Quotes on the love of books.

Diane Kalas, Inspirational Historical Romance Author

"I cannot live without books."
Thomas Jefferson (Author of the Declaration of Independence)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


Jocelyn Green, author of WIDOW OF GETTYSBURG

Welcome, Jocelyn. I'm so pleased to have you on my blog to answer a few questions about WIDOW OF GETTYSBURG, book 2 your marvelous series Heroines Behind the Lines. This must be a busy and an exciting time for you.
How has receiving a contract for your Heroines Behind the Lines books changed your life?

It keeps me busy, that’s for sure! J With two small children, I wasn’t really in danger of being bored anyway. But right before I signed the contract for the Heroines series, I seriously wondered if I was at the end of my book-writing career. I started writing for military wives when I was one myself, and since then I’ve published four nonfiction books for military families. My well of original material to share was running dry. I thought I had nothing else to share with the world in book format.

 So when this opportunity to write fiction materialized, it opened up an entirely new world of possibilities for me, right at the time I was ready to put down my pen. I’m not sure how many novels God has in store for me to write, but I’m enjoying the ride while it lasts.

 How did you organize the massive amount of research for WIDOW OF GETTYSBURG?

 I used a three-ring binder to organize all the photocopies I had made of the manuscripts I found in Gettysburg archives. Then I used 3x5 color-coded note cards for the rest of my research. Of course, sometimes it was just easier to buy the book and underline and tag information in it to my heart’s content, so I did splurge on several books in order to do that. Otherwise I would fill a notebook taking notes from just one book! For more visual information, I pinned photographs of Gettysburg home interiors, maps, sketches of troops movements over the battlefield, etc., on a huge bulletin board that I prop up right next to my desk.

Was the research for WIDOW OF GETTYSBURG difficult to deal with, personally, in regards to the treatment of female slaves, and the overwhelming suffering of the wounded during and after the battle?

Yes, it was. I have been writing about America’s wars for seven years, interviewing soldiers, veterans, Blue Star and Gold Star family members, and of course researching primary sources from earlier wars. I have read and heard more than my fair share about suffering. One might think that I’d be desensitized to it by now, but I’m not. I can handle a lot, but every once in a while, I just have to shut the book and take a deep breath. Sometimes I end up crying over what I read. If I research right before bed I do get nightmares from it. (So I don’t do that anymore.)

The treatment of female slaves was a new topic for me to delve into. It was hard to read about, and it was hard to write about. But these ugly pieces of our history should not be swept under the rug. I’m not saying we need to dwell on it, but we do have to acknowledge that it’s all part of our country’s story. The great news is that God can redeem the darkest moments of our past.

 Is the Civil War your favorite era for writing fiction or do you have others as well?

It is right now, simply because it’s what I’m currently writing. J But if I get a chance to write more novels set in a different time period after this, that will probably become a “favorite era,” too. I’d like to try a contemporary novel, but I’m also very interested in the Depression era, in addition to the various wars.

What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing fiction?

There is more than one thing I wish I would have known, but one is how much better the story will be if all the main characters have secrets. Big ones. In Widow of Gettysburg, everyone’s hiding something, at least in the beginning. It’s much more interesting that way.

If you could travel back in time when and where would you go?

I’d go back to the day America learned that World War 2 was over, and we were victorious. Can you imagine what that must have been like? All over the country, but especially where the wives and children waited for their loved ones, it must have been electric.

When not writing, what fills your time?

Right now, digging up dandelions, playing board games with my kids, reading, and wondering what on earth to make for dinner. In the fall I’ll start homeschooling our seven-year-old, so that will take some time too. I’m looking forward to it.

What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?

The theme of Widow of Gettysburg is taken from Psalm 30:5. Weeping endures for a night, but joy comes in the morning. The lesson for me is to be patient in the night. One person’s “night” could last a week or a decade. We don’t know when the light is coming, but we do know that it will. The lesson is to trust God’s plan, even when we feel we’re in the dark.

Thank you, Jocelyn, for answering my questions. I enjoyed learning a little more about you and your work. Can't wait for book 3 to be published in Heroines Behind the Lines


WE'RE HAVING A RANDOM DRAWING IN 7 DAYS! Please leave a comment for a chance to win a signed copy of Jocelyn’s Widow of Gettysburg plus Fanny Kemble’s Journals. One of Fanny Kemble’s journals was published in July 1863 and played a key role in Widow of Gettysburg.



Amy C said...

What a great interview with Jocelyn. I loved Wedded to War. One of my faves of 2012.
Campbellamyd at gmail dot com

Jocelyn Green said...

Amy, so glad you enjoyed the interview! Thanks for stopping by.

Crys said...

I just finished up another book, and Widow is next in line on my Kindle! Can't wait!! :)

Susan P said...

I can't wait to read this! I'm ordering both for my mom for her birthday. Thanks for the interview and review!
Susan P
farmygirl at hotmail dot com

Sandy Kirby Quandt said...

Thanks for the insightful interview. I especially liked the suggestions on how you do your research. Widow of Gettysburg sounds like a must read. Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy, plus one of Fanny Kemble's journals.

Rhonda Ritenour said...

What a great interview and creative giveaway! I would definitely love the opportunity to win both of the items. I do have the "Widdow of Gettysburg" as an ebook, but I could give the signed copy to a friend! I could definitely relate to what Jocelyn said the Lord is teaching her right now from Psalm 30:5. My husband and I just went through a season like that.

Rhonda Ritenour said...

Oh, and my email is rhonda.ritenour@gmail.com

Johnette Ferguson said...

I really enjoyed this interview.I home school my son too! I didn't know anything about Jocelyn or her books...but I recently saw the cover and have it on my wish list. The Civil War era is my fav!
I would love to win this...but,
if I don't I know I will read it as soon as I save up!

My e-mail is : sunydey26@aol.com

God bless

Alyssa Faith said...

This has has been on my to-read list for a while. This book is definitely my cup of tea. Hope I get a chance to read it.
email: ebc_student@ymail.com

shirley Blanchard said...

Great interview, sure hope i win this book would be nice .

Anonymous said...

Great books! I grew up near Gettysburg ( Bk 2), am a nurse living in Virginia (Bk 1)and born in Atlanta (Bk 3)!!! They all touch my life. Thanks!

Alyssa Shuley said...

Wonderful books! Such a great time in American history. I get so wrapped up in the stories and lives of the ppl of this era. My imagination just rolls with my thoughts and wonderings of the past. Joycelyn, your books are true treasures!

Anonymous said...

I love history and have always enjoyed the Civil War era. Great interview!! Thank you for entering me in your giveaway.
Barbara Thompson

Wendy Newcomb said...

I have Wedded to War and would love to win this second book and Fanny Kemble's Journals would be a good bonus!


Jasmine A. said...

Great interview!

I just finished reading Wedded to War. WOW! What a great book! I love history and I felt that Wedded to War is one of the all time best Christian Fiction Historical novels I have read yet. I am hoping to read the next book as soon as I can get a copy.

Jasmine A.

by Pegg Thomas said...

I'm loving Widow of Gettysburg! I'm almost 1/2 way through and it's so hard to put down. Can I get in the drawing for just Fanny Kemble's Journals?

twinwillowsfarm at gmail dot com

bonton said...

Enjoyed the interview & love Civil War stories!

Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!


Lane Hill House said...

Today's my birthday! I would love to win a copy
Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House

Jocelyn Green said...

Happy birthday Kathleen! And thanks to the rest of you for your interest and kind words!

Sadie and Sophie said...

We'd love an autographed copy of this book (celebrity points!) Psalm 30:5 has always been a favorite verse. Enjoyed the interview and review very much. Thanks for sharing! sscuffe at yahoo dot com