Good day from Kevin Thompson! Last month, I began this blog post with a reminder to remember our brothers and sisters in the Carolinas and other locations affected by Hurricane Florence. Now, here we are, needing to remember our brothers and sisters in the panhandle of Florida and others devastated by Hurricane Michael. And we still have over a month of hurricane season left to endure! Pray for a quiet thirty-plus days.
It is apropos then to welcome our next guest to the Florida front porch, Annette O’Hare, whose book, Redeeming Light, deals with the greatest hurricane disaster in U.S. history.
So say hello to Annette!
Annette, tell us about your book.
Redeeming Light is a love story between a fearless young rancher woman, and her uncle’s reserved law apprentice. Sarah and Frederick’s story takes place against the backdrop of the Great Galveston Storm of 1900 that claimed the lives of over 6,000 people.
Why did you write this book?
I have a great love for history, and especially the history of my home state of Texas. My romance novels are based on actual historical events using fictional characters to tell the story. Redeeming Light is the story of how some one hundred twenty five people survived the Great Galveston Storm of 1900 on the stairs of the Bolivar Point Lighthouse. Many books have been written about the Great Storm that destroyed Galveston Island, but Redeeming Light tells the story as seen from the Bolivar Peninsula, a short boat ride from Galveston.
What surprised you the most during the research or writing of your book?
Research is my favorite part of the writing process. Unfortunately, I’m easily distracted when I find new information about the area I’m researching. I was surprised to learn that the French pirate and privateer, Jean Lafitte, was very active in the Gulf of Mexico during the 1800s. I also learned about a railroad that ran the length of the Bolivar Peninsula. The rails were uprooted and blown away during the storm of 1900 while a passenger car full of people was on the tracks! I included this story in the novel.
Amazing. Trains are heavy! Such power in storms like that…How has being a writer impacted your relationship with Christ?
I’ve definitely drawn closer to Christ in my time as a writer. Of course, there are the selfish pleas to hear a “yes” from potential editors, but there is also the humbling piece where you have to say…Thy will, not mine, Lord. I also believe that in our walk and talks with God, He guides us in the direction of what He wants us to write about, and I feel He gives us specific life experiences that educate us in the topics He desires for us, as writers, to share.
What is one thing about writing that you wish non-writers knew?
I think all writers hate it when their non-writer friends finish reading your book in a couple of days and then ask when the next book is coming out. I wish people understood the long process it is to research, write, edit, and publish a book. Until then, I’ll continue to say…it won’t be long, now.
What do you read for pleasure? What are you reading right now?
I read a lot of books written by my friends who also write Christian fiction, like Kathleen Y’Barbo, Linda Kozar, Martha Rogers, and Janice Thompson. I had read so many of James Scott Bell’s educational books on the craft of writing that I decided to read one of his novels. I’m currently reading Glimpses of Paradise, a novel of the 1920s.
Do you have pets and do they inspire your writing or hinder it?
Funny you should ask this question. Currently I have three dogs living with me. There’s Max, a twelve-year-old Weimaraner, Jay, a four-year-old boxer mix, and my daughter’s dog Tris, a three-year-old terrier-princess mix. I would have to say that Max has definitely influenced my writing. When my family rescued him from the animal shelter, I couldn’t help but wonder why someone would “dump” a full-blooded dog at the pound. I’ve been working on a mystery book for kids inspired by those thoughts.
What are your hobbies or activities or passions outside of writing?
When I’m not writing, I like to fish with my husband on the Texas Gulf Coast. Fishing can be a boring sport, but when you’re saltwater fishing and a fish takes the hook, it’s usually something really big and puts up a good fight! I also love going to my son’s high school football games. Not because I love the game. It’s so I can watch him march with his sousaphone in the band. I also love scrapbooking when I have extra time, which is usually never…someday!
Well, Annette, before we conclude, tell us about your next project.
I’m happy to announce my soon-to-be released Christmas novella: Child of Light ~ An 1870 Tale of Hope For The Advent of Christmas.
Congratulations, Annette! And thank you for taking some time out to help our readers get to know you a little better.
For those who wish to learn more about Annette and her writing ministry, please visit Annette’s website.
Until next time, May God bless you, and may you bless God!