Fact vs. Fiction: What liberties did you take with historical facts to make Winning Miss Winthrop work?
In 1816, England experienced what’s known as “the Year Without a Summer” when the 1815 eruption of Mt. Tambora in the Dutch East Indies sent millions of dust particles into the atmosphere. (This was alluded to in my third novel, The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey.) This affected the Northern Hemisphere climate for the next few years.
I didn’t want to make Catherine and Jon spend the entire time inside due to the cold and rain. I had to adjust things to ensure a few days of sunshine for their horse-riding and other activities.
As a Christian author, how does your faith impact how you plot and write your historical romances?
In Regency England, church attendance was the norm. People were used to a strict moral code and to hearing—and reading—sermons. This cultural context is helpful as it means I can encourage my characters to wrestle with their faith and make it personal.
This can take them from being “Christian” (i.e., a good person) to being “a Christian” (a follower of Jesus Christ). This allows for me to give my characters issues that I’ve wrestled with, things like dealing with unforgiveness, or learning patience (still working on that one!), or trusting–and even praising–God when all seems lost.
These fictional people become a vehicle for my own outworking of faith, and what God has shown me about His character and my walk with Him. It’s not to say every issue you see is a personal reflection of me. I’d be sent to Bedlam (Bethlem’s Insane Asylum) if that was the case.
But I try to write honestly about my faith and how it has changed me. I aim to give each main character a spiritual struggle in addition to all the other things they have to endure. (I’m so mean!)
On a practical writing level, I will always pray and commit my stories to God, and ask Him for wisdom. I’m a mum to four children under 16, and my husband works away from home a fair bit of the year. Writing can be a challenge at times, but God continually proves Himself faithful, and the stories get written and those deadlines met. (Thank you, God!)
Amid the romance and the humor, I really want my stories to offer the hope and grace that is found in Jesus Christ. I’m so encouraged to receive emails from people who have said they’ve been touched by such things–and the fact that despite an unapologetic God message, non-Christians still enjoy my stories. God is good!
This interview is from the Collector’s Edition Christian Romance Special. Download the issue FREE!
Visit Carolyn Miller’s author page here: https://www.familyfiction.com/authors/carolyn-miller