April 1912 - Olive Stanford boarded the Titanic determined to protect all she held dear. Her secret will go with her to the grave—but how can she face the afterlife carrying the burden of her actions?
April 2012 - Portland real estate agent, Ember Keaton-Jones distrusts men, with good reason. Ever since her great-great-grandfather, Thomas, deserted the family after the fateful sinking of the Titanic, every Keaton male has disappointed. Ember is on the brink of a huge sale when a stranger shows up with a key to a century-old secret challenging everything she believes. She meets forward-thinking Jeff Dawson who is working in the family’s musty antique shop and finds an unexpected ally in unlocking the mystery of her past. But can they undo the legacy of Thomas Keaton's betrayal?
Carefully researched, this engaging tale includes true stories of the Titanic embedded in historical fiction.
Paula, what is your favorite turn of phrase or word picture, in literature or movie?
It’s hard to pick a favorite, but this one from Jane Austen’s, Persuasion, is one I treasure, “I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant.”
I see myself in it, especially in my spiritual walk. A while back I was in a difficult season and felt angry with God. Then I struggled with the guilt of those emotions, which hurt just as much. As I wrote out my struggles, the Holy Spirit helped me process. Suddenly those words spilled upon the page, “weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant.” It was like the Lord showed me my heart. Sure, I was human. I’d been weak and resentful, but I’d never stopped loving Him, and He knew it. It was very comforting.
Kathy, when did you first discover that you were a writer?
I have told stories all my life, even before I knew how to write. My mother would ask, “Now, Kathy, is this a real story or a made up story?”
Once I learned how to put words on paper, I wrote a poem about a fat cat in a black hat. I sold hand-written copies of that poem to my friends, complete with a drawing of a fat cat in a black top hat that looked more like a dusty snowman with whiskers. I charged a nickel and I made 25 cents. This, in my mind, made me a published author. After that, I wrote poems, short stories, I even became an award-winning author when I won the 9th grade writing contest with my entry, “I Was A Female Dog, An Autobiography By George.” It was a true story—about my female dog named George.
Paula, how do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I’m not sure I do, but this seems a very important question! Besides writing and serving as ACFW CO coordinator, I’m mom to four, ages 14 – 20, two of which we still homeschool. Right now they are all living at home. What keeps me sane is Jesus, Jerry, and my prayer group!
I also crave quiet time and the beauty of nature. It shows when I don’t take enough quiet hours to curl up in a soft chair and prayer journal or read with a cup of hot tea close by (lady grey in the morning, white pear in the afternoon, chamomile in the evening). If it’s a cloudy day or dark, I light candles. Sometimes I listen to classical or worship music—something without words. I need to smell the flowers—literally. I do better when I take time to walk in the sunshine with my husband. (I need to get back to that. He’s worked up to walking/jogging 3 or 4 miles a day while I’ve sat at the computer eating dark chocolate. *sigh*) The jokes of my teenage boys, the delight of my daughter, and the hugs of the whole family also ground me. Two months ago I started a gratitude wall. So far I’ve recorded 116 blessings in colored sharpie. I try to write three a day. It’s too easy to focus on the problems or the stresses instead of the moments of joy and beauty we’re always surrounded with.
Kathy, what makes you feel alive?
The Colorado Rocky Mountains. My husband and I love to camp and fish, and I feel energized when I smell a crackling fire, or cast a line into a mirrored lake. Odd that I love the mountains when so far the books I’ve published are set in Florida, San Francisco, and Southern Oregon. My first book was set in Colorado, but it hasn’t been published. I cut my teeth on that piece, and it shows. lol
Please tell us about the collaborative writing experience.
Paula: The story brought out our strengths. Kathy loves to plot while I tend to do a really rough skeleton and fly by the seat of my pants. We plotted carefully at first. I learned a lot, though I kept teasing Kathy saying, “Can we start writing now?” But our writing styles and personalities blend very well. We’re both pretty easy going and have similar passions, so most of the time we found collaboration only strengthened our original thoughts. I think it strengthened my understanding of story structure and plotting. It also gave me some good “friend” time with someone I already adored.
Kathy: And I could say the same thing. (Hugs to Paula!) I wouldn’t write with just anybody. But Paula exudes so much grace that I knew if we had any misunderstandings they would be resolved quickly. Titanic: Legacy of Betrayal is a contemporary story with a historical frame. She started writing the contemporary heroine’s point of view and developed her while I worked on the hero. But she was also researching the historical. When that storyline started to become more than we had originally planned, she asked me to take over the contemporary so she could concentrate on the historical. We essentially wrote two different stories, and I like that better.
What would you like to tell us about the featured book?
Paula: We’re super excited about the story. It feels like a high-concept idea with lots of intrigue and a strong romance thread. We’re also excited about writing a story that is a little outside the traditional Christian publishing market. We wanted to tell a story that might help someone who doesn’t know Jesus consider who He is. While we hope our Christian readers follow us, we tried to write in such a way that someone without faith will find it believable—and maybe even wrestle with God’s place in his or her life. Much of it explores the idea of generational bondage—how the choices of those who’ve gone before us affect how we think about life.
Writers, you can find some wisdom from Paula, Five Tips for the Publication Journey, on The Inkwell Blog.
Please stop back on Thursday--I can't wait to introduce another Titanic novel to you!