Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Laura Frantz - "The Colonel's Lady"

  • Your books focus on early American History, what fascinates you about that time frame?
EverythingJ. The 18th-century was such a rich, earthy period of upheaval and change, people being tested to their physical and mental limits, during which the seeds of revolution were planted. It provides endless novel fodder and I have stories spinning in my poor head almost continuously…

  • In reference to The Colonel’s Lady is the book based around actual events?
Yes, my hero, Colonel Cassius McLinn, is based on the historical figure George Rogers Clark, an absolute legend in frontier America. He essentially captured the entire frontier for the Americans, claiming a vast territory that had been held by the British, French, and Indians. He accomplished this with few men under staggering conditions. He’s long been my hero though he had a tragic personal life, never marrying and struggling with alcoholism.

  • You indicate that Colonel McMinn is loosely based on an actual person, Colonel George Clark.  How did you create Roxanna Rowan?
Roxanna, in the words of my editor, is a “complicated woman.” Her first name is taken from my great-grandmother and her last name is one of my favorite treesJ. I wanted to create a woman who could offset my hero’s flaws and weaknesses and stand up to the pressures of the time, someone a man of his stature could respect and come to love. I admire her spunk and determination despite her own flaws.

  • Frontier American was a harsh world.  Do you feel Christian beliefs were an integral part of survival for many?  If so why or why not?
I do feel faith was an important part of frontier America though few were fortunate enough to own a Bible. Interestingly, there was a shift away from religion and the things of the church back then but thankfully, evangelists like the astounding George Whitefield began a revival that is still felt to this day. He turned hearts toward the Lord and revealed how decrepit the church of early America was. People were very rebellious then, too, and the American Revolution played into that discontent.

  • What is the most difficult part about writing about Frontier America?
Portraying history in a realistic way that is not offensive to a Christian audience yet still staying true to the historical record. I don’t like novels that sugarcoat history. The Bible, for all its perfection, is a heartbreaking book in many respects, and we can’t sugarcoat that either. Truth is important, even in fiction.

  • What is the most enjoyable part of writing about Frontier America?
Bringing to life, or keeping alive, the memory of a lost way of life. We don’t have any idea what our forefathers went through or experienced in our espresso-driven, electronic society today. Historical fiction helps preserve that.

  • What future titles do you have in the making?
Would you believe my next novel is about a mail-order groom? Here’s the hook, “Two sisters. One man. When he chooses one, will the other destroy their love?” It’s a series spanning 100 years in one Pennsylvania family from the 18th-century through the 19th-century. I hope you and other readers enjoy it like I am!


Laura Frantz said...

Thanks, Diane, for being interested in books and frontier life! Your blog is so interesting and it's a privilege to be a part of it. I'll upload to Facebook and share:) I don't have a Twitter account or I'd do that, too! Bless you.

Regina Merrick said...

I'm not a stalker, per se, but any time I can comment after an interview about TCL, I'm there! :)

Great interview! And I can't wait for your next series - your hook made me think of the song "Sisters," from "White Christmas." One of the lines reads like this:
"Lord, help the mister, who comes between me and my sister, and Lord, help the sister, who comes between me and my man!" LOL

Bless you, Laura, for bringing history to life for your readers!

Laura Frantz said...

LOL, Regina! You've made my day;) This book is A LOT like those lines I can just hear you singing in my head! Thank you for making it possible for me to continue to write the stories I love. You're such a gem!!