I am honored and excited to have author Carrie Fancett Pagels join me on the blog today for a Q&A. Besides having the best first name, Carrie writes great books! I got to meet her in person at the Christian Fiction Readers Retreat in August, and she’s so lovely – inside and out.
Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D, is a multi-published award-winning author of Christian historical romance. Twenty-five years as a psychologist didn’t “cure” her overactive imagination! She resides with her family in the Historic Triangle of Virginia, which is perfect for her love of history. Carrie loves to read, bake, bead, and travel – but not all at the same time!
Carrie’s Christy Family Lumber Camp series books The Fruitcake Challenge (September, 2014), The Lumberjacks’ Ball (April, 2015), and Lilacs for Juliana (August, 2015) were all long list finalists for Family Fiction’s Book of the Year contests. The Fruitcake Challenge was a Selah Award finalist. Carrie was the winner in Historical Genre with her short story “The Quilting Contest” published in Family Fiction’s The Story 2014 Anthology (Salem Publishing, 2014). It was also a Maggie Award finalist, with Honorable Mention (2014). Her novella, Return to Shirley Plantation: A Civil War Romance, was an Amazon Civil War best seller and remained on the top-rated list for a year. It was re-released under a new cover in 2016.
Carrie is the founder of the Colonial American Christian Writers group and the owner/administrator of the group blogs “Colonial Quills” and “Overcoming With God.” She is also a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA) including Professional Authors Network (PAN), American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), and FaithWriters.
Her latest release is a novella in The Blue Ribbon Brides Collection from Barbour Books (November 1, 2016).
Meet nine men and women whose competitive goals take them to state and county fairs between 1889 and 1930. From baking pie to polishing pigs, from sculpting butter to stitching quilts, everyone has something to prove to themselves and their communities. But in going for the blue ribbon, will nine women miss the greatest prize of all—the devoted heart of a godly man?
Carrie’s story, “Requilted With Love” is full of delightfully vibrant characters at the Michigan State Fair in 1889. The romance is sweet and that first kiss – whew!! Some fun surprises and some scoundrels keep you on your toes, and despite the past angst that the protagonists have suffered their story – and their friends – will put a smile on your face for sure!
Welcome to the blog, Carrie! I start everyone out with a “fast four” –
(To avoid same-name confusion, Carrie Fancett Pagels’ responses will be listed as “Carrie” and my replies will be listed as “RimSP”.)
Carrie: Apples. They are in season and are good for you.
RimSP: Apples continue to be the overwhelming author favorite!
Carrie: Summer as long as it is in MICHIGAN!!! (Winter if in Virginia! – if I had to choose between those two!)
RimSP: Yes… southern summers are too humid for me! But I’m the weird one that would want to winter in Michigan too lol.
Carrie: Dogs – asthma from cats (but I love them!)
RimSP: Zuzu says that this is yet another reason that dogs are superior to cats.
Carrie: Tea – because it is so tasty and coffee aggravates my migraines. I love coffee, it doesn’t love me back!
Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Carrie: Psychological Backstory is my Superpower!
RimSP: I love it! That should be your new tagline 😉
Books are my favorite topic, and even though my TBR list has become its own
continent planet (it’s recently been upgraded) I’m always on the lookout for great books to add to it. So, I want to know – what are a few favorite books you’ve read recently?
Carrie: I just finished the novellas in Rails to Romance from Barbour – they were all so good!!! And I just read Cynthia Hickey’s and Susan Page Davis’s novellas which won’t release to the public until June, 2017, in our Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order Husbands collection from Barbour.
RimSP: I can’t wait for that Seven Brides collection!!
How does your background in psychology influence your writing?
Carrie: Since I’ve discovered my new superpower, I do try to train others in how to use psychological backstory to make stronger motivation in books. If you know what went into making a character like she or he is, you make the story much deeper and more believable!
RimSP: yes! I absolutely agree!
In your Blue Ribbon Brides Collection novella – Requilted With Love – a quilter crosses paths with a balloonist at the Michigan State Fair. Tell us about these characters.
Carrie: Sarah Richmond has lost two fiancés and has determined to never love again. In fact, the wedding ring quilt she requilted with tulips is something she plans to sell so it won’t remind her. Enter Grant, our heartthrob hero. Sarah doesn’t know that Grant is a balloonist until after she falls for him. UH OH!!!!!!
RimSP: UH OH indeed! Drama ahead 🙂
If you were piecing together a quilt of the important moments in your writing journey, what would some of the squares be?
Carrie: Meeting Diana Flowers in person. I’d admired her reviews. THEN she joined me on my blog! Getting my first hug from Julie Lessman, who has been such a doll and has given me endorsements God bless her! There would be a square for my agent, Joyce Hart, who encouraged me and accepted me as a client. Having my critique partner from Fellowship of Christian Writers, an editor and writer herself, Vicki McCollum, tell me I was ready to be published (after getting dismal feedback from another group of mainly contemporary writers). Having a Facebook party with Tamera Alexander, one of my fave authors and some other great author friends. And so many more!!! But what a great question Carrie!!!
RimSP: There would be a square on my quilt for MY first Julie Lessman hug too! And meeting you would of course have a lovely teacup square too 🙂
What do you most want readers to take away from Blue Ribbon Brides and your novella Requilted With Love?
Carrie: I hope these Christian fiction stories will give readers hours of wholesome entertainment and will draw them closer to God. I hope my story might help some readers to question things they have told themselves. I’d like readers to think about this question – did God ask you to do this thing or not do it? Can God not restore something that you have lost hope for? Can you trust Him with everything in your life?
RimSP: I love this! Carrie– again, thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂
Carrie: Carrie-thanks for having me! And may I say, I like your name very much 😉
RimSP: You may 😉 Because it’s the best name, of course.
Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.
Carrie: My next novella is Dime Novel Suitor in Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order Husbands. Seven Kansas ladies find themselves without husbands after the Civil War ends. Their small town has been hit hard by losses of husbands and sweethearts. The town ladies, including the mayor, determine to advertise and hold auditions for husbands!!!
My heroine, Caroline Kane, is widowed and raising her teenaged siblings after their father dies. She’s also been left to run her family’s inn. Barden Granville IV grew up devouring cowboy dime novels from America. He’s an ordained minister, freshly out of seminary about to begin his career. But Barden wants a chance to experience cowboy life before beginning his work in a small parish in northern England, far from his family’s estate in Kent. After he’s attacked and robbed and shows up at Caroline’s inn looking for work, he’s mistaken for a husband candidate. Barden is everything Caroline didn’t know she was looking for and more. What will happen when she learns who he really is? And that he is returning home soon?
Connect with Carrie Fancett Pagels
Carrie Fancett Pagels is offering one of my readers a chance to win The Blue Ribbon Brides Collection in your choice of paperback (US only) or ebook (open internationally).
What about you? If you were to make a quilt of moments in your bookish life, what would some of the squares represent?