Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Susan Page Davis' River Rest

 We're happy to have Susan Page Davis with us talking about her book, River Rest.

1) Why did you choose to write this book?
My great-aunt left a journal she wrote in the 1920s and ’30s. It gave such a vivid picture of life in rural Maine that I wanted to write a story in that setting. I decided to push it back to 1918, near the end of World War I, because of the added tension, and also because my grandfather (Aunt Belle’s brother-in-law) served. He was drafted close to the end of the war, and I adapted some details of his story to fit in for my heroine, Judith’s brother. River Rest is purely fiction, but many of the events in it were inspired by things that really happened in my family.

2) What kind of planning do you do before writing a novel?
I usually do a lot of research, especially for historical novels, and I write a long synopsis that serves as my outline.

3) Are you a plotter or a pantser? 
I am now a confirmed plotter. I started out as a seat-of-the-pants writer, not sure where the story would take me. I was very proud of that. But after a while I realized that I thought about my stories a lot before I began writing. In fact, I was thinking through the entire plot in my head—basically a mental outline. When I discovered that, it wasn’t so hard to write the outlines my editors wanted beforehand. Now I never start writing a book without a written synopsis.

4) What are you working on right now?
I have several projects going. I’m finishing up a western novel called My Heart Belongs in the Superstition Mountains, which will release in 2017 from Barbour Publishing. I’m also working on a cozy mystery for Guideposts. It’s Book 9 in their new Tearoom Mysteries series (for which I also wrote Book 1, Tea for Two). And my son Jim and I are planning a sequel to the book we wrote together.

5) Tell us about your latest release and what you think readers will enjoy about it.
In River Rest, Judith Chadbourne gave up her teaching job after her mother’s death to help her father with her five siblings. But when her brother Joel is drafted, the household chores
and farm work may overwhelm her. Their neighbor, Ben Thayer, seems rich and mysterious, but his heart aches from his own loss. Judith accidentally breaks the antique ornament her mother loved. The splintering star echoes her family’s shattering. Joel falls ill at the army camp, and Ben’s concern may bring the beginnings of trust. Can love take Judith beyond the frozen Maine winter?
I hope readers will travel with Judith as she seeks for spiritual peace. She constantly feels that she hasn’t done enough and will never be able to do enough. I have struggled with those feelings, too, and been overwhelmed by work and family issues. There’s only one trust rest when your heart is burdened, and that is in the Lord.

6) How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)
Twitter: @SusanPageDavis