Glowing Author #22:
Back in graduate school, the historic role of midwives fascinated Laurie Alice Eakes. She knew she wanted to write novels with midwife heroines even before she was serious about writing fiction. Now—ten years, several published novels, four relocations, and a National Readers Choice Award later—the midwives idea has returned. Intrigued? Me too! So…
Lots of authors tell me they always wanted to write. But I must say, Laurie, it’s not often someone is so clear about the genre and subject matter from the beginning. Tell us about this soon-to-be-released book, Lady in the Mist.
In the misty dawn, Tabitha, a young midwife, trudges home after a disastrous and disturbing lying-in, and encounters an English stranger on a Virginia beach in 1809. This seemingly chance encounter throws her into a world of intrigue and danger, love and self-forgiveness. Lady in the Mist (Revell Books, February 2011) is the first book in The Midwives series, a historical romantic suspense centered around the events leading up to the War of 1812.
Other than the midwife tie-in, what made you decide on the specific focus?
Actually, Lady in the Mist focuses on forgiveness, primarily self-forgiveness. This is something I’ve seen many people deal with and feel it’s one of the powers that keeps us from a relationship with God. We understand forgiving others and God forgiving us, but we forget how much we hurt ourselves and need to pass forgiveness on. So when this story came to me and I began to develop the characters, I knew self-forgiveness would be the theme.
And a great one, too! What do you especially want your readers to take away from the book?
Besides a few hours of feeling as though they have been delightfully entertained, I would love for my readers to have a greater understanding of how God’s forgiveness spreads to ourselves, too, and from that to draw peace and a stronger belief in themselves.
Worthy goals! Do you find that you put a little of yourself into your main characters?
Absolutely. My hero is a bit of a smart alec, hiding his pain behind a glib tongue. That’s been something I’ve found all too easy to do myself, ever since I was a mouthy teen.
You sound like a busy lady. Do you find it a challenge to balance your writer’s life and the rest of life?
Since I am blessed to write full-time, it’s not as difficult as I know others with outside jobs and children find it. Still, I know people think I should always have a spotless house, the ironing done, fabulous meals on the table every night because I am home all day and don’t have children—yet. So I walk through the bedroom, see the stuffed clothes hamper, and have to force myself back to my office and computer instead of into the laundry room. I have a schedule. Laundry gets done on my lunch hour or after work hours. I take a break and pull the chicken out of the freezer at 3:00, but don’t start peeling potatoes. That waits until I quit around 5:30. Believe me, I fail at this often, but it’s a mind-set I’m working on—reminding myself I still have a job.
Have any of the places you’ve lived popped up as settings in your books?
The setting for Lady in the Mist is what is now Virginia Beach. Back then, a handful of settlements and farms were all we had there, but I could see the historic potential of that gorgeous coast. In the third Midwife book, the setting will be the mountains of Virginia, where I lived for several years. I’ve long wanted to set a book in that glorious setting. In my recent New Jersey series, I was inspired because I did live there right out of college and have visited for various reasons over the years. NJ is a much prettier state than it gets credit for. And my first Heartsong, Better than Gold, is set in Iowa. I lived there for a while, too, which gave me the idea of that setting. I do have one Regency out and three more coming out, and I’ve never been to England—yet.
You will, and you’ll love it! So, how does it feel to be a published author? Any different than you had imagined?
I laugh here. Oh, yes, it does feel different. I used to feel guilty about writing. Now I feel guilty about not writing! More importantly, I feel a responsibility to my readers, to keep in touch with them, to write a great book for them, to give them more than fluffy entertainment.
Being able to do interviews as a published author makes me bubble over with joy. It’s something I’ve wanted since I was a little girl, yet somehow never thought I would obtain. That the Lord has seen fit to give me contracts with great people to work with like my three publishers—Revell, Avalon, and Barbour—fills my heart with thanksgiving.
Please stop by my Web Site to read excerpts of my books.
“I feel a responsibility to emerging writers, to support them and mentor them and encourage them, as others did for me. And I’m a bit overwhelmed by all the stuff that is not writing that is still my job.”
Laurie Alice Eakes