The Seeker. To learn more about Ann and her book, read on!
1) How did this story come to you?
In my research into Shaker history, I found many stories about how the Shakers in the village near where I live were affected by the Civil War. The Shakers were noted for their generosity and hospitality to all who came to their village and that included the Civil War soldiers, both Union and Confederate, marching through their village. The Shakers put out trestle tables by the road and kept them filled with food so the soldiers could grab something off it as they passed by. Once that image stuck in my head, I knew I had my time period and so I came up with characters who would fit into a Civil War story. I went with a Southern Belle for the heroine and then instead of a soldier, I made my hero an illustrator for the newspapers. After that of course I had to find a way to get them to the Shaker Village. It’s not exactly easy to write a Shaker romance since the Shakers were very staunch in their belief in celibacy.
2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
The Seeker’s journey to publication was ordinary since I had a contract from Revell for The Believer and this story following the success of my first Shaker book, The Outsider. That book is the one with the interesting journey to publication since it sat on my closet shelf for many years before the right time as well as the right editor and publishing company came along. An interest in the Shakers by the editor, Lonnie Hull DuPont and an offhand remark from me started that journey that eventually - a couple of books later - led to The Seeker.
3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
One, I grew up on a farm helping my parents in the fields and with the animals. I loved feeding the baby lambs and taking care of baby chicks. And I still live on a farm.
Two, I have nine beautiful – and extra smart, their grammy adds ;o) – grandchildren.
Three, I sometimes lead the song service at my very small country church even though I’m not much of a singer. We average 40 in attendance.
4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I’ve just finished my fourth Shaker novel titled The Blessing that will be released in the summer of 2011, and I’m getting ready to do final edits on a 1930’s novel titled Angel Sister. Next up is my fifth Shaker novel, perhaps to be titled The Shaker.
5) Parting comments?
I love to write and I love to make reading friends, so I appreciate the opportunity to talk to your readers and friends. My writing goal is to create characters who will crawl up into the readers’ hearts and find a home. Happy reading, everybody!
6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
Come on over to my website for a visit and to sign up for my occasional newsletter at http://www.annhgabhart.com/. Or you can read about my writing journey and things down here on the farm on “One Writer’s Journal” at http://www.annhgabhart.blogspot.com/. Last I like to keep in touch with readers on my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ann-H-Gabhart/132862247566