Today, we have historical romance author, Colleen Hall with us to answer some questions and tell us a bit more about her new book, HER TRAITOR’S HEART.
Welcome, Colleen, thanks for taking the time to chat with us. Why don’t you start by telling us a bit about yourself.
I was born into a long line New Englanders. On both sides of my family my ancestors settled in America by 1630. When I went South to go to college, it was quite the culture shock. I visited six European countries one summer during my college years on a summer school abroad tour. I’ve loved writing as long as I can remember. My mother tells me I wrote my first story when I was in third grade. I always said I wouldn’t marry a Southerner, but I ended up marrying one and staying in South Carolina. I’ve also loved horses as long as I can remember, and my patient husband has indulged my horse habit by letting me buy horses.
So, you’re novel, HER TRAITOR’S HEART released earlier this week, on Tuesday to be exact. Congratulations! Can you tell us what it’s about?
For Coral Leigh, the Civil War took everything and everyone she loved: her fiancé, her brother, and her father. But when her mother dies of grief shortly after the war’s end, Coral’s plantation home, Elmwood, must be auctioned. Soon to be homeless, she fears becoming yet another casualty of the war.
Fortunately, help arrives in the handsome form of Clint Logan, a decorated general in the Union army, and part of the occupational forces stationed near her home. When the general kindly offers her employment, Coral decides her pride isn’t worth starvation.
As love blooms between them, Coral and Clint must contend with threats worse than the scrutiny of Southern society. Disenfranchised Confederate soldiers are causing trouble around town, and Coral has to face the possibility of Clint’s death in the line of duty, along with her own social ostracization. She will have to decide if she’s ready to trust her heart’s new loyalties, even if it means forsaking everything she’s ever known.
What was your inspiration for writing this book?
One of my New England ancestors fought in the Civil War and was part of the occupying force that stayed in the South afterwards. He became friends with a Southern lady, and they carried on a correspondence after he returned to New England. Their letters were passed down in the family. I remember seeing part of his uniform in a trunk when I was a child, and when I saw his uniform, he became a real person to me.
What’s your favorite scene from the book?
My favorite scene from the book is when Clint takes Coral back to Elmwood to get some things she’d left there when she first moved to town. Clint makes what could have been a very sad time for Coral into a more light-hearted affair. It’s where Coral closes one chapter of her life and whole-heartedly embraces the future. It’s also the point where Coral realizes she’s not betraying her heritage by allowing herself to love a Yankee.
What’s your least favorite scene and why?
My least favorite scene is the one where Coral goes back on her word to call a truce with Clint Logan and resorts to her previous behavior toward him. It was hard for me to write because I personally don’t enjoy conflict with other people, and to have Coral sustain her animosity toward Clint was painful.
It sounds wonderful! Where can we get a copy?
Amazon / B&N / iBooks / Smashwords
What one book or series do you wish YOU had written and why?
The books I wish I’d written are three by Penelope Williamson, The Passions of Emma, The Outsider, and The Heart of the West. Her books are rich in historical detail, her characters are well crafted and believable, and her plots are deep.
What’s the most difficult part of the writing process for you?
The part I least enjoy is the social media platform.
What one piece of advice would you give to new writers?
Don’t give up and keep learning about writing. Stay focused on the goal.
Thanks so much, Colleen!