Monday, 28 May 2012
Author Spotlight - Q&A with Tina Pinson
STEPH: I don't know much about "When Shadows Fall." What's it about?
TINA: When Shadows Fall is what I call my Oregon With the Wind novel. Because it takes place in 1862, during the Civil War and then on the Oregon trail.
It is the story of Rebekah St. James-Montgomery and her plight to find her husband and keep her sanity through the turmoil and loss of war. When she finds Robert he is barely alive and has lost both his legs. She fights to save him, but loses the battle. And nearly forfeits her sanity in the process. Seeing an old friend, and love, Matthew Cavanaugh, has her dreaming of things she believes could never be hers. When she learns that Robert wanted to go west, Rebekah decides to stop dreaming and wallowing in what might have been. She makes plans to head west to the Oregon, the new Eden, in the hopes of finding life again.
Matthew learns of her plans and her loss and decides he is going to be the one who helps her west, whether she wants him to or not. Because his dream isn't the west, his dream is to have Rebekah for his own.
STEPH: How long did it take you to write?
TINA: It took a year and some 900 pages. I wrote the story twenty years ago and found it was too long and no one wanted it. So I cut it into a serial and sent it to Desert Breeze and Gail took a chance on me.
STEPH: How much research did you have to do?
TINA: I did a lot of research about the trail and some on the Civil War. I really wanted people to get a taste for the lives of those during that time. That was my main reason for story in the first place. I was tired of reading stories where the people went on the Oregon Trail or the Santa Fe Trail and within a chapter had already reached their destination.
STEPH: How does the cover reflect the story within?
TINA: The cover encapsulates a scene in the story where Rebekah stands over two crosses under a weather-bared tree with her son, Andrew. The gray and black signifies her life and the life of the country. The touch of light is a reminder that even in the darkest days there is hope.
STEPH: Rebekah is the heroine. What are her strengths? Weakness?
TINA: Her strength is her ability to fight for those she loves and keep pressing ahead. Her ability to forgive. Her weakness is that it takes so long for her to forgive herself and trust in someone's love when she didn't anything wrong. And maybe her strength is sometimes her weakness, because in some aspects it makes her mule headed to make things right.
STEPH: What does Matthew find appealing about her?
TINA: He's loved her since she was a child. And he loves her strength and her tenderness.
STEPH: What is the theme of the novel?
TINA: I've considered the theme in detail, and I suppose it would be that through the toughest times, through pain and sorrow, through Shadows there is someone to walk with you.
I have a little poem in the beginning of the story that Rebekah wrote and it talks about the Shadows of life. How some are good, like the shadow that cools off the day, or the shadow of man cast across the land. And some are bad, that the shadow of loss or longing, or the shadow that fills your mind and torments you.
That says a lot about the story and why I gave it the name I did.
STEPH: As a writer, where do you draw inspiration from?
TINA: I draw inspiration from the world around me. From things that seem of little consequence. The mundane. I draw inspiration from my life. Rebekah is one character that has been cast after me and how I see myself. I believe God gives me inspiration, and hope that my stories will inspire others.
STEPH: Do you have an ebook reader? If so, which one?
TINA: I have a second edition Kindle. I like it. Although I have tempted to get something newer. Maybe an IPAD. Someday.
STEPH: Fun question: What are your plans for Memorial Day?
TINA: We plan to head to Colorado and clean out our trailer and move some things in our shed. Now, don't everyone get all envious and want to go along. Sounds like we'll have too much fun. Or not much at all. But we will get to see family while were there and I'm looking forward to that.
When Shadows Fall http://tinyurl.com/d93p77a
In the Manor of the Ghost http://ning.it/dB0zAj,
Touched By Mercy http://ning.it/9OJZ5r
Website http://www.tinapinson.com Twitter @Tina_Pinson
"For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD... " Jer. 29:11