Thursday, April 11, 2024

Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Susan Pope Sloan

Loving Lydia by Susan Pope Sloan

What was your inspiration for the story?

My book is based on an event that occurred in my home state during the Civil War. The event drew criticism from both the North and the South when it happened but soon faded into near obscurity. When a co-worker told me about it, I decided I wanted to develop a story around it. Unfortunately, it took me a couple of decades to get it done.

What sort of research did you do for your story, and was there an exceptionally interesting tidbit you knew you had to include?

I was fortunate to find a book (at my local library) that gave great detail about the event. The author had done such excellent work that it became my primary resource. She gave several specific details that ended up in either this book or another in my series. Most of my research is done online or in the library, but I love to visit historical sites.

Tell us about your road to publication.

I come from a family of storytellers, so I started writing early. My high school offered a creative
Pixabay/Peter Olexa
writing class, which was my elective for two years. At 18, I had a few short pieces published by my denomination’s publishing house. That started my journey, which continued sporadically for several decades, during which I wrote articles for local newspapers and small-press magazines. Finding Christian writers' groups and conferences gave me the boost I needed to seriously pursue writing and publication. My debut novel came out just after my 72nd birthday.

Did you set out to write a series? Why did you decide to write a series?

My book is part of a series because I had too many characters in my original story. An editor suggested I break it into different books, featuring different main characters in each, so the original turned into three books.

If you were to write a spin-off book about one of your secondary characters, which one would you choose and why?

I’m writing a couple of spin-off books now because I became enamored with one family in the series. Two more will be added to the series, and I also have a prequel that I’m thinking of adding. Sometimes the most unlikely secondary character demands his or her own story.

How do you come up with story lines?

Since I write about true events, part of my story line is already there. It’s fun to imagine how people responded to situations that greatly impacted their lives.

What draws you to the time period about which you write?

I suppose I’m drawn to the Civil War because of Gone with the Wind, which I read in high school. However, my first novel (still unpublished) was based on an Old Testament character. At that time, no publisher was interested in biblical fiction, so I set it aside. History in general fascinates me, so I would enjoy almost any time period.

Why do you write in your particular genre?

Public Domain
I grew up reading Grace Livingston Hill books, as well as Harlequin’s Love Inspired stories, so writing Christian romance was natural for me. Writing Christian historical romance allows me to indulge my love of history and happy endings.

What is your process for writing? (do you outline, have a special place or time of day you write, etc.) What is your favorite part of the process?

I’m a pantser who’s trying to learn to plot an outline. My books are character-driven, so often my editor has to remind me to think about where the story is going. Although I’m a morning person, I write mostly in the evening after I’ve taken care of my daily obligations. My favorite part is writing dialogue. I usually get my dialogue going first, then go back and add action, setting, and imagery.

How does/did your job prepare you for being a novelist?

After twenty years as a lab technician and a half-dozen as a secretary, I finally landed a corporate writing job, which lasted twenty years. As a novelist, I had to discard a few hard-and-fast rules used in technical and corporate writing, but my jobs did teach me how to do research, how to express vague concepts, and how to be concise.

About Loving Lydia

Two Southerners thrown together by the Union army. He’s on a quest for vengeance. She’s determined to preserve her family.

Lydia Gibson’s life is overturned when the Union Army invades her hometown and burns down the cotton mill where she and her stepdaughter worked. Even worse, she and the other workers are arrested and sent to Marietta, where they wait for the army to send them north.

Confederate Sergeant Seth Morgan finally reaches Marietta to check on his family, but the last thing he expects is to meet a woman who sparks attraction he thought he’d never feel again. Unfortunately, she’s a Yankee prisoner and being sent north to Louisville, Kentucky.

Seth is forced to return to his unit in Virginia, and he never anticipated their next meeting would be when he’s taken to Louisville as a prisoner. While Seth searches the Confederate ranks for the man who murdered his wife, Lydia implores him to ask after her missing nephew. Neither one expects just how far the search will take them, or what they’ll discover along the way.

About Susan Pope Sloan

With a family heritage of singers, songwriters, and storytellers, Susan’s destiny as a writer was settled early on. Her articles have been published sporadically in Church of God magazines and her local newspapers over many years. Drawing on her experiences with Victorian caroling groups, she wrote and self-published three non-fiction books to help others who want to begin a similar group. Her love for history led to her current projects, fictional accounts of a certain event during the Civil War. For a change of pace, she occasionally enjoys writing children’s stories. Apart from writing, Susan is involved in Toastmasters and Word Weavers groups in her hometown of Columbus, Georgia. She is also a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). Susan and husband Ricky have three adult children and five fabulous grandsons.


No comments:

Post a Comment