JDP: Welcome, Tina! Please tell us a little about your historical novel.
Tina: I’d love to.
A failed engagement sets seventeen-year-old Catherine Erichsen on a faith-building journey of self discovery as she follows her parents and other Mormon Saints on the 1863 immigration to America. When precious heirlooms start disappearing aboard the John J. Boyd, Catherine nearly loses her life at the hand of thieving sailors and fears she won’t live long enough to fulfill the desires of her heart.
Tina: This is the year that one set of my ancestors emigrated from Denmark aboard the John J. Boyd.
JDP: So there’s a link to your own family history. That’s exciting! What did you find most fascinating about this time period?
Tina: It was a time of transition for modern technology. Bicycles had been invented, but chances that a farm girl would have seen one were slim. They traveled by train part of the way, but many of the immigrants, I’m sure, had never seen a train before they stepped aboard, and so many of their experiences were different and exciting.
JDP: I’m always interested in how authors research their historical novels. Could you tell us a little about how you researched the historical background for Farewell, My Denmark?
Tina: I got my information from a variety of sources. My family history gave me the idea for the story. I found other immigrants’ histories in the Mormon Immigration Index to broaden my perspective on their experience, I resourced a few books, and the Church History Museum in Salt Lake City, Utah, and I went to Denmark where I visited the Den Fynske Landsby, or Funen Village. It is here that they’ve brought antique homes and buildings from various regions of Denmark and turned it into an open air museum, and give snippets of their peasant history.
JDP: Oh, wow, can you see me turning green? That’s envy, because I would LOVE to visit this “village,” and I’m not even Danish. Can you share with us your top three favorite research books or other resources?
Tina: Going there in person trumps anything else. *grin*
JDP: Indeed it would! Are there any historical figures from the era who particularly intrigue you?
Tina: I would have to say Hans Christian Andersen. I grew up hearing his stories and loving them. And, when I was young, Danny Kaye starred in a movie about HCA, which I watched with delight.
JDP: Oh, that was a favorite movie of my dad’s and mine, too! Absolutely loved it! In fact, one of the songs from it has a link to my current WIP. (How’s that for a coincidence?) What inspired you to write Farewell, My Denmark?
Tina: There are so many well written stories about the American pioneers, but I hadn’t encountered any on the Danish pioneers. I feel that their stories are unique and interesting, and deserve to be told.
JDP: I agree. (In full disclosure, I read an early version of Farewell, My Denmark and am currently reading a second book of Tina’s, also set in Denmark, and I confess, I have thoroughly enjoyed exploring this “less told” aspect of LDS history.) Are you working on any new projects? (Well, I kinda gave that away now, didn’t I. LOL!)
Tina: *Laughs* I forgive you. Yes, I’m in the middle of writing a story about Catherine’s sister who ends up staying in Denmark.
JDP: Where can readers obtain copies of Farewell, My Denmark?
Tina: Farewell, My Denmark will be available in June on Amazon, Kindle, and Smashwords.
JDP: Thank you for joining us today, Tina.
Now remember, for a chance to win a copy of Farewell, My Denmark along with a $10 Target gift certificate, leave a comment on this interview. Tweet and/or Facebook for additional entries before 5 PM EST, Friday April 19. REMEMBER TO INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS.