Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Getting to know Ann Shorey

Ann Shorey's At Home in Beldon series is inspired by the lives of her ancestors! How her first novel The Edge of Light came to be is well worth reading on her website.

I am delighted Ann found the time to share here at Relz Reviewz. I hope you enjoy learning a bit more about Ann and her novels.

Thanks Ann:~

If you could have chosen your own name, what would it be?


Your first pet’s name?


Your best friend’s name in primary (elementary) school?


Did you have a special toy that went everywhere with you when you were young? Please describe.

Not that I can remember.

If you could meet a famous person, who would it be?

Michelle Obama

If you were stranded on a desert island what one object would you want with you? (Besides your Bible of course)

A laptop.

What's your favourite ice cream flavour?

Ben & Jerry’s “Phish Food”. Not sure they still make it, but it’s chocolate with marshmallow and caramel swirls, plus fish-shaped chocolate pieces. Yum.

When you were a child, what
did you want to be when you grew up?

A writer.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Back to Australia with enough time and money to travel all over.

Besides God, who has influenced you the most?

My mother
What's your favourite book?

I can’t name just one. I like all of Barbara Kingsolver’s books—she’s probably the one author I’d buy regardless of the subject. But I have many other authors I enjoy reading. Maeve Binchy is one, so is Jon Krakauer.

What part of your daily routine do you enjoy most?

My morning three-mile walk with my dog, rain or shine.

What's your favourite movie?

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Where's the most interesting place you have been?

Fitzroy Island in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

What's your most fervent prayer?

That God would guide my writing each day so that all I say will honor Him.

What's the bravest thing you've ever done?

My husband and I camped out in the open in Alaska, not stopping to think about bears or other dangers. Don’t know if it was brave or dumb.

What gift have you received that you will always treasure?

My salvation.

What is your favourite Bible verse (or "one" of your favourites) and what does it mean to you?

Isaiah 41:13 NIV “For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear, I will help you.”

More than once I’ve literally held out my right hand for the Lord to hold when I’ve been frightened.

What was your most embarrassing moment in High School?

Gossiping about someone, then turning around to see her standing there. Blush. A lesson learned.

How did your husband propose to you?

Not very romantically. He said something like, “I think we should get married.”

What was the best advice you received on marriage before you were married?

Don’t expect to start out where your parents are. Start out where they were when they were young and beginning life together.

The Edge of Light

What attracts you about historical romance?

I'm fascinated by the way people lived in the 1800's. I love to dig out details of their everyday lives.

Molly experiences tragedy and trauma over and over, as pioneers of that era did. How do you think they managed to survive and eventually thrive in such harsh environments?

I think they survived and even thrived because they just did what had to be done and didn't spend so much time whining about how "life isn't fair
." Today, we are led by media expectations of what we should have and how our lives should look. People in the 1830's had none of those expectations dangled before them.

What inspired you to include Betsy and Reuben's story?

The Edge of Light was inspired by the life of one of my great-great aunts. She and her husband and children really did come from Kentucky to Missouri in the 1830's, and her husband founded a brickyard at the edge of what was then the frontier. According to family memoirs, "Molly and Samuel" traveled to Missouri with
another brother and his family and the family's four slaves. Once the real "Samuel" died and "Molly" and her children went to her brother's in Illinois, there is no more mention in family documents of what happened to the slaves. So I fictionalized what might have been.

Molly is gifted with weaving and quilt making. Are you so inclined?

No. I had to learn how to operate a loom to write the story. It was a fascinating experience. The expert who taught me had a huge loom in her home-- it took up about a quarter of the room in which she used it. She also gave me a handful of tow fiber from flax, so I could see what it looked and felt like.I made a patchwork quilt once, from scraps of dresses I'd made for my little daughter, but haven't the time or patience (or gift!) to craft the beautiful quilts I see so many women produce.

Rel: This lovely picture is of my friend Tracy's quilt. Check out her blog Beyond My Picket Fence to see more!

The Promise of Morning is your second At Home in Beldon Grove novel. A sneak peek, please?

The Promise of Morning takes place in Beldon Grove in 1846, and features Ellie and Matthew Craig, Molly's brother and sister-in-law. The publisher's tagline for the book is, "When loss drives them apart, can their faith bring them back together?" Of course, since the story takes place in Beldon Grove, readers will still be able to follow Molly's story as a secondary plotline. I'm very excited about The Promise of Morning. The characters of Ellie and Matthew are inspired by my real-life great-great grandparents on my mother's side. Some of the events in the book really happened, but like The Edge of Light, most are fictitious.

What is in your writing pipeline?

Currently I’m in the editing process for The Promise of Morning. At the same time I’m writing the first draft of Book 3, working title To Number the Stars.

The Promise of Morning is scheduled to be released in January, 2010.

Thank you Ann for sharing insight into your life :) It has been lovely having you here.

Relz Reviewz Extras

Review of The Edge of Light coming soon

Character spotlight on Molly

Visit Ann's website and blog

Buy Ann's book at Amazon or Koorong


Ann Shorey said...

Hi Rel,

I must have been in Gary Cooper mode when I answered your first questions--talk about terse! :-)
Loved working with you--your blog is gorgeous.


Tracy said...

Ann, the word that came to my mind was succinct.

Great interview ladies. I want to read the book...pioneers and quilting are right up my alley.

Rel said...

Thanks so much, Ann :)

I know you will love this one, Tracy - you can check it out tomorrow!

Christina Tarabochia said...

What a good interview! You asked different questions, so even though I know Ane, I learned more about her. :-)

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