Thursday, December 18, 2014

Sandra Merville Hart loves to find unusual facts in her historical research to use in her stories. She and her husband enjoy traveling to many of the sites in her books to explore the history. She serves as Assistant Editor for and is a contributor for a collection of stories about answered prayer in Jesus Encounters, (Spring, 2015.) She has written for several publications and websites.

Listen in as she answers a few of our questions.

Has your writing affected your reading habits?

I love to read, but now I notice how authors build tension. I notice their descriptions of people and settings. I guess reading has become another opportunity to learn the writing craft.

That's very true! You said you've always loved to read. Did you always want to be a writer?

I wanted to be a writer in elementary school but received no encouragement. My dad told me I'd starve to death as a writer. I buried the dream, but it returned to me about ten years ago. I love creating new characters and plopping them into historical settings. I'm having a great time!

Who inspires you? (Not Dad, obviously, though his advice was quite practical.)

I'm inspired by great authors. I've read several books by Mark Twain recently because I write historical fiction. This master storyteller inspires me.

I'm inspired by the courage I find in people who face insurmountable challenges and somehow find a way to get through it.

I'm inspired by those who cling to their faith when it's all they have left to hold on to.

I'm inspired by a friendly smile, a warm welcome, and how good old-fashioned hospitality feeds the soul.

I find inspiration anywhere and everywhere, if I only take time to discover it.

What in particular gave you the inspiration for your Civil War romance, A Stranger on My Land?
While researching for another novel, I discovered that local citizens lived in caves on Lookout Mountain when armies remained near. I wondered what it would have felt like to find a wounded soldier on your property after a Civil War battle. It surely happened. Would you walk away and leave him to die if he fought for the other side? What if members of your family fought for the opposite army? Does that change anything? Suppose you help them anyway and fall in love?

These questions sparked the idea for the story.

Your book is a Christmas romance set during the Civil War. Can you tell us more about it?

It's an inspirational novella that released on August 21, 2014.

Carrie and her little brother, Jay, find Adam, a wounded Union soldier, on their land after a battle near their Lookout Mountain home. Carrie takes Adam to the cave where her family has been hiding from the soldiers. Before long, she falls in love with him, but she can't save his life. He requires a surgeon. Carrie weighs the potential danger of revealing her family's hideaway with saving Adam's life.

What is your current project?

I'm writing my first romantic suspense novel. I'm having a lot of fun with it, but, as I don't outline before I write, the characters are letting me know the story. Just last week I discovered two clues at the same time as my characters!

I have the same experience. Those characters tend to take over sometimes. What's your favorite genre to write?

My favorite genre to write in remains inspirational historical romance. My next project is another Civil War romance. This one will be set in Gettysburg.

Thank you, Sandra, for taking the time to visit with us!

Readers, if you'd like to know more, you may find Sandra blogging at DevoKids and The Barn Door Book Loft, or on Facebook, Pinterest, or Goodreads.

Want to buy A Stranger on My Land? You can find it on Amazon and Barnes & Noble in print or ebook format.


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