Q&A: Sandra Moore
Author Sandra Moore shares about her 3-in-1 historical romance collection Promise Brides:
Three romances from the historic state of Pennsylvania demonstrating that love is the same, no matter when, no matter where—and never comes without sacrifice.
Q: Your 'Romancing America' book started out as separate titles for the Heartsong Presents readers. Tell us how the individual novels are linked together into a larger picture.
The Promise Brides series is linked by geographical location -- they're all set in historic Pennsylvania, from Gettysburg and Greencastle to the tragic flood of Johnstown in 1889.
Q: When you were originally writing the series, how much were you focused on each individual title -- and how much were your eyes on how each piece fit into the larger story?
Each book is a standalone novel. Since they only link through location, the focus on each story is more on the characters and their individual and unique struggles. However, the setting is integral to the story in many cases -- Ellie listening to the Gettysburg address as she laments the loss of her husband, Alaina's train ride back to Johnstown, only to discover that the water flowing in the creek portends the worst tragedy in America has occurred, and the triumphant night when Marylu risked her own capture to free a wagon full of slaves.
Q: What was your inspiration for the original series? (And how much did your original plan change over the course of the arc?)
My inspiration for this series was to find little known facts of history and use them to build a fictional story. The Johnstown Flood is true, the main characters are fictional, but a few well known characters who were there at the time are mentioned -- Clara Barton, for one. In Greencastle, as the confederates retreated from Gettysburg, a confederate captain brought a wagon full of slaves through the town with the intention of returning them south. The townsfolk set those slaves free under cover of night. This became the backstory of my main character Marylu Biloxi. And, of course, the tragedy of war as experienced by the men who fought and survived Gettysburg, and those who could not stand the debacle and deserted, but not without the demons of PTSD dogging their heels.
Q: How does your faith influence your writing?
As a Christian author, it makes sense that I would write what I believe. My characters are an extension of those beliefs and values to one degree or another.
Q: What do you most hope readers get out of your fiction?
An awareness of history and the trials and triumphs that our ancestors faced and survived. That freedom is not granted so that we can do what we want, but so that we can do what is right. And that a little bit of kindness in this world can go a long way to helping someone else. Most of all, I want them to find themselves challenged in some way to be better and stronger or more compassionate.