Mercy Road
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MERCY ROAD > Author Interview

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message 1: by Ann (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ann Creel | 80 comments Mod
Hello to American Historical Novels group members. I’m excited to be hosting this week and discussing my just-published novel, MERCY ROAD. To begin, see my answers to some of the most common questions I’m asked. Then stay tuned for more about the book, WW I, great old photographs, and a sweet giveaway. Thanks for joining in!

How were you inspired to write MERCY ROAD? I was researching World War I history, and when I read about the American Women’s Hospital organization, I knew their story needed to be told. I’d never heard of them, and so far, I haven’t talked to any other historical fiction fans who’ve heard of them either. Soon an image formed in my mind—a woman from Kentucky, a horsewoman who becomes an ambulance driver. I’d been wanting to write about WWI, and now I had a story.

MERCY ROAD is about a young woman who goes to France with the American Women’s Hospital, an all-female team of doctors, nurses, aides, and ambulance drivers to help the citizens and soldiers of France during World War I. Many people may not know that women, even doctors, were not allowed to join the US military, so several non-profit groups formed and went on their own. These unsung heroes inspired me to write this book.

Can you give us insight into your writing process? I’m not one of those authors who say they can simply sit down at the computer with only a vague idea in mind, and then the story flows from them onto the page without any pre-planning or outlining. How I wish I could, but I tried it once, and my results were not good. To me, ideas are the easy part. I have to be able to “see” the idea/premise of the book in at least a rough way all the way to the end, or I don’t start writing. I can begin with just a broad outline and a couple of characters, but I have to start with something that I think I can make into a fully realized novel.

What was your favorite scene to write? I enjoyed writing the scene during which my main character, Arlene Favier, runs into her old childhood friend in France near the front lines. She immediately feels a connection, but she’s not supposed to fraternize with soldiers, especially enlisted men, and she’s not sure he feels the immediate pull that she does.

What was the most difficult scene to write? The scenes during which Arlene feels sad and very alone. Thankfully, they don’t last for long.

What was the first book that made you fall in love with reading? The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough, and it’s still my favorite novel of all time.

What is the last novel you read? I just finished A Transcontinental Affair by Jodi Daynard.

What are three things people may not know about you? I once lived and worked on the Navajo reservation, I never ever drink coffee, and I’m a hopeless romantic.

What appeals to you most about your chosen genre? I love reading historical fiction, because I learn something about a time and place while also being entertained. I love to write it for the pleasure of writing, but also for the things I learn while researching it too.

What historical time period do you gravitate towards the most with your personal reading? Probably World War I and World War II. I’m also drawn to the 1920s.

What do you like to do when you aren't writing? I’ve moved into a cabin in the Smokies recently, so I’m all about getting used to it here, the outdoors, and decorating. I also love to upcycle vintage furniture.

message 2: by Amanda (new) - added it

Amanda (drpowell) | 282 comments I don't drink coffee either! And people act like they can't fathom such a life when I admit it.

message 3: by Shawna (new)

Shawna (ssherrell) | 37 comments I rarely drink coffee, and when I do, it’s only a few sips! Also, I have a great aunt who was a nurse in WWI. I’m going to research if she was part of this organization! Excited to learn more about your book!

message 4: by Ann (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ann Creel | 80 comments Mod
It's nice to know that there are more no-coffee people out there. I agree that people look at you as if you're an alien when you say you don't drink coffee.

message 5: by Tracey (new)

Tracey Evans | 90 comments I am not a coffee drinker either. I am a big pumpkin spice fan. One time a friend said to me you have to try Starbucks pumpkin spice iced coffee. She said you won't taste coffee at all you just taste the pumpkin and it is delicious. Well, there must be something wrong with my tastebuds because all I tasted was coffee and it was disgusting.

I can't wait to read your book. It sounds wonderful. Thank you for hosting this week and allowing us to get to know you.

message 6: by Ann (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ann Creel | 80 comments Mod
Great story, Tracey. When I am forced into Starbucks with others, I order a Chai tea.

message 7: by Joe (new) - added it

Joe Krakovsky | 12 comments I found it very interesting what you wrote about women in WWI. Some day I hope to read this book.

message 8: by Ann (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ann Creel | 80 comments Mod
Thank you!

message 9: by Rhonda (new) - added it

Rhonda (grannylovestoread) | 118 comments I don't like coffee either!

message 10: by Ann (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ann Creel | 80 comments Mod
That's makes four of you who've written me. So interesting! I thought I was alone in the world.

message 11: by Amanda (new) - added it

Amanda (drpowell) | 282 comments My *favorite* response to, "I don't drink coffee, I don't care for the taste" is "no one likes coffee, you get just used to it". ‍‍What???

message 12: by Ann (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ann Creel | 80 comments Mod
That is too crazy. Although I must admit I didn't like the taste of wine until I ultimately did and do. But wine has many nice side effects as compared to coffee.

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