Author Interview: Lori Benton & Many Sparrows

Posted October 7, 2017 by meezcarrie in Author Interview, Christian, historical, Lori Benton, romance / 18 Comments

Do you feel that earthquake around Kentucky? That’s just me, bouncing up and down in excitement over today’s guest!

Lori Benton was raised east of the Appalachian Mountains, surrounded by early American history going back three hundred years. Her novels transport readers to the eighteenth century, where she brings to life the Colonial and early Federal periods of American history. When she isn’t writing, reading, or researching, Lori enjoys exploring and photographing the Oregon wilderness with her husband. She is the author of “Burning Sky,” recipient of three Christy Awards, “The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn,” Christy-nominee “The Wood’s Edge,” and “A Flight of Arrows.”

Find out more about Lori at

You can also connect with Lori on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter.

Her newest book, Many Sparrows, released on August 29, 2017.

Either she and her children would emerge from that wilderness together, or none of them would…

In 1774, the Ohio-Kentucky frontier pulses with rising tension and brutal conflicts as Colonists push westward and encroach upon Native American territories. The young Inglesby family is making the perilous journey west when an accident sends Philip back to Redstone Fort for help, forcing him to leave his pregnant wife Clare and their four-year old son Jacob on a remote mountain trail.
When Philip does not return and Jacob disappears from the wagon under the cover of darkness, Clare awakens the next morning to find herself utterly alone, in labor and wondering how she can to recover her son…especially when her second child is moments away from being born.

Clare will face the greatest fight of her life, as she struggles to reclaim her son from the Shawnee Indians now holding him captive. But with the battle lines sharply drawn, Jacob’s life might not be the only one at stake. When frontiersman Jeremiah Ring comes to her aid, can the stranger convince Clare that recovering her son will require the very thing her anguished heart is unwilling to do—be still, wait and let God fight this battle for them?

“Lori Benton weaves a beguiling tapestry of prose, pathos, and faith in Many Sparrows, a story as hopeful as it is heartrending. Shedding light on the ferocity of a mother’s love and the beauty and complexity of Shawnee culture and community, Benton’s boundless talent shines ever brighter as a rich and mesmerizing story unfolds. Each character is wonderfully authentic and honestly drawn, but it is Jeremiah’s devotion to God, the tension between his two worlds, and the vow he made to a grieving woman that caught my breath many times over. Exquisitely told, Many Sparrows reaches all the deep spaces of the heart, abiding long after the last page is turned.”
—Rel Mollet,

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Hi Lori – welcome to the blog! It is such a honor for me to chat with you!

Lori: My pleasure, so happy for the chance to do so!

apples or oranges

Lori: Oranges. Because I’m allergic to apples! But only raw ones. I can eat them dried, or cooked, or (best of all) in a pie.

Carrie: That’s a good reason to choose oranges 🙂 And at least you can still have apple pie! That would be really sad…

winter or summer

Lori: I’d answer FALL but since that isn’t an option… I guess winter. Because summer in southern Oregon means wildfires and smoke filled skies and that’s just yucky.

Carrie: Fall would be my answer too 🙂

dogs or cats

Lori: Dogs! I don’t speak cat.

Carrie: haha!!

coffee or tea

Lori: Oh, tough one. If HAVE to choose? Coffee. I’m a writer… nuff said!

Carrie: Truth.

Q: Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?

Lori: I’m torn between two of them. I would like to be able to instantly transport me and my camera/gear anywhere in the world. But once I got there I’d be able to speak the language too!

Carrie: that would be fantastic, wouldn’t it?

Q: Tell me some good books you’ve read recently.

Lori: The Maggie Bright, a novel of Dunkirk by Tracy Groot. So good, and I read it right before seeing the movie Dunkirk. An order I recommend if you plan to do both. Also just finished Joanne Bischoff’s To Get to You. I’m looking forward to her new series next year!

Carrie: Two of my go-to authors!

Q: Writing spaces are as diverse as authors and books. Where is your favorite space to write?

Lori: I wish I was one of those authors who could write anywhere, a noisy coffee shop, outside on a deck, even a library. Alas, I can’t tune out distractions. I sit at a desktop computer in my living room/office, in an empty house, my back to the window, earplugs in, to write each day. Thankfully I have the house to myself during the day, most days, or I’d never have finished novel #1.

Carrie: I never used to be easily distracted but I have become more so in recent years. If there are people around, forget it – I pay more attention to them than the book I’m trying to read or the post I’m trying to write.

Q: Describe your main characters in one sentence each, and tell me who you would cast in their roles if Hollywood wanted to produce Many Sparrows as a movie!

Lori: Newly widowed Clare Inglesby is a mother desperate to find her captured son. I’d choose Katheryn Winnick to play Clare. She’s a perfect blend of tough and vulnerable.

Frontiersman Jeremiah Ring is a man of two worlds who isn’t certain in which he ultimately belongs. I’d cast Noah Wyle (with the beard he had in Falling Skies) as Jeremiah.

images taken from Pinterest

Carrie: oooo excellent choices! I can totally see Noah Wyle as Jeremiah!

Q: What surprised you about Many Sparrows or your characters as you wrote their story?

Lori: My biggest surprises were how tough it was to unpeel all Clare’s layers to get to the heart of who she is, and secondly, how the conflict and spiritual themes in the story deepened when I finally gave her nemesis, Rain Crow, the attention she deserved as a character and realized there was much more to her than a simple antagonist for Clare. 

Carrie: Rain Crow surprised me, too – what a layered character who added such dimension to the novel!

Q: What do you most want readers to take away from Many Sparrows?

Lori: I want readers to remember these characters like old friends, to have a new appreciation for the men and women who actually lived this period in history, and, most of all, in those times when it’s tempting to rush ahead of God and try to solve the problems in their lives, to stop and give Him time to work things out. As the unattributed quote taped to my monitor says, “Don’t steal tomorrow out of God’s hands. Give God time to speak to you and reveal His will. He is never too late; learn to wait.”

Carrie: Yes. Amen.

Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.

Lori: I’m working on a new novel set in an earlier time period than anything I’ve written before (still in the 18th century though), returning to North Carolina as a setting. And Scotland!

Carrie: Eep!!! I cannot wait!!

What about you? Have you read Lori’s books? If so, which one is your favorite? (Mine is the Pathfinders series)

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18 responses to “Author Interview: Lori Benton & Many Sparrows

  1. Becky Smith

    I have looked at Lori’s book, but have not yet read any. I DO want to read them! This book sounds really good!

  2. Paula S.

    I have two of her novels sitting on my TBR shelf but haven’t cracked them open yet. But I’d love to soon. Other obligations, alas!

  3. Rachael Merritt

    I’ve read all of hers. Picking a fave…wow, tough one. Either Burning Sky or At the Woods Edge, I think. Though I loved her most recent, Many Sparrows, and ended up really liking the character Rain Crow…and her growth. You can’t go wrong with any of them. Something I didn’t know until another reader mentioned it is that the characters in her latest are also in Pursuit of Tamsen LittleJohn. That’s actually the last book of hers I read, tho I usually do read them in order of when written.

  4. Veronica

    This was such a wonderful book! I buying it for my mother-in-law for her birthday later this month. And I just checked Woods Edge out of the library!!

  5. I have long bemoaned the fact that there is so little quality early American literature in Christian fiction, so I am totally embarrassed to admit that I haven’t been able to read any of Lori’s books before now, Carrie. I just started this yesterday and am reading slowly so as to savor every word, but it is awesome! Loved your interview with Lori. I don’t like to imagine famous people as characters in what I’m reading, but Noah Wyle is a perfect fit.

    And totally off point … but does anyone ever pick cats in answer to your question? I’m beginning to feel in the minority!

  6. Pam K.

    I’ve read all four of Lori’s prior books and really liked them all. The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn has a little bit of an edge because of Jesse. Something about his character really appealed to me, though I did like the heroes in the other books too. I’m looking forward to reading Many Sparrows.

  7. Winnie Thomas

    This is in my TBR pile from CFRR! I must get to it soon! I need to get caught up on my read/review pile, so I can start on some of my other books. It seems like my review books all piled up together in September and October. #readingasfastasIcan

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