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Interview with Author Rita Gerlach

Rita Gerlach
Rita Gerlach is the author of six novels in the Christian fiction market. She is an outstanding author in writing about early American historical fiction. Her stories contain elements of romance, early American history, British history, American Revolution, sea voyage, emigration, and the colonial era American and Indian wars.
Her characters are imperfect people (both men and women) who had visions that were often clouded by their own desires, yet God never abandoned them. Their wrong choices, did not alter God's will for their lives.

Titles of books: 
  • Thorns in Eden and The Everlasting Mountains.
  • The Daughters of the Potomac Series: Book One Before the Scarlet Dawn---Book Two Beside Two Rivers, and Book Three Beyond the Valley. 
  • And two stand alone novels: The Rebel's Pledge and Surrender the Wind.
1. How do the stories, characters, themes, plots, come to you? Once you sit down to type a story is it all of sudden? Or maybe ideas of these things come to you in dreams?

Rita:  Stories usually come to me slowly at first. It always happens where the heroine and hero are first in my mind along with the time period. When I'm ready to write, I begin by writing a short synopsis in a notebook, followed by lots of notes. I write scenes out by hand first, and as the story moves on it develops. 

2. Are you an author that types everything out on computer? Do you write out on paper, or use index cards during the process of writing a story?

Rita:  I used to use index cards, years ago. It was too much for me to keep organized. For each novel, I have a notebook I write in. Most scenes I write out by hand first, the bare bones so to speak. And then when I write them into my Word document, it unfolds into a richer text. There are some scenes I write into the computer, but rarely.

3. How much time do you spend and how is your research carried out?

Rita:  I write every day for several hours. As far as research goes, when I am developing a story, I read about the era in which it takes place. But I can't give you an exact amount of time I spend on it. Hours, I'm sure. Also while writing the story, I have to stop periodically and research a topic. For example in the new novel I am writing, I had to pause the other day to read about Downs Syndrome children in the early 1900s, since my hero's younger sister has Downs. The Internet is a blessing when it comes to research.

4. What character from your books reminds you most of yourself, maybe something in their personality is a bit like you?

Rita: I'm not at all like any of the girls. However if I have to chose one, I'd say Sarah Carr in Beyond the Valley is the closest to my personality. She's very human, and when faced with adversity she takes it hard, but faces it bravely.

5. Please share about your next book that will be published in May?

Writing these two novels was an adventure in itself. Years ago, it was on my heart to write a story about the Revolutionary War era in the area I live in, Frederick County, Maryland. I dove into big leather-bound books in the library archive and read some harrowing accounts of settlers in the 1700s that gave me goosebumps.

There were the great Indian Wars and the hopes of the British to bring the Nations onto their side to fight the Americans. Chief Logan, a peacemaker, joined in the hapless war after his family was massacred. Settlers fled east, and the fervor of the American's to be independent grew to a fevered pitch.

Back in Britain, families were torn in allegiance to either the King and his policies, or their American cousins, some of which were family members, sons who had gone to the fruitful land to build their fortunes.  

Both these books were first published in 2003, unabridged and unedited, and were out of print by 2005. After I had become vetted as an author, after writing and publishing through Abingdon Press four novels, my agent and former editor recommended I edit the books and bring them back to my readers. And so, I diligently worked on revisions, and have brought them back in a 2-in-1 collection first in ebook with Kindle. Later, in a few weeks, in paperback.

My husband formatted the book and did all the uploading. My son Paul designed the beautiful cover. It was so fun making this a family effort. I'm thrilled to have reissued these books on my own, combined, with a cover I approved, with a price that is sure to make readers happy, and a story that will last with them a long time. The reason for the latter is not merely due to the story between patriot John Nash and the young British girl he falls in love with, but that the story is laced with events that actually occurred, some of which you will not find in history books today, fictionalized to flow with the story.

Here is a synopsis.

John Nash, has built a new life in the Maryland frontier, and journeys back to England to see his father before the first shots of the Revolution are fired. Rebecah, a young woman who has known little more than the solitude of an isolated manor has lost her father and is now under the control of a domineering patriarch. As their romance unfolds, they become trapped in the schemes of her uncle and immersed in one of the most infamous Indian wars in Colonial history. 
As the firebrands of Revolution grow hot, they marry and work together to build their estate, Laurel Hill. Facing a strange new world, Rebecah experiences the prejudice of being English, but finds friendship and acceptance in the wilds of the Maryland frontier. Joy reins at Laurel Hill when she announces she is carrying a child. Nash, known as Jack, is captain of a band of rangers who protect the frontier families from Indian attack. His friendship with Chief Logan has not prevented the Indian War from reaching their peaceful home along the lush hills of the last outpost.  

Can he protect his wife from warring Indians and from a man who has no allegiance to any nation, tribe, or creed, wanted for robbery and murder, who has vowed vengeance? In Thorns in Eden and The Everlasting Mountains, love and faith are the sustaining forces that cannot be overtaken by the vines of adversity.  

In EBook for
Paperback to Follow.

6. What is your current writing project?

Rita: I'm writing an Edwardian romance set in Chevy Chase, Maryland outside of Washington DC, and western Maryland in the countryside. 

7. What is your favorite book, or most memorable character from any book? Not necessarily from a book you've written.

Rita:  My favorite book is 'The Authentic History of Jenny Dorset' by southern author Philip Lee Williams. It's written in the style of Mark Twain. I have it in hardcover, and will not lend it out.

Thank you, Annette, for this interview. Readers can find me on 
my website, and blog.
InSpired Writer:

Just released April 29, 2013 on Kindle. 
Link to read an excerpt from chapter one:

The Kindle price is $2.99!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!