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Interview with Cynthia Roemer

Welcome, Cynthia!
What sparked your interest in writing about life on the prairie in the 1800’s? What do you enjoy about that time period?

I’ve always had a love for the past. There is so much we can learn from those who’ve gone before us. I love hearing tales of by-gone days, especially the prairie frontier. Life was harder back then, and yet so much simpler. There were fewer distractions, families spent time together in honest work and wholesome recreation. Neighborliness was a common practice and people grew up with a deep sense of God in their lives. It was an endearing time period that has always intrigued me.

In your new release, Under Prairie Skies, do you have a favorite character? Can you tell us about him or her?
I don’t think I can choose just one. LOL! I love both of my main characters: Chad for his strength and sensitivity, Charlotte for her tenacity and teachable spirit. She matures so much as the story unfolds. Together, they find what is most precious in life: faith, family and love. And then there’s Johnny, the little orphan boy who wants so to be loved. His endearing nature was such a joy to create.

What do you hope will be your readers’ takeaway?
It’s my prayer that in reading Under Prairie Skies readers will see how God can use people to speak His truths into each other’s lives and “spur one another on to love and good deeds.” (Hebrews 10:24) All in a spirit of love and encouragement.

Is there a Bible verse that best represents the themes in your book?
Sure is! Proverbs 27:17: “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Throughout the story Chad and Charlotte share some hard truths with each other, but ones which in the end, bring them blessing.

You live on a farm in rural Illinois, which also happens to be the setting in your novels. What is your favorite aspect of your hometown? Does living there help to imagine what it would have been like in the 1800’s?
My favorite aspect would be the sense of neighborliness, the way everyone rallies around each other in hard times and are there for each other. Though rural life today is less difficult than it was in the mid-1800’s, farmers still have a sense of their livelihood being tied to the land. We are entirely dependent on the Lord for sunshine and rain to grow our crops and know what it is to live with lean or plenty.

Can you tell us a little about your research process? What tips would you give new authors about researching historical eras?
I actually did a lot of my research for my first novel, Under This Same Sky while in college, before information was so easily accessed via the internet. I still have boxes of notecards I wrote out by hand and organized by subject from library books. Now, research is often just a click away. Libraries are still a great resource with storehouses of information.

Currently, I’m researching historic Cincinnati, Ohio for the next book in the series: Under Moonlit Skies and have loved going through old newspaper articles, street maps, etc. It’s wonderful to have such information at our fingertips! Visiting actual sites in the era I write is also a great way to achieve authenticity in writing. Seeing items first-hand and asking questions provides a wonderful opportunity to learn about the time period. And such fun!

What do you do when you’re not writing?
Some of my favorite warm-weather past-times are hiking, biking, gardening, riding side-saddle with my husband in the combine, bird identification, and enjoying nature. In the winter, I enjoy baking, cozying up with my family to watch movies, and of course, reading!

What are you reading right now?
Currently I’m reading Misty M. Beller’s This Treacherous Journey. Next on my list, is Heidi Chiavaroli’s upcoming release, The Hidden Side. I have the privilege of knowing both of these lovely ladies personally, which makes reading their novels all the more special. Misty was my roommate at the 2014 ACFW Conference in St. Louis. Heidi and I were both finalists in the Genesis Contest that same year. Heidi went on to win the contest.

Do you prefer physical books, audio books, or e-books?
Oh, there is no comparison to the feel of holding a book in my hands and drinking it the action as I turn each page.


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CJ Myerly is a graduate from Clearwater Christian College. She resides in Tampa, Florida with her husband and two children. She’s always loved reading and writing and is currently working on a contemporary romance series. She hates clutter, loves organization, and has a love/hate relationship with all electronics. CJ blogs about books, writing, motherhood, and homeschooling at http://momentsdippedinink.com.




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