Hello, friends!! I'm so glad you're here to visit with Kaitlin and me today. As always, I have a pot of hot tea and platter of fresh scones with jam and clotted cream to offer you. Go ahead and curl up in a wingback chair or if you want to get fancy, I have a couple beautiful antique Victorian chairs and a settee.
One of my favorite things to do is to interview debut authors. Kaitlin's debut novel, Atoning for Ashes, hit the shelves just in time for Valentine's Day, and now she has graciously agreed to visit today.
Kaitlin Covel has a thirst for adventure much like the heroines of her stories. She is an old-fashioned romantic, and if she could time travel to any historical period, it would be the Regency Era. Here in the 21st century, she is a certified Nutritional Therapy Technician, but writing is her passion, whether it's fiction or non-fiction. Her debut novel, Atoning for Ashes, released on February 14th, 2019 from Deep River Books. She has honed her craft since childhood, benefiting from the insights of other writers through professional writing associations such as the Jerry Jenkins Writer’s Guild and Hope*writers. She lives with her family in Maine, where she enjoys teaching the teen Sunday school class at her church. Her favorite things are family, books, history, chocolate, music, the ocean, and strong cups of tea. Visit her at www.kaitlincovel.com.
Crystal: So Kaitlin, What was the best advice someone ever gave you about writing, life, or anything that strikes your fancy?
Kaitlin: One of the greatest pieces of writing advice I ever received was to write until I was confident enough of my writing skills to share them with the world. I wrote short stories and several novels to practice my skills. I engaged in writing memberships and contests to polish my craft until I knew I was ready to attempt publication. This journey has taken me almost ten years, but I have loved every moment of it. I look forward to the next chapter of my publishing journey and all the new experiences that await me. I know I am doing what I was born to do!
Crystal: Great advice! It takes a lot of hard work to get a good story pulled together and written.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Kaitlin: My dream job as a child was to be a published author and see my books on a library shelf. I thank God for making my dream come true!
Crystal: That is so great God planted that seed to write while you were young. I bet there were many stories written in crayon.
Do you have a favorite Bible verse?
Kaitlin: Proverbs 3:5-6: "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, for he shall direct thy path." I love this verse because it is a daily reminder to trust the Lord and rely upon Him in all circumstances. Life is complicated, but I know the Lord will direct my path if I acknowledge him in all my ways.
Crystal: That is a great verse, and one that we all have to lean into on the difficult days (and the not so difficult days as well.
Josie Chadwick dreams of marrying for love in Cornwall, England, but with her father's debt threatening to destroy all she holds dear, her romantic options are dwindling. When her elder sister Delia is disowned, Josie finds herself heiress of Chadwick Park, torn between dreams and duty. After sacrificing her heart to atone for Delia's sin, Josie clings to the hope she will learn to love a distant husband, whom she fears is incapable of requiting her affection.
Charles Radcliffe's heart has been scarred and hardened by rejection. He fears hurting his new bride, but his fears of betrayal and rejection are stronger, making it impossible for him to trust her love―let alone the love of her God.
As Josie and Charles face their new life together, ominous events warn of dark family secrets that could shatter them both. More than a loveless marriage is at stake if they cannot stand as one. Will they learn to trust God and each other before it's too late?
Getting to Atoning for Ashes, did God teach you anything through the writing of it?
Kaitlin: God taught me so much through writing this story that I don’t even know where to begin… I think the biggest lesson God taught me in writing Atoning for Ashes was the unconditional nature of His love. I’d never really meditated on this aspect of our God, but because several main characters in my book struggle with a crisis of identity, I reflected on the unconditional nature of my God’s love and grace more than I ever had before.
Crystal: How do you select the names of your characters?
Kaitlin: I like to look at the census for the year my story is set if it is available. I’m always taking note of unusual period names when I’m watching period dramas or reading classic literature/biographies/memoirs. For surnames, I do a lot of research based on the setting, and I have fun exploring historical documents from the time period. It is a struggle, but I persevere until I’m satisfied with the ring of each characters’ full name!
Crystal: Thank you so much for sharing with us today!
Readers, Kaitlin is graciously giving away a print copy of Atoning for Ashes to one lucky commenter. Just respond with your email address below and the winner will be notified the week of March 27th. Thank you so much for stopping by for a cup of tea and a chance to meet this debut author!