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Interview with Carla Gade

Carla Olson Gade began writing when in grade school by making up newsletters that she handed out to her friends. Later she submitted articles to newspapers and other local publications. After reading Christian fiction, Carla started writing her first novel. With just a bit of probing into her blogs and interviews, her affinity to all things historical is apparent.

Carla, your new release is entitled: Pattern for Romance. Is this another historical romance? Where did the idea for this book emerge?
Yes, Pattern for Romance is set in colonial Boston shortly before the American Revolution as one of Abingdon Fiction’s Quilts of Love novels. I became interested in the origin of quilting in America. That’s where my story began…before the time of piecework quilts. My novel has the earliest setting in the series with whole-cloth quilting providing the basis for the theme.

While exploring my father’s ancestors, a story was discovered which I used to inspire a fiction piece. Noticing your enjoyment of genealogy, I wondered if any of your stories were based on family members from your lineage.
Not yet, although I have discovered some interesting tales that I have begun weaving into some stories that I am developing. I’d love to do a few historical novels based on some interesting ancestors that I’ve learned about. Every time I research my family history, especially my early New England ancestors, I am so inspired. Often little tidbits work their way in to my novels to help authenticate the story. I also like to use family names for my characters to pay tribute to my ancestors.

Is there a particular research session or trip that stands out? Please share that experience.
The thrill of my life was spending time in Colonial Williamsburg where I was absorbed in 18th century culture. Living history museums are my absolute favorite resource for research. History comes to life and provides such a wonderful learning opportunity. I really enjoyed listening to the interpreters share about their trades and learned so much about colonial life.

You juggle many roles. What’s your biggest challenge in balancing writing time with your other responsibilities?
I’ve simplified my life quite a bit over the years, so I am not pulled in too many directions anymore with my sons grown. I worked part-time for an adult literacy organization, did occasional contract website design, led a women’s Bible study, administered our church email prayer ministry, and was a conference planner a few times a year. My activities are now limited to writing full-time, the online prayer ministry, and watching my new grandson one day a week. The challenge, aka key, is continually yielding to God’s plan. I’m pretty much a homebody and fully enjoy the life of an author, busy as it is, with many tasks to maintain. I feel blessed.

How do your faith and spiritual life play into the picture and affect your storytelling?
It is an integral aspect of it. Most importantly, I pray my way through my writing. As I write, the spiritual theme is organically woven into the story line and the lives of the characters. I enjoy sharing my faith and the truths of God’s Word through story.

Reflecting back, what do you see as most significant to your publication journey?
Believing that I was a writer. I had wanted to be one for so long and when I applied myself and began to believe that I truly was a writer it was like a paradigm shift. My confidence changed, and I began thinking more professionally about my dream and decisions.

What advice do you have for aspiring historical fiction writers?
Immerse yourself in the historical period that you enjoy writing about by reading (non-fiction and fiction) and learning (museums, living history, historical societies, Internet). The wealth of knowledge you gain will pour onto the page more naturally and not only authenticate your plot, setting, and character’s voices, but your own voice as the author.

What other parting words do you have to share?
By connecting with fellow writers through ACFW my life has become so rich. Enjoy the journey, the process is just as important as the destination.

I love connecting online through my website at carlagade.com.

Thanks for sharing with us, Carla Olson Gade!
You are welcome. Thank you for the opportunity!




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