So, without further ado about nothing, let's get on with it!
Originally, it was going to be just one book (The Dressmaker's Secret) ... but I honestly couldn't let go of the characters.
Besides, I felt bad that Ivy didn't get some attention, too. She was Alice's quiet, oft-forgotten sister ... but I felt that she had a story (or in this case, stories), too.
And I'd always intended to write Alice as an adult at some point. So ... I suppose a series just made sense!
2.) Your favorite genre to read and write is historical fiction. What is it that so draws you to this genre?
There's a certain magic in the past. I don't know what it is exactly ... but it's just amazing! I've always loved stories from the past (I think a great deal of it comes from my mom, who was always really into learning about the personalities behind historical characters, etc.), and it just seemed like a natural option to me.
However, I did stumble upon historical fiction by accident rather than setting out to write in that genre. I had no idea I was writing it until I'd already finished The Dressmaker's Secret! The original genre was 'something realistic that's set in the 1870s.' XD I'm really kind of stupid sometimes (and I mean that in the nicest way ... because I'm talking about myself and who wants to insult themselves?).
3.) How has music, particularly the fact that you play piano, impacted your writing?
Well, first of off, a disclaimer: I play the piano, "A LITTLE," as Mr. Rochester emphatically informs Jane Eyre of her musical talents. Yet another thing Jane Eyre, Elizabeth Bennet, and I have in common ... ;)
In Ivy Introspective, (minor spoilers, though there's a piano on the cover so ... I don't know how you wouldn't know this), Ivy learns to play the piano, and this helps her clear her head and serves as a sort of a ... thought-conductor, if you will. Music can effect people majorly - it has me, anyway - and I wanted to show that in my book ... along with the fact that some special needs children do have special talents such as music which help them focus (at least that's what my research has shown; it's not always the case, but it can be and often is).
So, I suppose music - and playing the piano - have both impacted my writing, especially my writing of IvIn. However, music can be a great source of inspiration for me. Often my plot or characters are inspired by songs.
4.) If you could choose one hymn as the theme song for each book, what would the song be for TDS? IvIn?
Ooh, that's a hard one! I have several contemporary Christian songs for each (to be fair, while I was writing these books we were going to newer churches which played more contemporary songs more often than hymns; we only started going to a church that plays hymns again recently), but I don't know if I ever assigned a particular hymn for them. What about ...
TDS: The Solid Rock
IvIn: Fairest Lord Jesus
When I started answering these questions, I wasn't sure if I could really find hymns that fit the stories, but ... I think I did!
The Solid Rock
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus' name
This hymn is great for the story of Alice and her mother, both of whom need to learn to lean completely on Jesus.
Fairest Lord Jesus
Fairest Lord Jesus, Ruler of all nature,
O Thou of God and man the Son,
Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honor,
Thou, my soul’s glory, joy and crown.
5.) What happened in your life to get you interested in writing and publishing?
I've always been writing. I don't really know what gave me an interest in it.
I do remember wanting to be an author when I heard a quote from author Beverly Cleary about how she wanted to write about the world of normal children. I remember thinking, "Well, I love the world of Henry Huggins and Ramona Quimby, but ... that's not my world! Maybe I should write a story about that." I haven't actually written a story about my 'world,' but maybe I will someday. We'll see.
As far as publishing ... finishing a novel, I think. I mean, I'd finished books before, but prior TDS, they weren't full-length ... they were about 10K at the longest (I think). Longer books were never finished.
Also, I wrote TDS for NaNoWriMo 2014, and one of the "prizes" for winning was a free paperback copy of your book via Createspace. I never got that free copy, but seeing Createspace, signing up, and learning how it worked gave me the courage to try publishing.
Thank you so much for letting me interview you, Kellyn! I loved reading all your answers. ;)
About the Books:
The Dressmaker’s Secret
After a revealing conversation with the first children of her age she’s ever met, curious eight-year-old Alice Chattoway realizes that one ought to have a father … and she doesn’t. Having determined that his absence is making her mother unhappy, Alice resolves to find him and create a family for herself.
However, Alice’s mother, Miss Chattoway, is reluctant to answer any questions posed about a man she’d much rather forget. While Alice investigates, Miss Chattoway tries to balance her own spiritual turmoil with her need to be both mother and provider to her daughters.
Will Alice ever unravel her mother’s secrets? Can Miss Chattoway let go of the past to reach for the future?
Trapped in a world where she doesn’t belong, twelve-year-old Ivy Knight struggles to keep her head above water as her simplicity is brought to light by her new position as a young lady growing up at Pearlbelle Park.
Worried about their daughter’s inability to fit in, Ivy’s parents decide to send her to McCale House, a boarding school in Scotland for boys and girls like her. However, alone and frightened without her beloved mother, sister, and nurse, Ivy can’t seem to focus.
Will Ivy ever learn what Dr. McCale is trying to teach her? Or will she remain lost in her own mind forever?
About the Author:
Kellyn Roth was born and raised in the country outside a small town in North-Eastern Oregon. Ever since she could talk, she’s had a fascination with words, always coming up with songs, poems, and stories. Now a homeschooled highschooler, she spends her spare time penning historical novels, several of which have been published.
Blog tour Schedule:
Tuesday the 20th
-Lana @ The Music of Words (book and character spotlight)
Wednesday the 21st
-Faith Blum @ Bookish Orchestrations (author interview)
Thursday the 22nd
-Leona @ Great Books for God’s Girls (review of IvIn, author interview)
Friday the 23rd
-Jordy @ Jordy Leigh (author interview)
-Tonya @ Literary Musings (reviews of TDS and IvIn)
Saturday the 24th
-May Everly @ Forever and Everly (author interview)
-Zane Jones @ Simple Impossibilities (author interview)
Sunday the 25th
-Dani Eide @ Perspective of a Writer (character interview and spotlight)
Monday the 26th
-Anika Joy @ This Journey Called Life (review of TDS and IvIn)
-Maddy @ Girls Living for God’s Glory (book spotlight)
Tuesday the 27th
-Heather @ Frozen Books Blog (guest post)
Wednesday the 28th
-Jesseca Wheaton @ Whimsical Writings for His Glory (author interview, book spotlight)
-Jaylee Morgan @ Jaylee Morgan Writes (character interview and guest post)
-J.C. Buchanan @ Beyond the Amethyst (review of TDS and IvIn)
Thursday the 29th
-Zielle @ My Homeschool Notebook (review of TDS and IvIn)
-Sarah Briel @ Penumbra Reviews (review of TDS and IvIn, author interview)
-Sel H. @ Hearth (author interview)
Friday the 30th
-Angela R. Watts @ The Peculiar Messenger (author interview)
-Lainey @ Direct My Paths (reviews of TDS, character interview and spotlight)
-Dawn Dagger @ Dawn Dagger’s Official Blog (review of TDS, author interview)