As promised, today I have the delightful pleasure of interviewing Angela K. Couch, whose latest release, The Patriot and The Loyalist, was released earlier this month as the second installment in her Hearts at War series. (Don’t forget to enter the giveaway! Tomorrow is the last day!)
Completing his three years in the Continental Army, Daniel Reid still has no desire to return home—not after losing the woman he loves to a British Captain—so he volunteers to ride south through enemy lines and deliver a message to Colonel Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox. With his temper needing a release and a dark haired beauty finding her way into his broken heart, Daniel decides to join the Swamp Fox’s efforts against the British. Little does he know the British still have the upper hand.
Lydia Reynolds has learned that love comes at a price, and she refuses to pay. Better to close her heart to everything and everyone. When her brother-in-law won’t grant her passage to England, where she hopes to hide from her pain, New Englander, Daniel Reid, becomes her only hope—if she can induce him to give her information about the notorious Swamp Fox and his troops. When the British grow impatient and Daniel evades her questions, Lydia must decide how far to take her charade. The poor man, already gutted by love, hasn’t grown as wise as she. Or so she supposes…
Until the truth is known, the muskets are loaded…and it is time to decide where true loyalties lie.
My full reviews for The Scarlet Coat (book1) and The Patriot and The Loyalist (book 2) may be read by clicking on the linked titles.
A little about Angela
To keep from freezing in the Great White North, Angela K Couch cuddles under quilts with her laptop. Winning short story contests, being a semi-finalist in ACFW’s Genesis Contest, and a finalist in the International Digital Awards also helped warm her up. As a passionate believer in Christ, her faith permeates the stories she tells. Her martial arts training, experience with horses, and appreciation for good romance sneak in there, as well. When not writing, she stays fit (and warm) by chasing after three munchkins.
Welcome, Angela. I have to tell you, your books are wonderfully written, historically rich, and truly entertaining. I am so pleased to be having a chat with you today!
Let’s start with a fun one. If you could spend one week living the life of any character, whom would you choose to be?
I think I would have to choose Lydia, the heroine of The Patriot and the Loyalist for this one. Mostly because I would love the chance to live in the grand southern Colonial home her father had built for his daughters. Plus her father’s library is full of some great classic reads. I could spend most of the week hanging out in there…while I try NOT to get in trouble with the British!
LOL Yes. Much better to be reading about trouble than actually living it! Speaking of that grand southern Colonial home: In prep for this interview, I was exploring your Pinterest board for this book and noticed that your inspiration for the Reynolds home was this beautiful old plantation home in North Carolina, and I happened to find a virtual tour of the property which I think our readers will enjoy:
I’ve heard so many different answers to this question, I’m curious: When did you first view yourself as a writer?
Probably as soon as I finished my first manuscript at sixteen. Not that I should have qualified as a “writer” but it was when I realized writing was a huge part of who I was and always would be.
I am seriously impressed that you finished a complete manuscript so young!
Can you share with us a unique quirk in your writing routine?
I’m not sure if there is much about my writing routine not quirky. I have three kids under 6 at home with me all day so most of my writing happens in and around play and snacks and “using mommy as a playground”. I’ve gotten good at setting writing aside and picking it back up at any given moment.
Oh, I cannot count the number of times I have said, “Mommy is NOT a playground, can you please stop trying to climb me.” LOL I absolutely love the image of you doing this while trying to write, and I am seriously impressed with the amount and quality of your completed works while having three kids under 6! That is no easy feat! Well done!
Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what music do you listen to?
I sure do! With lots of noise (usually happy squeals and laughter) in the house, and lots of disruptions in the middle of writing scenes, I love my mood music to keep, or get, myself back in the groove of the story. Writing romance, I listen to a lot of love songs. Things like “Book of Love” by Peter Gabriel, or Billy Joel’s “And So It Goes”. For The Patriot and the Loyalist I listened to Tiffany Alvord’s cover of“Beneath Your Beautiful” a few times.
I admit, I had to look those up. They both seem very calm and serene. I can see how that would work for writing.
How did you come up with the idea for this series?
There were originally only two “hearts at war”. The Scarlet Coat started out as a stand-alone. One of the first full manuscripts I finished years ago. Not until more recent rewrites, did I start thinking maybe Daniel Reid needed a chance to fully redeem himself and find love. I mentioned the idea of a second book or possible series in my proposal, and my publisher wanted to know more. They signed me on a two book contract, including the idea that had grown for The Patriot and the Loyalist.
By the time I finished the first draft of this book, I had the next two plots mapped out in what was now the Hearts at War series, and signed another two book contract. I’m very excited about The Tory’s Daughter, and The Return of the King’s Ranger! With how well this series has come together, I can only assume God had plans for it long before I!
I am so glad you gave Daniel his chance at redemption and I am very excited to know there are two more books coming out in this series! However, I must admit to being saddened a bit when I discovered who the hero will be for The Tory’s Daughter. Nevertheless, I am eager to read and see where you take him.
Can you share with us how you went about doing the research for The Patriot and the Loyalist?
I’ll start by saying how much I LOVE the internet! My first manuscripts – which have not yet seen the light of day – were set during WWII and I well remember my hauls from the library back in the day! Now I have access to everything from Museums to someone’s Master’s theses. A professor in Revolutionary history actually compiled day by day, month by month slides of Colonel Francis Marion’s movements. Gold! With great resources at my fingertips I was able to map The Patriot and the Loyalist off actual history, day by day as the hero assists in the fight against the British in South Carolina.
I completely agree. My local librarians already know me by name in the history departments. Thinking of doing all this historical research without the internet makes me cringe. Wow. What a treasure to have that professor’s detailed records to work with! I was so intrigued when you first told me the Swamp Fox and his nephew, Gabriel, were true historical figures. It definitely added something to your story.
One of the things I love the most about great fiction is how it can challenge us to take another look at our own lives and values. In The Patriot and the Loyalist, your characters’ must decide where their loyalties truly belong. Can you share a time when your own loyalty was tested?
First I have to decide what I was loyal to in the first place! 😉 I’m very politically opinionated…but I don’t think we want to go there today. And I’m not very much into sports. I think usually my loyalties are tested when it comes to people. I would never do anything to hurt anyone, but I would probably cut ties before letting them be a negative influence on my family.
Good call avoiding the political. 😉 I also think that’s a smart line to draw for protecting your family.
What are you currently reading?
I actually have a couple books on the go. One on my kindle and one in print…so I have a book for any circumstance! At the moment, I am quite enjoying Amber Lynn Perry’s So Fair a Lady, also set during the American Revolution, and I just started a contemporary romance by Glynna Kaye, The Nanny Bargain.
It used to be I could only read one book at a time, but these days I’m usually reading 2 or 3 as well.
Well, that’s all the questions I have for you today. Thank you so much for taking the time to share with us!
Okay readers, what are your thoughts? Did you enjoy the interview? And I’d love to read YOUR answer to the question: If you could spend one week living the life of any character, whom would you choose to be? Let me know in the comments below!