Friday, April 4, 2014

Please welcome Tamera Lynn Kraft to our Meet The Author Day.

Sharon: Hi, Tamera. Thanks so much for joining us. May I get you a cup of coffee? Tea? A soft drink? Or just plain water?

Tamera: I’m a tea drinker. Do you have any English Breakfast?

Sharon: I sure do, Tamera. Coming right up.
Can you tell us a little about your family?

Tamera: I’ve been married 35 years and have two married children and two grandchildren. My son is married with two sons and is college and career and facilities pastor at his church in Tennessee. My daughter is married and is children’s pastor at her church.

Sharon: Thank you for sharing, Tamera.
What makes your writing different than other writers? What is your brand? What can a reader expect every time she picks up one of your books?

Tamera: Most of the time when readers see Christian historicals, the think of romances, in particular prairie romances. My historicals are different. Even though they often have a strong element of romance, they emphasize the adventure historical events offer. Most of my stories are centered around an historical event, not just a time period, and how it affects the lives of those who lived during that time. That’s why my tagline is “Faith-filled Historicals for the Adventurous Heart.”

Sharon: That is great. We can learn a bit of history when we read your books.
So how do you choose the settings for your books?

Tamera: The settings for my books are the stories. I choose them by researching historical events. Once a historical event intrigues me, I imagine the stories of ordinary people living through those events, and the birth of my stories begins.

Sharon: What gave you the inspiration for SOLDIER’S HEART? How was this story placed on your heart?

Tamera: I was studying about the Ohio Seventh Regiment in the Civil War for another novel. It was considered by most to be the most heroic regiment in the Union Army. But their worst defeat and greatest losses occurred during their last battle. I got to thinking what it would be like for those soldiers who survived coming home after a defeat like that. I looked up PTSD and found out it was called soldier’s heart during the Civil War. When I heard that, I knew that would be the title.

Sharon: What impact do you hope this book has upon the reader? What is the theme of SOLDIER’S HEART?

Tamera: Noah Andrew, the main character, goes through an experience during the war that leaves him traumatized. He relies on his faith and counsel from godly men to help him through it. I hope the reader draws parallels to hard situations she may be going through and uses the same principals to help her through them. The theme of this story is to take our thoughts captive when we are going through difficult times and to trust God to get us through them.

Sharon: What’s the most surprising thing that’s happened in your writing career?

Tamera: I never submitted anything to my agent, Linda Glaz from Hartline. She contacted me out of the blue. I guess what happened is I submitted to another agent from Hartline. She left the agency and passed it to another agent, who passed it to another one, who passed it to Linda. A year later, I heard from Linda that she found my proposal on her desk and wanted a full read. She said it would take a couple of months before she got back to me, but two days later, she contacted me saying she loved the novel and wanted to offer me representation. I know this was a God thing.

Sharon: Linda Glaze is a wonderful person. I expect she is a friend as well as an agent.
Who are your favorite authors or books both Christian and/or secular?

Tamera: That one is hard because my tastes are eclectic. I love suspense writers Dean Koontz and Steven James. I also love historicals by Julie Lessman, Francine Rivers, and Ann Shorey. HUNGER GAMES and THE REDEMPTION OF CARALYNN HAYMAN were two of my favorite reads last year. I also like young adult novels by Andrew Klaven. And I just read Amish author Mary Ellis’ first historical novel, QUAKER AND THE REBEL. I really liked that one.

Sharon: Have you received a particularly memorable reader response?

Tamera: The responses I’ve received about SOLDIER’S HEART have all been very kind and memorable. One review in particular really touched me.

In July 1864 Noah Andrews is on his way home to Ohio after a three-year stint in the army of the North. A young man who'd married his sweetheart before leaving for war, he'd chosen not to reenlist. The last dreadful battle in the mountains of Georgia had been a nightmare he'd vowed to put behind him.

Trying to live down the hero's welcome, Noah and Molly go to their farm, which she'd kept up during his absence. It was her home, too, a comfortable place where Noah had grown up. But something terrifying came home with Noah after the war. They called it soldier's heart, and Noah's shame at being unable to be the hero everyone considered him might be their undoing.

Phrases like, "they all tried to leave the train in one clump, as if...determined never to march in file again..." puts a face on often nameless facts and figures from this horrifying time in our history. In keeping his journal, Noah bled words onto the page...great writing!

Kraft's careful attention to detail of events during the period, real-time additions of fact, add depth to this beautiful fictional account of a young soldier who makes it home, back to his bride and a new life, but has the fiercest battle yet to face.    -- Lisa Lickel

Sharon: What is your favorite and least favorite part of being a writer?

Tamera: My favorite part is creating story worlds to play in. My least favorite part is the waiting. Waiting on an answer from a publisher or agent is like watching grass grow. But patience is a necessary part of being a writer.

Sharon: Are you planning another book? If so, what’s the story about?

Tamera: Actually a number of them. I have a Civil War Series about ladies who graduated Oberlin College shortly before the war half finished. Each lady represents a different cause of that era. The first novel, RED SKY OVER AMERICA, is finished and is being marketed by my agent. The second, LOST IN THE STORM, only has the first draft finished. I’m editing that one, and planning the third in the series. I’ve also just finished co-writing a post World War II era novel with Lisa LIckel call ALICE’S NOTIONS. I’m also now writing a 1920 tornado story called RESURRECTION OF HOPE, and am researching an early 1800s story called A YEAR WITHOUT A SUMMER. That should be enough to keep me busy over the next couple of years.

Sharon: Yes, indeedy. That should keep you busy.
How can readers find you on the Internet?

I have a website: And a blog called Word Sharpeners: 
I’m also on FaceBook
And on Twitter: @tamerakraft
And I have an Amazon Author Page
Sharon: Thank you so much for joining us today. Do you have any parting words?

Tamera: I want to thank you, Sharon, for having me on your blog today. I enjoyed it.

Sharon: Thank you, Tamera. I am sure the readers enjoyed this interview with you as much as I have.

Q4U Readers: Stories about the wars in our history fascinate and are very popular. What book was your favorite read in 2013?

1 comment:

  1. Nice interview, Tamara! Sharon, I love this site.


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