Welcome, Rita, to Book Reviews by Buuklvr81. Thanks for stopping by and sharing with us a bit about the novel, Surrender the Wind!
Let’s start the interview off by asking where you’re from and what’s some of your latest news?
I grew up in a Maryland suburb outside of Washington. I’ve been settled in central Maryland for most of my life, and love it here. I prefer the mountains to the beach any day.
Latest news? Well, I’ve been co-coordinating a huge book signing event alongside author Wanda Dyson, and Leah Morgan, an aspiring writer. It will be held on November 28 in Hagerstown, Maryland with 13 CBA authors in attendance, two of which are Christy Award winners. It’s getting a lot of buzz and the attention of our publishers.
I’m nearly finished writing a new novel, and planning out the sequel a little at a time.
When did you consider yourself a writer and what inspired you to write your first novel?
I’ve always loved books and reading. When I was around eleven, I wrote a short story and drew the illustrations. As a teenager, I wrote poetry and wrote essays.
The desire to write bit me in the late eighties, after my cousin, a famous romance writer, gave me a signed copy of one of her earlier books. After I read it, I thought, “I can do this”, and a burning desire overtook me.
My first novel was pod published in 2001, under the title The Rebel’s Pledge. I think what inspired me to write that story was, and please don’t laugh, but I watched an old movie, Captain Blood, it was set during the English Civil War and the main character is arrested for treason and sentenced to a life of slavery in Jamaica. I then read the book and was so taken by the strong male led that my mind could not let go of it. I wrote about an Englishman taken prisoner during the English Rebellion against King James and sentenced to servitude on a Maryland plantation. Through his faith and heroism he gained his freedom and became entangled in dangerous schemes after falling deeply in love with his former master’s daughter.
On a side note: I would never recommend a writer go the print on demand route for publication. At the time I published this book, it was the ‘new thing’. This novel is no longer in print, but I am hoping to have it reissued someday.
The experiences and events in Surrender the Wind, are they based on your, or someone you know, experiences?
The answer to that question they are not, except for one instance. In Surrender the Wind, Juleah’s father, Sir Henry Fallows, is showing signs of early Alzheimer’s. My father suffered with this disease and I drew upon my experiences dealing with this as well as my dear Dad’s, although I will never know the depth of fear and despair that he felt. In the latter stages of the disease, my father showed more emotion in his eyes than I had known all my life. I saw sorrow, fear, anxiety, and loneliness, as well as times of joy when I would sit and talk to him about God or about a precious childhood memory. It was painful at times, but he was, like Sir Henry, the sweetest man you’d want to meet. Like Juleah with her father, I have precious memories of a gentle and courageous man who left my sons a legacy that will not be forgotten.
How did you come up with the title?
I wanted a title that summed up the story. The title has great significance. Wind represents the struggles, the trials, the hardships each of us face. . .as do the characters in the story. When we experience pain, grief, and rejection, surrendering all to Him who is able to help us through it is the only way to find peace and healing. Titles seem to pop into my head.
What message, if any, did you want your readers to come away with?
That when everything is said and done, in the end it all turns out all right. Love is the cohesive bond that helps us to face adversity. The message of Surrender the Wind is wrapped up in fidelity and forgiveness, and the surrendering to our Creator those winds that shove and batter us.
What are you currently reading?
The Blue Enchantress by Marylu Tyndall
The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow by Joyce Magnin
Can you tell us a little about what you are currently working on or what you will be working on in the future?
Thank you for asking. I am nearly finished the next book. You can expect much of it will be from the female character’s point of view. Adultery, betrayal, and blackmail will challenge the main characters of Darcy Morgan and Ethan Brennan. But keep in mind light dispels darkness. You can expect love will triumph over all these, in a stirring tale of fidelity and forgiveness. I haven’t found a publisher for it yet, but I’m sure I will. I plan to write a sequel to this story, and have started planning for that.
And finally, do you have any advice for other writers or anything you want to say to your readers?
To aspiring writers: Read best selling books on writing. Learn everything you can about the craft, from character development to plotting, to how to write tight. Study how to edit your work. Study the industry and get an understanding of how publishing works. Read best selling books within your genre. Above all do not let discouragement get the best of you, and do not write for fame or fortune. If that is your goal, you are starting out for all the wrong reasons. Write because you love it.
To my readers: Thank you for reading Surrender the Wind. I hope you enjoyed it. I really do appreciate it so much. My goal as a storyteller is to give you a respite from the troubles of the world we live in.
I want to say thank you, Rita, for taking the time to answer these questions for us and I do hope you will check back in with us sometime in the future with updates on your work! Blessings to you, Rita!
*You can find out more about Rita and her books, or to request bookmarks and magnets visit her on her website.*
*To purchase Surrender The Wind, visit here.*
**A copy of this book was provided for me to review courtesy of the author**