Happy Tuesday! Continuing through Saturday (culminating with a list of winners), I have the privilege of sharing mini interviews with nearly all of the 2019 ACFW Carol Award Finalists! Today I’m covering the historical & historical romance categories, including Carrie Turansky and her Carol Award nominated book Across the Blue! You can check out a list of all the finalists HERE.
FYI – There will be several posts per day, and a week-long giveaway, so make sure you catch them all!
Carrie Turansky is an award-winning author of inspirational novels set in Edwardian England and the US. Her latest release is No Ocean Too Wide, which follows an unlikely pair’s inspiring quest to rescue countless British Home Children from an unjust emigration system and reunite a family torn apart. She loves weaving heartwarming tales about family, faith, and lasting love. Her novels have been translated into several foreign languages and enjoyed by readers around the world. Carrie enjoys connecting with reading friends on social media and through her website and blog: http://carrieturansky.com.
ACROSS THE BLUE
GENRE: Inspirational Historical Romance
RELEASE DATE: February 20, 2018
Set in Edwardian England and ideal for readers who enjoy Julie Klassen novels, this romance about an English aviation pioneer and the girl who falls in love with him is filled with adventure and faith.
Isabella Grayson, the eldest daughter of a wealthy, English newspaper magnate, longs to become a journalist, but her parents don’t approve. They want her to marry well and help them gain a higher standing in society. After she writes an anonymous letter to the editor that impresses her father, her parents reluctantly agree she can write a series of articles about aviation and the race to fly across the English Channel, but only if she promises to accept a marriage proposal within the year. When James Drake, an aspiring aviator, crashes his flying machine at the Grayson’s new estate, Bella is intrigued. James is determined to be the first to fly across the Channel and win the prize Mr. Grayson’s newspaper is offering. He hopes it will help him secure a government contract to build airplanes and redeem a terrible family secret. James wants to win Bella’s heart, but his background and lack of social standing make it unlikely her parents would approve. If he fails to achieve his dream, how will he win the love and respect he is seeking? Will Bella’s faith and support help him find the strength and courage he needs when unexpected events turn their world upside down?
Hi, dear friend! Welcome back to the blog!
Q: Why do you write fiction? And, why specifically Christian fiction?
Carrie T: I’ve always loved to read, and I’m a storyteller at heart. Writing is one way I can express the creative gifts the Lord has given me. I enjoy bringing characters to life and showing how they learn and grow through the challenges they face in the story. This is often how I weave inspirational themes into my novels. My goal is to share God’s truth and love with my readers and for them to see how Biblical principles apply to our lives. I want them to be entertained, but I also hope they will be challenged and encouraged as they read my books.
MeezCarrie: I know I always am challenged & encouraged – and entertained – when I read your books ♥
Q: Other than the Bible, what are a couple of your most cherished books and why?
Carrie T: When I was young my great aunt Margaret gave me an award winning children’s book every Christmas. That stirred my love for reading and set me on a path to become a writer. I still have a few of those books, and they are treasured keepsakes. Two of my favorites are One Morning in Maine by Robert McCloskey and Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.
MeezCarrie: Every child should have a ‘book aunt’ – I love being that for my nieces & nephews. What a great gift she gave you…and us by default as well.
Q: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever Googled while researching a book?
Carrie T: Probably the strangest thing I’ve Googled is: what instruments would a pilot have in a 1909 aeroplane? This was a fun search that took me to a website of a historian pilot who restores antique planes. I found detailed information and photos about the plane’s design and instruments, and that was a great help when I was writing Across the Blue. I also did a fun Google search looking for info about the White Cliffs of Dover. That took me to YouTube with drone footage of that beautiful area and what my pilot hero would’ve seen as he flew over. Google is a great resource for writers!
MeezCarrie: Oh wow! Those are both great resources to stumble on for your research for this book. Thanks, Google! 🙂
Q: If I asked your characters to describe YOU as an author, what would they say?
Carrie T: My characters would probably say, you need to stop researching and start writing! I love the time I spend researching each novel and building the story world for my characters. But sometimes I have to remind myself the story will not get written if I don’t stop searching for more information and get busy typing the story.
MeezCarrie: hahaha! I think I would have the same problem…
Q: Which of your main characters (either in Across the Blue or over all you’ve written) is most like you?
Carrie T: I’m probably most like Julia in The Governess of Highland Hall. That was my first English historical novel, Book 1 in the Edwardian Brides Series. She loves her family and has been overseas for several years with her missionary family before the story opens. Our family spent a year in Kenya, and I remember what it felt like to return home and not quite feel like it was home. Julia likes taking principles of the Bible and applying them to her role as governess and friend. I enjoy encouraging friends by sharing practical ideas and principles from the Bible.
MeezCarrie: I loved Julia! And I can definitely see you in her!
Q: What is something God taught you while you wrote Across the Blue?
Carrie T: One lesson I learned while working on this book was, slow and steady wins the race. It might not sound too spiritual, but I think the Lord wanted me to learn some important truths through the writing experience. In the past I’ve had a tendency to feel anxious as I start a new book and think about trying to write a 100,000-word novel and finish it by the deadline. With Across the Blue I started setting weekly word count goals to make sure I was writing at a pace that would assure I would finish on time. Keeping up with the word count goal and listening to the good advice of my author friend, Cathy Gohlke, I was able to write with more trust and fewer anxious thoughts. That gave me more joy in the journey.
MeezCarrie: That’s great advice! Jesus came to give us joy in the journey, and learning to trust Him more deeply is a big part of that.
Q: What is one of your favorite quotes from Across the Blue & why do you love it?
Carrie T: Here’s one of my favorite quotes from Across the Blue: “A hope can become a reality if we work hard to do our part, and then trust the Lord to do the rest.” I think sometimes we want to see our dreams come true or reach a particular goal. We might pray about it and hope it will happen, but do we do our part? We all have been given gifts and talents, but they need to be exercised and developed to be useful and to help us reach our goals. In Across the Blue the heroine, Bella Grayson, longs to become a journalist in a time when women weren’t usually able to take on that type of job. But she is determined and willing to work toward her goal. She learned that she must do her part as well as trust the Lord to see her goals and his purpose accomplished in her life.
MeezCarrie: I heard a pastor say once, “We do what we can do and trust God to do what only he can do.” I loved that and I loved seeing that play out in Bella’s story!
I am offering one reader any TWO books (print copies) that finaled in the 2019 Carol Awards! (open internationally as long as Book Depository ships to your address) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What interests you most from Carrie Turansky’s Q&A or the historical romance Carol Award finalist Across the Blue?