Saturday, January 10, 2015

INTERVIEW WITH DOROTHY LOVE





Dorothy Love is the award-winning author of the popular Hickory Ridge series and fourteen other historical and contemporary novels published in the general and inspirational markets.  When she is not poking around  dusty libraries and museums in search of her next book idea, she can be found at the beach or at the home in the Texas hill country she shares with her husband and golden retriever. 
INTERVIEW

SS: Tell us a little about yourself.


I’m a Southern girl, and a beach girl. Though I’m currently landlocked in Texas. I spent fifteen years earning a PhD, running a school, and teaching at the university level before I left to try my luck as an author. I’m passionate about history, especially the history of women who accomplished amazing things that are often left out of the history books. I enjoy traveling with my husband of forty years. We’ve visited Tahiti, New Zealand, Bermuda, Panama and most of the US. But there are still lots of destinations on my bucket list, including Italy and Southern France.

SS: When did you realize you wanted to be an author?

In third grade I wrote a story called The Land of the Magic Tigers. My teacher praised it and said I could be a writer one day. From then on, becoming a writer was my Great Ambition.

SS: What are some of the challenges you face as a writer? Are there aspects of your life that are hard for family and friends to understand? What are they?

Balancing work and leisure is always an issue but I don’t think that’s unique to the writing life. Most women I know wear too many hats and sometimes feel pulled in too many directions. I’m lucky in that my husband understands the demands of a writing career and supports it. He works full time, too and we try to keep the weekends for ourselves away from work.

SS: What genre do you write and why? Are there other genres you’ve written or would like to try?

I love history and believe that history matters. All of my novels for adults and many of my novels for young adults and pre teens are historical fiction. But I’ve also published contemporary fiction and a short biography of Hypatia of Alexandria. I published a fantasy-adventure for young adults but discovered that I don’t enjoy writing fantasy. These days I’m solely writing historical romantic suspense fiction for adult readers.

SS: How do you create characters? Are they based on people you know?

Many of my characters are inspired by real life women. The lead character in Carolina Gold was modeled after Elizabeth Allston Pringle, a South Carolina rice planter and writer. I’m working now on a new novel inspired by a famous stage actress.

SS: Tell us about your current release.

The Bracelet is historical fiction with strong elements of romance, suspense, and mystery. It pits my lead character, Celia Browning, a young society woman in antebellum Savannah against an unscrupulous newspaper reporter and against the anonymous donor of a bracelet imbued with a chilling message.

SS: Where did you get the idea for this book?

On a trip to Savannah I visited the Sorrel Weed house on Madison Square, the house made famous for its brief appearance in the film, Forrest Gump. I learned of the death by suicide of Matilda Moxley Sorrel, the former mistress of the house and of rumors that circulated in Savannah afterward. It was said Mrs. Sorrel took her life after learning her husband was having an affair with a slave girl named Molly, and that Molly was later found dead in the carriage house. The death of Mrs. Sorrel is not in dispute, but there seems to be no real evidence that Molly existed. I was intrigued by the stories and wondered how such events might affect a young woman whose position in society is threatened by scandal.

In Victorian times there was a custom by which a suitor would send a piece of jewelry set with stones to his beloved. When taken together, the first letter in the name of each stone spelled a secret message. A bracelet set with a diamond, an emerald, an amethyst, and a ruby thus spelled the secret message d-e-a-r.  In the novel, my main character receives a bracelet set with a diamond, an emerald, an amethyst, and another diamond and sets off to figure out who sent it…who wants her d-e-a-d. 

SS: Tell us about your main character.

Celia Browning is the raven-haired, violet-eyed daughter of David Browning, the third wealthiest man in Savannah. Since the death of Celia’s mother in the Pulaski steamship disaster, father and daughter have become very close. He includes her in discussions of business and politics, and advises her on her upcoming marriage to her childhood sweetheart, Sutton Mackay. When the newspaper reporter shows up and starts probing Celia’s past, she fears that old scandals may jeopardize her marriage to Sutton, and ruin her father’s business. Celia is curious, compassionate, outspoken, and totally besotted with her handsome suitor. But she is also sometimes too concerned with appearances, and too afraid to trust others.

SS: Is there a spiritual message in your book? If so, what is it?

I’m asked this question with every book and I always hesitate to tell readers what they should get from it. Readers are unique. They come to each book with their own experiences, expectations, and beliefs, and they make their own meaning as they read. If I tell them what the book means, then it’s hard for it to mean anything else.  Some readers will read The Bracelet for the romance between Celia and Sutton. Some will read to unravel the scandals, and to find out how she tracks down the anonymous donor of the bracelet. Others will read in order to immerse themselves in another time and place, soaking up the historical details and living for a few hours in the world that was antebellum Savannah. My hope is that regardless of motivation, each and every reader is delighted, entertained and inspired.

SS: What are you working on now?

I recently completed line edits for A Heart So True, a novella to be published next June as part of a collection with three other authors. I’m editing A Respectable Actress for publication next fall. It’s a full length historical romantic suspense inspired by the life of Fanny Kemble, a stage actress who married a Georgia plantation owner. And I’m reading and taking notes for a novel to be published in 2016, but that’s all I can tell you about it just now. Let’s just say I am over the moon to get to write it.

SS: Tell us three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.

Well let’s see.  I once sang with a rock band called Second Avenue. At age 5 I fell from a moving car onto a highway and lived to tell about it. I love fresh strawberries but don’t like anything strawberry flavored, such as strawberry ice cream, strawberry pie, or strawberry lip gloss.

SS: Favorite TV shows?

Most anything on Masterpiece Theater. The History Channel. I loved that series Finding Your Roots with Louis Gates that just concluded. I love Turner Classic Movies. My guilty pleasures are Downton Abbey, House Hunters International and Antiques Roadshow. I keep hoping to find out that the ugly old vase in the attic is worth a fortune. So far, it hasn’t happened……

SS: Anything special you eat or drink while you’re writing?

After I narrowly avoided spilling coffee onto my keyboard, I made a rule not to eat or drink while I’m writing. I enjoy chai latte and Earl Grey. I usually take a late morning tea break to rest my eyes and play with Jake. Not necessarily in that order. He can be a demanding little guy and he knows I am a total pushover where he is concerned. Really, who can resist a golden retriever?

SS: How do you celebrate after completing a book?

By Doing. Absolutely. Nothing.

SS: Where can readers find you on the Internet?

Website: www.dorothylovebooks.com. I’m on facebook most days at www.facebook.com/dorothylovebooks and occasionally on twitter at writerDorothy. I have a few Pinterest boards but I haven’t updated them in a while. I don’t really get the Pinterest thing, but lots of people seem to enjoy it.

SS: Anything else you’d like to share with us?

Thanks for hosting me. I hope everyone has a wonderful new year.


Dorothy is giving away a copy of The Bracelet, either in print or audiobook. Leave a comment, along with your contact information for your chance to win!

 

46 comments:

  1. The book looks and sounds interesting thanks for the interview and giveaway!!! I would love the chance to win this book!!!
    Sarah Richmond
    sarahrichmond(dot)12(at)gmail(dot)com

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  2. I love reading historical fiction and I love the suspense element of this book too! The cover is also intriguing.
    marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com
    Merry S.

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    1. Mary, I was so excited to see this cover. I think it's my favorite, although I LOVE the cover for EVERY PERFECT GIFT, too. :) Thanks for stopping by here.

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  3. What mysterious message D E A D....in gems?? I would love to read this and see how it turns out..
    dkstevensneAToutlook DoTCoM

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  4. I love House Hunters International also. Love to see how other people live.
    Thereadmaster@me.com

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  5. My cousin read this book and says it is amazing. Would love to read it as well and get lost in the story.
    Cadena_alcala@yahoo.com

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  6. Please count me in...brown.k (at) centurytel.net

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  7. I have never heard about the old custom of sending jewelry with the stones initals spelling a message to their beloved. How interesting! Thanks for sharing!
    Robin in NC rw620{at}aol{dot}com

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  8. Thank you for hosting Dorothy. I would love to read The Bracelet!

    psalm103and138[at]gmail[dot]com

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  9. WOW Dorothy you are a very well traveled lady, I have not been much of anywhere,choosing vacations I always want to visit family as I have lived in a different state from the others for a long time and miss that personal time together. I live near Savannah and love the way you have written your story and the info behind it.
    I look forward to reading one day.
    Paula O(kyflo130@yahoo.com)

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    1. Paula, how lucky that you live so close to one of my favorite cities. I hope you enjoy reading about them in The Bracelet.

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  10. What an excellent interview. Enjoyed it very much. Informative and wanting to explore this novel further! I would love to win a print copy of The Bracelet. The cover is intriguing like a painting and I would like to open the cover page and begin reading! Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net

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  11. I would love to win! It looks like an awesome book!
    kristine(dot)morgan@yahoo(dot)com

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  12. This sounds like an interesting book, a and I love the picture on the cover.

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  13. I have checked your other books out of the library and have read them. I always look forward to when you have a new publication released. I love your historical fiction. I have not heard of the custom of being sent jewelry by a suitor to spell a message. How fascinating. I have wanted to read this book since I have first heard of it. The cover is gorgeous and the story intrigues me. Would really love to read it. Thank you for the opportunity ! Cnnamongirl(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Deanne, thanks for being such a faithful reader. I hope you have a chance to read this new book. I really enjoyed writing it.

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  14. Thank you for sharing. Love the cover :)

    Lori Payer
    jlipayer (at) charter (dot) net

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  15. I was struck again by the power of a teacher's words to a student, and am thankful that it was high praise! Thank you for blessing us with your words! I would like to read them!
    Janice M.
    pjrcmoore@windstream.net

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  16. Not sure where my comment disappeared to, but I forgot to include contact info. (I so hope it is necessary!) lldietz@gmail(dot)com

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  17. I admire and appreciate that your leading female characters are not only interesting, and intelligent, but courageous, as well. I first became enthralled with your books while reading Carolina Gold, and then went on to read The Hickory Ridge series, devouring each one as if it were chocolate! I am truly looking forward to reading The Bracelet, also, for it sounds so intriguing. Thank you for sharing your gift. Sincerely, Debbie, cowcatd1 at yahoo dot com

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    1. Debbie, I'm so happy to now you enjoyed Carolina Gold. Elizabeth Pringle is a heroine of mine and it was such a blessing to be able to write a story based on her life. And thank you for checking out the Hickory Ridge series, too. I appreciate you!!

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  18. I love the title and cover of this book. I would love to read it!

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

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  19. Great interview. Looking forward to reading The Bracelet. I love historical fiction.

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  20. Would love to read this book; looks and sounds great! rjackson7@att.net

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  21. Great interview. Thanks for the opportunity to win. Linda
    dmcfarl101(at)juno(dot)com

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  22. Oooh...d-e-a-d! I'm intrigued and can't wait to find out more! Thank you so much for this lovely interview and giveaway!

    texaggs2000 at gmail dot com

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  23. Would love to read your book! I love historical fiction! Hope to win! grandmama_brenda at yahoo dot com

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  24. What a great interview with Dorothy. I can't wait to read her newcrelease. Sounds great!
    Campbellamyd At gmail dot com

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    1. Hi Amy!! I hope you enjoy this new book. So good to see you here.

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  25. Love reading the interview and the new books is one that will be added to my to be read list.
    Dawn C.
    dcofohio@yahoo.com

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  26. Great interview. I love the idea of a mystery message set in gems. Would love to be entered in the drawing.

    lill dot kohler at gmail dot com

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  27. Hello everyone! Dorothy here. Thanks so much for popping in to read my interview.It's always a thrill to hear from readers who have enjoyed my books. Good luck in the drawing!

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  28. Great interview. Thanks for sharing Dorothy. The Bracelet sounds very intriguing. I love Savannah. Looking forward to reading this one.

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    1. Guess I should have left my email, just in case.
      Redeemedreaders@bellsouth.net

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  29. Hello Dorothy. I really enjoyed this interview with you. Strawberries. I have a daughter like this. She also loves banana Pudding with no bananas. Figure that one. This book sure sounds good. Would love to win it. Need to look up your other books too. Don't own one yet. Thanks to the Suspense Sisters for having you here. Thanks again.
    Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)com <

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  30. I am fascinated by the Victorian custom of the message on bracelets by using gems. I wonder where they came up with that idea.

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  31. I've been hearing such good things about this book, would love to win a copy :)
    d_stevens310AT live DoTCoM

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  32. I'd love to win!! Pick me!!!!

    kathrynlvoss(at)gmail(dot)com

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  33. A gorgeous cover and the story is intriguing! I can not wait until I read your novel!

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  34. This sounds like a wonderful book, as do many of your others. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for them!

    thejorns(at)gmail(dot)com

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  35. That is amazing to live through a fall like that! I love chai tea too!

    Rebecca
    rdewey17(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  36. The interview with Dorothy was very interesting. She is a new to me author. The Bracelet sounds like a fantastic book so I'll have to put it on my wish list.

    pmkellogg56[at]gmail[dot]com

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  37. Thanks for sharing your heart with us. A privilege.

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