Historical romance author Laura Frantz is back with The Lacemaker (Revell), a suspenseful story of love, betrayal, and new beginnings. At the dawn of the American Revolution, Virginia belle Lady Elisabeth “Liberty” Lawson is abandoned by her fiancé and suspected of being a spy for the British, with only Patriot Noble Rynallt to come to her aid. Here, Laura talks about her beleaguered main character, her story’s tumultuous setting, and what she learned about lacemaking in her research….
Would you tell us a little about The Lacemaker?
Lady Elisabeth Lawson has a great deal at stake when Virginia explodes like a powder keg on the eve of the American Revolution—her home, her fiancé, and the only life she’s ever known. But she also has much to gain, freedom foremost—for herself, her new country, and a future more exciting and romantic than she’s ever dreamed of.
This book is written around the American Revolution. Why did you decide to write about this time period?
Colonial America’s fight for independence was rife with passionate people and events that should be honored and remembered today. As a historical novelist, I’m doing my small part to keep that incredible history alive.
The main character, Liberty Lawson, is a lacemaker. Was this a usual profession during the 1700s?
Lacemaking was a very special skill, artisan-like in quality, yet many women of that time period made or paid for lacework to adorn garments, etc. Handwork was considered a highly valued feminine skill, so that century abounds with everything from simple samplers to embroidery to the more complicated lacemaking.
What type of research was required for writing your book?
This novel was a special challenge due to its tie to a particular place, Williamsburg, Virginia, as well as a very pivotal event, the American Revolution. I studied the lacemakers of Massachusetts especially when creating my lacemaking heroine. One of my most valuable resources states, “In its lace making heyday in the late eighteenth century, Ipswich, Massachusetts boasted 600 lace makers in a town of only 601 households. George Washington himself, a lace aficionado, paid a visit to Ipswich in 1789 to support its extraordinary domestic textile industry” (Marta Cotterell Raffel, The Laces of Ipswich).
What do you hope readers can learn from The Lacemaker?
That history is truly God’s story, and during that tumultuous period when America fought for its independence, He was at work creating one of the greatest, God-honoring nations in the world through the flawed yet selfless heroism of our founding fathers, the American people, and courageous women like our heroine who supported the cause for liberty.
What are you working on next?
I’m excited to bring you a Scottish story. Think Scots lairds and castles, a beekeeping heroine, ships and smuggling, indentures, and coming to colonial America in 1752!