Hello, fellow miners! This is Kathleen L. Maher, proud to be with you this week.I’m sure most of you already know the author featured today, and if not, you will wonder how you missed out until now. Carrie Fancett Pagels is a best-selling author who has won several major writing awards in Christian fiction. She is a retired psychologist, so you know she writes with both depth and insight. Many of her stories are set in historical Upper Peninsula Michigan with a particular focus on the dream-like Mackinac Island, with its spectacular Grand Hotel and surrounds. She mainly writes historical fiction but has recently forayed into some exciting new projects. But I’ll let her tell you about that.
Thanks so much! Delicious! I appreciate you inviting me to DMoCF! I appreciate it!
As I type this interview, congratulations are in order on your newest contract. I’m so excited about it! Tell the readers a little about this project.
Yes, I am one of the contracted authors for Doors to the Past series, from Barbour! My approved story is Behind Love’s Wall. These are dual-timeline stories with a historical story and a contemporary story that intertwine with some suspense of mystery. I am excited about you being my critique partner for this novel! It will run between 75,000-80,000 words.
Your faith and determination have greatly inspired those who know you. This theme of overcoming has been consistent in your life and in the lives of your characters. If you were to choose one character that you feel most closely parallels yourself, who would it be and why?
Oh wow, definitely not Maude Welling of My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island, because she is probably the most “normal” character I have ever written. I think recently the hero of Dogwood Plantation, Carter Williams, parallels my journey of barely being able to walk and learning to live with a lifelong injury. Unlike Carter, however, modern medicine had a pretty good surgical solution for me, PTL!
In Dogwood Plantation, Carter Williams is an injured Naval officer. His leg injury is caused by an event that happened while he was aboard ship during the War of 1812.
My father, William Henry Fancett, served in WWII, was awarded the Silver Star, two Purple Hearts, and a number of other awards. He was a sharp-shooter, infantryman, and served under every single general during the European campaign, including British general Montgomery. He survived three complete (squadrons or platoons not sure which) being wiped out and was traumatized by it. He was a scout. The results of serving in that war stayed with my dad the rest of his life and of course influenced me.
I am awestruck at your father’s heroism. God bless his memory, and thank you for sharing his story.
You always write the most beautiful Happily-Ever-After, uplifting messages, so this question might be a bit more sobering than your general discussion points. Do you think a contextual understanding of American history seems to be slowly crumbling from the public conscience, or do you see a revival of interest and awareness? With the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower, for example, there is much interest but in some cases, reported with inaccuracies or modern perspective intrusion. You have researched and written in a wide variety of time periods, from Colonial and Frontier, to the Victorian Age and Civil War, to late 19th Century and WWII—what role do you feel story has in preserving accurate history?
I think you have to be very careful in thinking that fictional accounts of historical events are going to be very accurate to the time. With every story I write, I include Authors Notes for my readers. So for instance in my Holt Medallion finalist novella The Steeplechase, I explain to readers that the steeplechase as a horse event really didn’t take place until later in the 1800s (story is set in 1810). I do try to keep the perspective of the day but because we are reaching modern readers, I find women are much more interested in reading about a heroine who is a little ahead of her time. Huge inaccuracies really frustrate me and other authors, too. If you’re going to write historical fiction, do the research and check your facts.
Sonja Hoeke in The Substitute Bride is one of my favorite heroines as is Josephine Christy in The Fruitcake Challenge. If you were to have me to sit and read each of my books again I’d probably say that book was my favorite or had my favorite hero (Garrett Christy who gets page time in many of my stories is one of my favorite heroes as is the hero of My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island, Ben Steffans.
You have a well-earned reputation as a veritable angel the way you have mentored, encouraged, and blessed lesser-known writers like me. Truly you have been instrumental in the writing journeys and lives of many of us. But what about you? What is your most amazing God moment in your writing journey? Is there anyone who played the role of angel in your life to help you at a strategic moment?
Oh my goodness, thank you for your kind words! You have blessed me so much! I have also been mentored in accountability by the wonderful author Julie Klassen, have been blessed by encouragement and authorly advise from Julie Lessman, lots of support from Kelly Long particularly with the ins and outs of proposals, currently so thrilled that Ruth Logan Herne spurs us all on in the 1k1HR Facebook group. I know I’m leaving out many others but believe me it takes a village to get your books out there! My agent, Joyce Hart, of Hartline Literary Agency, has been amazing including a couple of contracts that were definitely a God-thing. So yes, God puts people in our paths who will help us!
God is good. He gives us grace. When we can’t, God can, but don’t go testing him—be sure His will aligns with yours or rather that your will aligns with what He has asked you to do. Give your concerns over to the Lord—He can bear them. We don’t have to handle stuff on our own, our Savior has our backs. Release your worries over to the One who knows all. He has plans for us that will bless us. Walk in obedience to His will and see what happens!
Thank you so much for being here, Carrie. You are a delight! Please share with our readers how they can connect with you.
Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D., is the award-winning author of over twenty Christian historical romances, including ECPA bestsellers. Twenty-five years as a psychologist didn't "cure" her overactive imagination! A self-professed “history geek,” she resides with her family in the Historic Triangle of Virginia but grew up as a “Yooper.” Carrie loves to read, bake, bead, and travel – but not all at the same time! www.CarrieFancettPagels.com.
You can connect with her at (click on any/all of the following links:)
To enter for a chance to win an e-copy of her newest release, Dogwood Plantation, Please leave a comment for Carrie.
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