Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Author Interview & Giveaway: Carrie Turansky

By Ellie Whyte


Carrie Turansky is the award-winning author of several inspirational romance novels and novellas, including the Edwardian Brides series. 

She has been a winner of the ACFW Carol Award, the International Digital Award, and the Crystal Globe Award. Carrie has been writing 1999, and has published several articles, short stories, devotions, and essays. Writing fiction, however, is her passion, and she’s thankful for the creative ideas and characters God has put into her mind and heart.

When she’s not writing Carrie enjoys spending time with her family, working outside in her flower gardens, cooking healthy meals for family and friends, or walking around the lake near her home.

The following is a recent interview with Carrie.





PLUS! ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

Post a comment about this interview at the end of the blog post and enter the Rafflecopter draw for a print copy of DAUGHTER OF HIGHLAND HALL. ONE copy to be won - paperback copy if the winner is in the US or Australia - NetGalley copy elsewhere.  A valid comment on the blog is an entry requirement into the draw. Contest open to entrants WORLDWIDE, and ends on Saturday, 22 November.




Tell us a little about yourself.

I’ve loved reading since I first visited the library as a young child and checked out a stack of picture books. My love for writing began when I handwrote my first novel at age twelve. But I put writing aside for many years to focus on art and raising my family. I homeschooled my five children, and I found that gave me a great education and was good preparation for writing novels. My husband, Scott, and I have been married for over 35 years. He is a pastor, counselor, and the author of many parenting books. We love our church, Calvary Chapel Living Hope, and we often travel together for ministry and to visit our five adult children and 3 three grandchildren. When I’m not writing I enjoy working in my flower gardens, walking around the lake near our house, and cooking healthy meals for family and friends. 


How did you become a novelist, and did you always want to write?

I’ve been writing fiction since 1997. Our family spent a year in Kenya before that as missionaries. After we returned to the US I missed Africa so much that I decided to write a story set there as a way to relive some of our experiences. I poured out the story without knowing much about the art of writing fiction. I loved it! But when I showed it to an editor at my first writers’ conference, I found out I had a lot to learn about writing novels. I almost gave up writing at that point, but the Lord used a kind neighbor to encourage me with a gift of several writing craft books. I sensed the Lord telling me to press on and learn what I needed to learn to become a skilled writer. I joined ACFW shortly after that, and through that organization I found a critique group, a mentor, an agent, and eventually, a publisher.


What do you think is significant about Christian fiction?

I enjoy reading and writing Christian fiction because it includes the spiritual as well as the emotional journey of the characters. I believe it has the power to inspire readers and help them draw closer to God as they identify with the characters in the story. When characters face challenges and struggles and then look to God and spiritual resources for help, readers are often inspired to do the same. When characters make poor choices and we see the consequences clearly portrayed, that can serve as a warning as well.



How do you hope your readers react to the stories you write? 

I want to give readers a break from the pressures and struggles of everyday life and provide them with wholesome and uplifting stories that will touch their hearts and inspire them to draw closer to God and understand His love and truth.



What responses to your novels have affected you the most and why?

I love hearing from readers who have been touched by one of my stories and prompted to respond to an issue they are facing. One woman wrote and told me she was so moved by my heroine’s decision to reach out and forgive her father, that she was willing to do the same. Others have written and shared that they have been motivated to pray and reconnect with God after reading one of my books. Those are wonderful emails and letters that I treasure. They make me want to keep writing.


How has being a novelist impacted your relationship with Christ?

I’ve learned to trust and depend on God in new and deeper ways as we write the stories together. Thinking through the conflicts and issues my characters will face, makes me consider God’s truth about different issues and how to apply those truths to life as well as to my stories. Creativity is a gift, and tapping into it is a great way to connect with Him and deepen my relationship.



Other than writing great novels, what other goals do you have for your life?

I want to continue to grow spiritually and be used by God to love, encourage, and care for others in my church, my community, and through our various ministries. Family relationships are important to me, so I also hope to always be a loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and daughter. 


As a writer, what influences have inspired you the most to write, and continue writing? 

I've always loved to read, and reading great stories has been a wonderful influence and inspiration. Also the friendships I have with other writers who are faithfully following God's call in their lives has been a strong influence on me. Their example and encouragement have helped me persevere and move ahead on my writing journey.



Every writer struggles with various aspects of their writing journey. What has been the most difficult aspect of writing for you, and what come the most naturally?

I think one of the most challenging aspects of writing is pressing on through doubts and dry times. It's very hard to be objective about your own writing. It can be difficult to keep working, stay on schedule, and be creative so you can turn in your book on time. When the pressure is on it's easy for me to start doubting your writing. It takes trust, staying connected to the Lord, and the encouragement of friends and readers to help me push through those doubts.



What is one piece of advice you would like to give to aspiring writers - either something you adhere to, or something you wish you had known when you started writing?

There is great value in attending writers' conferences! You can be inspired, learn new skills, and meet other people who love reading and writing.  I try to attend at least one conference each year. I believe networking and focusing on building skills has been very helpful to me.



As a reader, which stories excite you the most to read, and do you have any favourite novelists?

I enjoy reading, but I've recently discovered audio books. Now I listen to novels while I drive and while I cook and clean up in the kitchen. Listening to a story it's a completely different experience. I enjoy historical and contemporary novels, especially those that have a spiritual theme woven into them. One of my favorite novelists is Cathy Gohlke, the author of Promise Me This, Band of Sisters, and Saving Amelie. I've also enjoyed Julianne Donaldson, the author of Edenbrooke and Blackmoore, two very enjoyable Regencies. 



What are some of your most favourite places on the internet to visit, that help challenge you as a writer, and encourage you as a reader?

I love Pinterest! It's been a great help to me in my research for my current series. I've found some great historical images, and those have led me to articles and information that have been very helpful! I've also enjoyed the blog Edwardian Promenade, written by Evangeline Holland. I often read blogs written by literary agents Steve Laube, Karen Ball, Chip MacGregor, Wendy Lawton and Rachelle Gardner for information on publishing industry and writing. Seekerville is fun and informative, and I also like Novel Journey. 



What can you tell us about your most recent and upcoming novels?

I'm currently writing The Edwardian Brides Series for WaterBrook Multnomah. Book One, The Governess of Highland Hall, is set in 1911 in England. I sometimes say it's like Downton Abbey meets Jane Eyre with some spiritual themes woven in. Book 2, The Daughter of Highland Hall, released Oct. 7th. It continues the story of the Ramsey family as they travel to London for Kate Ramsey's first season as a debutante in 1912. I'm working on Book 3, A Refuge at Highland Hall. That one is set during WW1 in England and France. The hero is a pilot for the Royal Naval Air Service . . . and aviation is about 10 years old. Very interesting and exciting research! 



Do you have any parting words?
Thanks for inviting me to stop by the Australasian Christian Writers Blog! I think it's wonderful the way writers and readers around the world can connect on the Internet! I love thinking I am "meeting" friends in Australia and we share a love for writing and reading.





ENTER THE GIVEAWAY
Post a comment about this interview and enter the Rafflecopter draw for a print copy of DAUGHTER OF HIGHLAND HALL. ONE copy to be won - paperback copy if the winner is in the US or Australia - NetGalley copy elsewhere. A valid comment on the blog is an entry requirement into the draw. Contest open to entrants WORLDWIDE, and ends on Saturday, 22 November.





Visit Carrie's Author Portfolio Page at Soul Inspirationz // Christian Fiction Site to find links to her website and other online hangouts, as well as her list of books and a Featured Author Interview.



ELLIE WHYTE is a long-time supporter of Christian fiction and is the founder and owner/operator of Soul Inspirationz // The Christian Fiction Site which relaunched after a 5-year hiatus in January 2013. Ellie also has aspirations for her own writing career, and has begun working on a project set in New Zealand in the 1850s. 
Pinterest: SoulInspiredNZ http://www.pinterest.com/soulinspirednz/



27 comments:

  1. What a full and interesting life you have, Carrie! No wonder you have so many ideas for your novels. Thank you for an enlightening interview Ellie - it was great to get to know Carrie :)

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    1. Thank you, Andrea! I have been blessed with many wonderful expreiences that have helped inspire my stories.

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  2. Awesome interview! I also started listening to audio books this year. I enjoy listening to them while i drive. Thanks for writing, Carrie!

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    1. Aren't audio books great?! I just listened to Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good by Jan Mitford. Lovely! Now I'm listening to Christy by Catherine Marshall. I highly recommend both of them to you.

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  3. Thanks for your insights for new authors. I enjoyed your Love Inspired novels as well, but historical romances are my favorite. Thank you.

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    1. Hi Christina, I love writing and reading historical fiction too. : )

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  4. Wow, that's a interesting interview Carrie, Even though I haven't read any of your books yet I just know I would probably love them!!! So was if after you came back from Africa that you decided to write most of your books or no?? That's cool that your a writer the pastor's wife, I believe God gave you an amazing gift to be writer because he knew you would make a good writer, so I encourage you to keep on your writing!!!
    Thanks for the amazing interview and giveaway, I would love the chance to read your book!!!
    sarahrichmond(dot)12(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Hi Sarah, Yes, after our family came back from Africa I started writing novels. : ) Thanks for your kind comments!

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  5. That was so interesting to read. Thanks for posting this giveaway. I have loved every one of your books that I have read so far Carrie :)

    I can't wait to read The Daughter of Highland Hall since I fell in love with The Governess of Highland Hall when I read it :)

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    1. Hi Starlight - I'm happy to hear you've enjoyed my books. I hope you do have an opportunity to read The Daughter of Highland Hall.

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  6. I would love a chance to "fail at a London debut"...ha! I am so thankful that Christian writers allow God to work in their lives, and share their gifts with all of us readers around the world. Great work, Carrie~keep on going!

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    1. Hi SmithMom, I loved researching court presentation, debutantes, and the London Season. I shared more about that on my blog. Here's a link if you'd like to learn a bit more about it: http://carrieturansky.com/index.php/debutants-court-presentation/

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  7. Thanks for this interview and the giveaway! I have just recently found Carrie as an author and I can't wait to read anything that she wrote. And since I'm from the Netherlands: yay for an internationally open contest! :)

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    1. I'm glad we have a contest open to international friends too! Hello to you and my new friends in the Netherlands!

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  8. Thanks for the interview and giveaway! I love hearing what inspires authors. Carrie, when is book 3 set to be released?

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    1. Hi Kate, thanks for stopping by! Book Three, A Refuge at Highland Hall, releases October 2015. I'm writing it now and I love the story! It takes place during WW1 in England and France. Penny Ramsey steps forward as the heroine, and the hero is a very brave and daring British pilot, Alex Goodwin. : )

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  9. Thank you for the interview and giveaway! I am inspired that you spent a year in Africa as a missionary and that it touched you so much that you wanted to stay. I have enjoyed learning more about you. Right now, I am reading Saving Amelie by one of your favorite novelists. It is good so far. Blessings to you!

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    1. Hi Rebecca, Oh I loved Saving Amelie! Cathy Gohlke and I are dear friends, and we just spent the weekend together in Nashville at a writers' retreat. Have you read Promise Me This? That's one of Cathy's books that was published in 2012. Amazing story!

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  10. Very interesting--and I'm very excited to learn there will be a third book in this series! Thanks for that sneak peek!

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    1. Danandlyndaedwards (at) msn (dot) com.

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  11. Great interview. I'm new to this author and appreciate the introduction. The series sound like a fun read.

    SewCalGal
    www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi SewCalGal, thank you for stopping by. It's always great to connect with new reading friends!

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  12. Carrie & Ellie, great interview! Carrie, thanks for visiting ACW :)

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    1. Hi Narelle, thanks for stopping by! : )

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  13. Thank you for the chance to win and for the interview. I look forward to reading your books, as you are a new author to me. God bless you.

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  14. Carrie, I like what you said about the significance of Christian fiction. I totally agree. Blessings...

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  15. I really enjoyed reading your interview. I am so glad I found out about this giveaway, I would love to read your new book!

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