Today I’m hosting Joanne Bischof, the author of The Cadence of Grace series. The first, Be Still My Soul, is due out this October from Waterbook/Multnomah press. I’ve had a sneak peek at them, and predict they will become classics in historical fiction. Isn’t the cover gorgeous?
SUMMARY OF BE STILL MY SOUL- Lonnie Sawyer is pretty, sweet, and innocent; an ideal target for the talented bluegrass musician, Gideon O’Riley. Her world turns upside down when Lonnie’s alcoholic father sees the arrogant Gideon stealing a kiss, and hastily forces her to marry him to save her honor.
The harsh realities of life soon bring out Gideon’s anger, attracting the intervention of an elderly couple. Under their gentle instruction, the newlyweds seem to have a chance, and Gideon tries to start over as a new man. While Lonnie settles in to create a comfortable home, a new challenge appears on their horizon. Will their tenuous love be enough to hold together this rocky relationship?
Set in Appalachia over a hundred years ago, you’ll experience mountain life as it was in a simpler time. Tap your toes to the mandolin, and smell the fresh apple pies lovingly baked by women who toiled from dawn to dusk for their men working the land to provide homes for their families. You’ll be touched, inspired and transported by all three books in The Cadence of Grace series.
And now, the author, Joanne Bischof.
Married to her first sweetheart, Joanne keeps busy making messes with their home schooled children living in the mountains of Southern California. When she’s not weaving Appalachian romance, she’s blogging about faith, being a writer, and the adventures of country living that bring her stories to life at Heartfelt Fiction.
Q&A with Joanne
What aspect of your book was the most fun to research? Well, setting up the moonshine still in my backyard was pretty fun. Just kidding! Seriously, the best part was doing lots of hands on activities like soap making, rug braiding, butter churning, etc. Some experiences turned out better than others, but I include them on my blog in the Adventures of Country Living, and am always looking for more projects to immerse myself in.
How do you choose your character’s names? For historical fiction, I always strive to find a name that would have been around in a particular time or place. For this series, I took it one step further and researched names specific to the Appalachian region. It was tons of fun reading through records of names like Erwin and Floyd. When I stumbled upon the name, Lonnie, I knew it was the perfect name for my heroine.
Aside from your hero and heroine, who was your favorite character to write? It’s a tough one to choose, but I would probably have to say Jebediah. There’s something about channeling one’s inner 65 year old man. Jebediah is as kind as they come but with enough spunk to push Gideon around a bit. Nothing was more fun than making my hero squirm.
You handle some delicate subjects in your book. Do you ever worry about offending someone? I think many writers worry about offending readers at one point or another, but with some of the touchy topics in this story, I hope to shed light on the freedom that can come in Christ. I think we can express a difficult situation without bringing glory to it. Shedding light on it for what it is—sin. I feel strangely amazed and blessed to watch these characters grow. As the chaff falls away, the refinement process is truly aweing. Something that can only be accomplished through Christ!
I know your inspiration for this novel came partly from bluegrass music. Do you play any instruments? I play the mandolin. Of course my dad plays it about five times better than I do, but I love the instrument. It’s near and dear to my heart, and writing that into Gideon’s character was really fun. Every time he plays in the books, I can feel the fondness for the mandolin that he feels and I hope that comes across to readers.
Thanks, Joanne, and God’s blessing on your writing, and this series. Thanks for having me.
You can find Joanne on Facebook, Twitter and her bog, Heartfelt Fiction, where you can sign up to receive her twice-a-year newsletter. Don’t miss another post about soapmaking, churning butter and lopping off chicken heads. JK. I think.