Author Kristina Emmons joins us to talk about her fabulous debut, Roeing Oaks.
Please tell readers about yourself and your background.
I was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and lived there until recently, when my husband and I and our two children transferred to Miami, Florida for a job offer and to be near family. I am quiet and observant, and I’ve always been attracted to books and the written word. I first recognized myself as a writer when I noticed that I think in prose. I often define the world around me in concise little sentences!
Roeing Oaks is your most recent release. Please tell us about the story.
Roeing Oaks is set in 1870 England. It is the story of a girl named Kate who is trapped in a life of poverty on a remote farm, though her parents were of noble birth. At age sixteen she learns her true heritage, and that her real father committed an unthinkable act: he auctioned off her mother, while barely pregnant with Kate, at a public market, abandoning her to the highest bidder. Kate must decide what to do with this information, and the opportunities that arise to confront her bloodline. Along the way a mysterious man named Mr. Roeing weaves himself into her world, and he has a secret of his own.
How long did it take you to write Roeing Oaks?
It took me nine years to pen Roeing Oaks. There was quite a bit of research to be done on the time period, and learning the process of writing a novel took time. I was also occupied with starting a family.
What inspired the tale of Roeing Oaks?
My faith inspired Roeing Oaks. I adore a good romantic story, but at the end of the day there is no real Prince Charming. In my walk with God I’ve had many intimate moments on a soul level and I wanted to dramatize that sort of romantic, unbelievably compassionate aspect of Him that I don’t think is stressed enough, and how He has intervened in my life during difficult times. I felt Victorian England was a good place to stage the story, given the rigid class distinction of the time and the presence of royalty. The story and the characters really took on a pulse of their own to make Roeing Oaks a living breathing tale that I really love.
Were there any interesting places, literally and figuratively, where your research for the book may have taken you?
So many figurative places, none literal as yet, unless we speak of the library! Figuratively, I learned so much about myself as a woman, and all of the things we modern women take for granted in the form of freedoms. As part of my research I read many works of fiction that were either based in the time period or written during the time period, so I journeyed in that way.
If Roeing Oaks were made into a movie, whom do you envision as the main characters?
- Mr. Roeing: I can’t overlook Hugh Jackman! Alternatively, maybe Noah Huntley.
- Kate: it would have to be just the right person—someone soft who could really transform on screen. I haven’t put a face on her yet.
- Kate’s mother: Cate Blanchett (as a brunette).
- Madam Braithwaite: Helen Mirren, or even Meryl Streep.
- Lord Percy: Daniel Day-Lewis please!
- Jonathan: Reid Emmons, my talented nephew!
What are your future writing plans?
I am in the midst of writing the sequel to Roeing Oaks, which I am very excited about. In the periphery I am also working on another historical novel and a present day novel. I guess my writing plans are to continue writing! I enjoy using unusual topics in my work.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Of course, never stop perfecting your craft technically, but above all, immerse yourself in your characters. I think it’s the only way for them to become authentic. Join a local writer’s group if you can.
How can readers learn more about you? Please share your website, social media sites, blogs, etc.
I can be found at http://www.roeingoaks.com/ or on Facebook.
Any closing thoughts you’d like to share?
I am so excited to hear feedback for Roeing Oaks! I hope it gives the reader as much of a thrill to read as it did for me to write it.
Thanks for your time, Kristina, and best of luck with Roeing Oaks. Thank you!
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