Sunday, August 8, 2010

Erin Rainwater's "Refining Fires"

We're happy to have Erin Rainwater with us today talking about her book, Refining Fires. To learn more about Erin and her book, read on!

1. How did the idea for these stories, all combined into one, come to you?
As a writer, a nurse and an army veteran, I’d been formulating the idea of a story about a nurse and a disfigured vet for quite a long time. Mel Gibson’s movie The Man Without a Face inspired me further. It still took me several more years to put the idea to paper, but it finally came to fruition in the first story, “Refining Fire.” I actually wrote the second story, “Blind Courage,” as a writing assignment in the eighth grade. Though I wrote it under duress and with a deadline, I found myself really liking the girl I was creating. I still didn’t think it anything worthy of a good grade, but the teacher thought otherwise. She not only gave me an A but said it was so good she read it out loud to the class. That experience didn’t spur me to become a writer by any means, but somehow I never got that story out of my head. I’d long been thinking about rewriting it, so decided to do that but change the ending and blend it with the first story. I honestly didn’t want to write the story of the “Kept Woman.” I didn’t like her, didn’t want to delve into her past and didn’t want to have to figure her out. Yet I genuinely felt the Lord prompting me about the necessity of telling her story. I had no idea where I was going with it. It turned out to be a very moving story, and the most evangelical of the three.

2. Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
I knew it would be a challenge getting this style of book published. A Christian agent, who turned me down but was kind about it and offered some comments beyond the “sorry, not for us” rejection, said that the stories were too diverse to be bound into one novel. But my heart was so deeply entrenched into all of these characters and their stories that I couldn’t let them go, didn’t want to separate them, and didn’t want to give up. In August of 2009, I discovered a new Christian publisher, Torn Veil Books, located in Winnipeg, Manitoba. They liked the idea of how the love between the couple in the first story spills over into the lives of the characters in the other stories—the little girl and the kept woman—and agreed to publish the stories as one book, just like I had hoped and prayed. They also publish in both print and eBook formats to satisfy readers in both paper and electronic camps.

3. Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I can share all three by saying that during the five years I lived in Hawaii I experienced 1) a hurricane (Iwa, pronounced Eva), 2) a volcanic eruption (although it was on the Big Island, and the only effect we on Oahu got from it was even more gorgeous sunsets), and 3) a tsunami (we were forced to evacuate to higher ground but the wave turned out to be only four inches high).

4. What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I am collaborating with a theatrical producer in Pittsburgh who is translating a scene from one of my previously published books, True Colors, onto the stage. It will be performed on opening night of the annual conference of the Military Writers Society of America. I’ll be present there on September 30, and can hardly wait to see my characters literally come alive. Well, almost literally.

5. Parting comments?
One of the great things about my publisher, Torn Veil Books, is that they publish in both print and eBook format. So for those readers who just have to be holding the book in their hands, as well as for those modern readers who just have to be holding some sort of electronic device in their hands, this book is for YOU.

6. Where can fans find you on the internet?
At my web site,


  1. I enjoyed your interview very much. I would love a chance to win "Refining Fires" so please enter me. Each story sounds so unique and interesting, I can't wait to read them. Thank you for the courage to keep going until the book was printed as you felt the Lord lead you to write it.


  2. I applaud your commitment toward getting the book published so that we may enjoy them. Please enter me for a chance to win.



  3. I like that the author has a background as a military nurse and an army veteran. That would help lend authenicity to her book.


  4. Wow!! I would love to read this book! Thank you for the opportunity!
    I am a subscriber.


  5. Nakia George( 11, 2010 at 10:44 AM

    I would love to read this book! Thank you for the opportunity!

  6. thanks for the opportunity to read this wonderful novel :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  7. I would really love to read this book. I enjoyed Mel Gibson's movie where he was a disfigured
    teacher. Many thanks, Cindi

  8. I want this book! I am a nurse and my neighbor is a POW from WWII. What I saw of this book reached out and grabbed me. How exciting to have the chance to see your characters come alive. May God continue to bless you. Thanks for the opportunity to win this book.