I am so happy to be welcoming Angela Couch to my blog. We are chatting about her historical novel, Heart of a Warrior.
All Christina Astle wants is to reach Oregon before her baby is born, but the wagon train is attacked, and her husband killed, stranding her in a mountain labyrinth. Raised in the East, within civilization’s embrace, survival is not a skill she’s learned. Neither is evading the lone warrior dogging her trail.
Disgusted by the greed and cruelty of men like his white father, Towan has turned to the simpler existence of his mother’s tribal people. He is not prepared for the fiery woman who threatens to upturn his entire life … and his heart.
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 four munchkins.
What is your favorite comfort food?
I love dark(ish) chocolate and a herbal tea blend to help it melt in my mouth.
What inspired you to write Heart of a Warrior?
Driving through the Rocky Mountains and musing what it would be like to be lost in them.
Ah. The dangers of being a writer. We are constantly asking, “What if?” 😉
Near the start of Heart of a Warrior, your main character gives birth in unusual circumstances. How do your own delivery stories compare?
Thankfully not that unusual, but I have been blessed with wonderful midwives and my last birth was even at home. I can’t tell you how nice it is to give birth in your own space and then crawl into your own bed an hour later!
So glad your experience held fewer unexpected surprises.
Did you have a sensitivity reader to assist you with the cultural side of things?
I considered using one, but honestly, history isn’t sensitive. It’s dirty and gritty and rude and often hurtful. But how can we learn from it if we try to paint it any other way. The important part for me was presenting both sides honestly from the main characters’ points of view.
I absolutely agree that history is messy and often ugly, but I guess I have a different view of the role of a sensitivity reader. To me, it isn’t about painting history in any particular way. It’s about viewing history and my story through eyes different than my own. The sensitivity reader doesn’t tell me how to write my story, he/she points out areas that could be understood differently than I intended them to be understood. I may know what I want to say or communicate, but the true test of whether I’m successful in conveying my message is whether or not others receive it the way I intended. To me, a sensitivity reader is a specialized critique or beta reader. Whether I incorporate their suggestions or change things based on their concerns is entirely up to me, since ultimately it’s my name that will be on the finished art piece. You are right, though, that every story must be presented through the main characters’ point of view for it to be successful. Heart of a Warrior came across to me as genuine to the characters while still being respectful.
How long did it take you to complete this novel, including research, plotting, writing, and editing it?
Which time. I first wrote it over a decade a go and then it sat in a file waiting to be reborn. Five years ago, I pulled it out again and rewrote it extensively. That fall I signed a contract with a small publisher. Which publisher got bought out by a larger one and my story was pushed to the back burner. Feels like it has been a long time coming!
Wow! That is a long time to wait for a book baby to arrive!
Do you have inspiration photos or images for your characters and/or setting?
I found this one I love:
(credit Ivan Zhirnov – Unsplash)
What projects are you working on next?
I am working on a Canadian Mountie series that I am quite enjoying. It’s fun and closer to home for me!
How exciting. I haven’t read a Mountie story in several years.
What is something about you that might surprise your readers?
Well, as far as announcements go, baby #5 is on the way! I know a lot of people consider that to be a really big family and also wonder where I find the time.
Congratulations! I’m a mama of four but at one point we considered having as many as six. Kids create a blessed kind of chaos.
What is your work space and/or routine like?
My work space is anywhere, and routine is whenever I can finds a few minutes! (nap and bedtimes are wonderful!)
Who has been a significant support in your writing journey?
My hubby. He’s been great at giving me time when I need it and even taking the kids for days on end, insisting I go to writing conferences and such.
Supportive husbands are real treasures.
Which books are you reading now?
I am enjoying Mary Connally’s Loving the Texas Negotiator. I’ve read all her historical stories so I thought I should try her contemporary as well.
Will you please share one of your favorite Bible verses?
James 1:5 KJV: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”
Who are 3-5 authors you read often?
Mary Connally—obviously, Karen Witemeyer, Melanie Dickerson, and Carolyn Miller are for sure my go-tos but there are so many others I love, I could sit here naming for hours!
Those are all great authors. Thanks for chatting with us today!
Read my review of Heart of a Warrior here.
Did you enjoy this interview? Have you read any of Angela’s novel’s? What’s your favorite comfort food? Let me know in the comments below!
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