Saturday, March 25, 2017

Author interview with Carrie Turansky

Carrie Turansky is the best-selling author of 17 inspirational romance novels and novellas. She is the winner of the ACFW Carol Award, The International Digital Award, and The Crystal Globe Award. Carrie is married to Scott, and they have five adult children and five grandchildren. When she’s not writing you’ll find her working in her flower gardens, walking around the lake near their home, or cooking healthy meals for family and friends. Carrie loves to connect with reading friends through her websiteFacebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram.

Shine Like the Dawn: In a quiet corner of northern Edwardian England, Margaret Lounsbury diligently works in her grandmother’s millinery shop, making hats and caring for her young sister. Several years earlier, a terrible event shattered their idyllic family life and their future prospects. Maggie is resilient and will do what she must to protect her sister Violet. Still, the loss of her parents weighs heavily on her heart as she begins to wonder if what happened that day on the lake…might not have been an accident. 

When wealthy inventor and industrialist William Harcourt dies, his
son and Maggie’s estranged childhood friend, Nathaniel, returns from his time in the Royal Navy and inherits his father’s vast estate, Morningside Manor. He also assumes partial control of his father’s engineering company and the duty of repaying an old debt to the Lounsbury family. But years of separation between Nate and Maggie have taken a toll, and Maggie struggles to trust her old friend.

Can Maggie let go of the resentment that keeps her from forgiving Nate—and reconciling with God? Will the search for the truth about her parents’ death draw the two friends closer or leave them both with broken hearts?

Carrie, welcome! The first work of yours that I read was Snowflake Sweethearts, which I loved. A few years later I met you at a writers’ conference, you have such a sweet spirit! Thank you for joining us today and congratulations on your new novel, Shine Like the Dawn. I love the cover! Both Nate and Maggie have such a deep back story, what was the inspiration for these characters and this plot?

The plot and characters sprang from my research. A photographer from the U.K. told me about a beautiful estate in Northumberland, England, called Cragside. I did a Google image search and Pinterest search and was intrigued by that lovely home. I read the biography of William Armstrong, the man who built Cragside, and decided the Armstrongs could be the inspiration for the hero’s family. Armstrong was an inventor and engineer, and Cragside was the first home to be lit by hydroelectric power. I used some of the events that happened to his family in the plot. The heroine, Maggie Lounsbury, mainly comes from my imagination. I decided to make her and grandmother milliners, because I love the hats of that time period. I always wanted to write a story where the hero and heroine were childhood friends who later fell in love, so that was a fun plot element for me as well. The idea of adding a mystery came from my enjoyment of reading Julie Klassen’s novels. She often includes a mystery or a secret that keeps you turning pages, so I decided to try that in Shine Like the Dawn.

I love that even published authors still learn when they leisure read, she's another awesome author. So, Carrie, what’s your biggest challenge in balancing writing time with your other responsibilities?

Maintaining a balance is definitely a challenge. I have to say no to outings with friends as deadlines come closer, and that’s always hard. I have a book due in one month, so it’s really crunch time! But good friends understand and pray for me as I work hard to finish up a book on time. Making time to exercise and prepare healthy meals can also be a challenge in the final couple months. I use a weekly word count goal to help me stay on track, and that’s a great help.

Exercise. Healthy meals. Those are hard for us all! How do your faith and spiritual life play into the picture and affect your storytelling?

My faith is central in my life, so it naturally has a huge influence on my writing. I want my stories to entertain and carry people away to another time and place, but I also want them to be touched emotionally and inspired by my characters’ spiritual journeys. I love weaving God’s practical principles for life into my stories. It’s wonderful to hear from readers who find those principles encouraging.

I love plotting and am always looking for tips. How do you plot a novel? How close to the final version does the first draft read?

I outline my novel using techniques I’ve learned from Susie Warren, Michael Hauge, and Stan Williams. I do quite a bit of work on my characters first, and as I get to know them I develop the plot. I like to know the key turning points in the story and how it will end, but I like to discover how I am going to get there while I’m writing. That makes it more exciting for me.

Susan May Warren, Awesome author and amazing craft teacher. For fun, if you could take a plane to ONE place, where would you go? If you could bring one person with you, who would it be? And if you could eat only one kind of food during your trip, what would that be?

I would love to go to England for another research trip and visit Kent, the area where my next book is set. Kent is called the garden of England, and I love gardens. The beautiful white cliffs of Dover are also there. It would be fun to travel with my good friend and fellow author, Cathy Gohlke. We’ve traveled together before, and had such a great time touring the Lake District where her next novel is set and then on to Scotland with Liz Curtis Higgs and her tour group.
Wow, that sounds like fun! On your website, I saw that you and your husband helped planted a church in New Jersey. What’s it like being the wife of a pastor?

It’s exciting, challenging, and rewarding. We love the ministry God has given us. Seeing people grow in their faith and meet the challenges in life is a huge blessing. My husband is a very gifted pastor, teacher, counselor, and author, and I feel blessed to partner with him at Calvary Chapel Living Hope. You can learn more about our church on the website.

That sounds like such an interesting and fulfilling life! Finally, tell us what your next novel is about and when it will be released.

My next novel is titled Across the Blue. It’s set in 1909 in Kent, England. This is the dawn of aviation, and the hero is a young aviator who wants to be the first to fly across the English Channel. The heroine is the daughter of a wealthy newspaper owner who is offering the prize for that race across the channel. She is an aspiring journalist, and she thinks covering the hero’s adventures will help launch her career. As their romance develops questions about the hero’s past and her choice to keep her writing a secret from him create obstacles for them, but I always promise a happy ending! Across the Blue releases early in 2018.

Across the Blue sounds very interesting. Carrie, thank you for your time today, it was fun! And congratulations again on your newest novel, Shine Like the Dawn.


  1. Heidi, thanks for sharing this great interview with Carrie. The cover of Shine Like The Dawn is what first caught my attention and I have since learned what it is about so I am anxious to read it!

    1. Hi Connie, thanks for your kind comment about the cover of Shine Like the Dawn! I hope you enjoy reading Maggie and Nate's story!

    2. Connie,
      I know, covers grab me too! Though, Shine Like The Dawn has substance, you'll love it!

  2. Good morning Stitchers! Fresh coffee and homemade pancakes are on the table. I've also got some Celestial Seasonings tea for those of you that aren't coffee drinkers.

    Carrie, so excited to have you visiting with us today! I absolutely love your Edwardian Brides series and I can hardly wait to read Shine Like the Dawn.

    I'm accompanying my little sister on her graduation trip and one of the stops is Kent. If there's something I can do to help you with research, let me know. :)

    1. Hi Amber, wow, that's wonderful to hear you'll be visiting Kent with your sister! I hope you take in some of those lovely gardens, visit Canterbury Cathedral, and see the White Cliffs of Dover and St. Margaret's Bay! I loved learning more about the area and also about the history of aviation and those early pilots who were the first to fly across the English Channel from Dover and Calais, France. Have a wonderful trip!

  3. Thank you for a great interview. Miss Carrie is a dandy and so are her books!

    1. Hi Melanie, thanks for stopping by and leaving your kind comment! Happy reading to you!

  4. Thank you for inviting me over to the Stitches in Time Blog, Heidi! It's always a treat to connect with reading and writing friends. Blessings to you and all the team here.

    1. Carrie,
      You are so welcome, it was fun having you :-)