Ada Brownell's interview with Diane Kalas, author of FAITHFUL HEART.
Journey Home Series
- What research did you do for this book? Did you visit Civil War sites?
Answer: I had already researched and visited Andersonville Prison for book 1, so didn’t need to do more. However, for a Texas cattle ranch after the Civil War, I had to research extensively what training a raw cowhand needed to keep himself alive. I learned so much about life on a Texas cattle ranch and enjoyed working the details into the storyline.
- Have you always been interested in history?
Answer: American history, yes. My favorite is the last half of the 19th century.
- Is Brice troubled with gruesome
memories from the war?
Answer: Yes, his sleep is disturbed with horrific memories of Andersonville.
- Why is he angry with God?
Answer: First: he was in the Union Army when the Confederates invaded his homeland of Pennsylvania and he couldn’t defend his family or farm. Second: his wife feared living under enemy occupation so she and their daughter fled to their only living relatives in far off Texas. Third: his wife died while he was serving the Union but he didn’t know until the war ended two years later. Fourth: he postpones his plans to travel to Oregon and start over, when he learns of his wife’s death. He can’t travel with a young child and no wife, so he’s angry and confused about why God is allowing his life to go up side down.
- Was Lainie, who is taking care of his child, a friend of Brice’s deceased wife? Did he know her previously?
Answer: Lainie met Brice’s wife and became new friends shortly before the wife died. Brice didn’t know Lainie.
- How did his wife die?
Answer: Lainie tells the little girl that her mother got sick and the doctor couldn’t do anything to help. I didn’t go into details because the child is just 5 years old. Instead, Lainie emphasized how the child’s mother loved her and wanted Lainie to promise to raise her to be a Christian.
- Why is Lainie single at her age? Did
her man die in the war?
Answer: Lainie’s 30 yrs old. The men in her small world wanted a housewife who could pull her weight on an isolated ranch. They didn’t love her, nor she them. Most eligible men she knew died during the war.
- Has Brice had any experience with children? How old is the child now?
Answer: Great question, Ada. Brice has no clue how to raise a little girl and that’s the cause of arguments between him and Lainie. Child is almost 5 years old.
- Is Lainie cowgirl to the bone, or more the domestic type?
Answer: Lainie is one hundred percent domestic, although she knows how to use a rifle to protect herself and her home. She longs to become a mother and wants a large family.
- Is Brice noticing other young women in the community?
Answer: Not really, although Lainie thinks he may be interested in a beautiful widow. For the first 6 months of story, he’s grieving for the loss of his wife and still planning to leave for Oregon in the spring to start over.
Answer: Now, this made me smile as I wrote the scenes. Lainie’s an excellent cook, and every single day Brice sits down at her table to enjoy the most flavorful food he’s ever eaten. He becomes less annoyed at Lainie’s permissive ways, regarding his daughter, as time goes by. Six months after arriving at the ranch, he “goes up the trail” with the herd and misses not only his daughter but also Lainie for her kindness and loving nature. He yearns for a ranch of his own and knows he’s been falling in love with Lainie a little at a time.
- What’s the biggest crises for Lainie? Brice?
Answer: For Brice it’s the past and all that he’s lost: his wife, his farm, and early years with his daughter. For Lainie, she lacks confidence with Brice because she’s a plain range woman and struggles to hide her growing affection for him that turns into love.
- Is this a sequel to Patriot Heart, with some of the same characters?
Answer: My 3-book series is about three Civil War POWs who met in the infamous Andersonville Prison for Union soldiers and survived because of their friendship and Christian faith. Each book is about one of the men and their journey home after the Civil War ended. I wrote a reunion scene in Faithful Heart, book 2, to introduce hero of book 3. As a reader, I enjoy those kinds of characters with history that pop up in other stories.
- Will there be another heart book?
Answer: Yes, book 3 “HOPEFUL HEART” has the third POW and his story. Should be published in the spring of 2016.
- Anything else you’d like to share?
Answer: Yes, my research on Andersonville Prison was tough to deal with and brought me low in spirits for quite awhile. Hopefully, readers will be encouraged as my stories unfold and see that even the worst of times and experiences can turn around. There’s hope for the future when you place your trust in God, the Father, and Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Back Cover Blurb for Faithful Heart
September 1865. Brice Bruton lost his farm to the Confederate invasion of Pennsylvania, while he served the Union Army. He’s angry with God and guilt-ridden, knowing his family had to flee their home before the Gettysburg Battle. Brice travels to Texas, to reunite with his wife and daughter before heading to Oregon, his lifeline of hope while a POW in Andersonville Prison.
Lainie Colbert, spinster, lives with her father and brother on a cattle ranch outside of Waco, Texas. Lainie’s been a foster aunt to Emily Bruton for two years and loves the child with her whole heart. When Brice Bruton arrives to take his daughter away, Lainie’s desperate to keep the little girl. She prays God will intervene and allow Emily to remain at the ranch.
Grief stricken to learn his wife died, while he served the Union Army, Brice knows he can’t travel with a child on his own, so he accepts a job as cowhand at the Colbert spread. Amid ranch life, Lainie and Brice clash over how to raise Emily. Lainie fears that Brice will leave and take Emily to Oregon. What’s worse, Lainie’s falling in love with Brice and knows he’ll never be attracted to her, a plain range woman.
Lainie’s love and devotion to Emily turns Brice’s opposition to admiration and romantic love. Brice goes up the trail with the Colberts’ herd, and decides he wants his own ranch and Lainie for his wife. Would Lainie accept him after all the arguments over Emily? He’s afraid to ask.
Available on: www.amazon.com - E-book and paperback editions
www.facebook.com/dianekalas - author's page
http://dianekalas.blogspot.com - Transporting you back in time
https://pinterest.com/dianedreams - 19th Century history, architecture, and fashion
MEET DIANE KALAS
Diane collects antique books written by men and women who lived through the American Civil War, and/or who pioneered out West. With a degree in interior design, she enjoys touring historical sites, especially Federal era homes with period furniture. Diane is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Her biggest challenge is writing Inspirational Historical Romance. Her biggest distraction is her fascination with historical research.