your imagination only?

Tricia: Um ... in my imagination only. Ha! I share an office with my three kids who homeschool. I have piles of homeschool books, research books, bills, magazines, dogs (we have to who hang out in the office with us). So I suppose I carry the atmosphere around in my mind!

  1. For each of the following, please tell us how you would like the sentences to end.
    1. A reader finishes your book and says, "Tricia, thank you for _______."
    2. A veteran from the era finishes your book and says, "Tricia, thanks for _______."
    3. The Lord finishes reading your book (He's the ultimate speed-reader) and says, "Tricia, thank you for __________."

Tricia: a. bringing history alive for me. I felt as if I was there.

b. sharing our passion and experience with future generations.

c. trusting me. Even when you had no idea where the story would go, you trusted the message I placed in your heart.

Thanks so much, Tricia. I admire your writing and appreciate your desire to touch your readers with truth. My blog visitors can check out Tricia’s blog at for a sneak peek at the opening chapters.


eileen said...

Look forward to reading Valley. Great interview ladies! Late in reading it, so in "my" world, it's still Wed.

Tricia Goyer said...

Thanks for having me! I didn't mind have to hang around longer ... I just was glad I was able to visit!

Katie said...

This was a refreshingly interesting interview! Some unusual questions. Thanks!