The death rate for Jamestown in its early years was catastrophic. The high mortality rate was caused by malnutrition, poor sanitary conditions, clashes with the Native Americans, and various diseases (one of which was malaria).
I think many of us are afraid of something. We are afraid of failure, of success, of loving, of being alone, of death, of what people think. All kinds of things. In Bride, my character had allowed his fear to rule his life.
What I hope the novel illustrates is that you can overcome fear. And the only way to overcome fear is to release it to the Lord--knowing when you release it, that if He chooses to allow your worst nightmare to come true that He’ll be with you and you can be devastated, but you won’t be defeated.
The research I do for my novels reveals so much about the place and time period I am studying. I try to weave in as much of the research as I can without bogging down the story. I thought it noteworthy that pre-slavery Virginia had black indentured servants who became lucrative farmers and land owners after their servitude had come to completion. They were well liked and well respected in the community. It was something I didn’t think was common knowledge, so I wanted to be sure and include it somewhere in my novel.
Why did you choose 17th century Virginia as a setting?
I am always on the prowl for interesting little tidbits that occurred in our country’s history. I discovered that the Virginia colonists refused to stay in America unless the Crown sent them some women. The Crown’s solution was to empty the female felons out of their prisons and sell them for their weight in tobacco leafage as brides. From there, my research revealed an instance where a woman was actually kidnapped, transported and sold against her will. I decided to fictionalize what happened to her.
I like the humor elements in the novel. What is the funniest thing you
encountered while writing this book?
One of the places I visited while doing research was Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. There was a woman in period costume standing in a chicken coop giving a lecture on poultry. It really ticked the rooster off and he tried to flog her in the middle of her speech. Without missing a beat, the woman swiped the rooster up by the feet and held him upsidedown for the rest of her presentation. Ha! I still get a chuckle out of it when I think about it.
After you wrote BMB did you find yourself speaking in period dialogue in
every day talk?
No, thank goodness! But I did find myself wanting to let the characters of my next novel speak with that same speech pattern, even though they were from the mid-1800s. After a while, I did manage to adjust to a new time period, though.
I don't know why Constance reminds me of Nicole Kidman, but do you picture your characters as current movie stars?
I’ve heard of authors who do model their characters after movie stars. I, to date, have not done so. In Bride, my characters came from pictures of some random persons I found in magazines. For my next novel, I went to a modeling agency and looked through their files until I found someone who had just the right look. Then I asked for their composite card and tacked it up on my bulletin board. That way, I had something solid to go on when doing my descriptions.
Thanks Dee for chatting. :)
Writing to see what the end's gon' be,
The other Dee