Karen, there are times when a writer writes and it feels like just letters on a white page. Then there are times when it sings from the heart. This book lifted off the pages into my heart on page 104. I have to say I felt the Spirit speak to me through that section. And confirmation came the following Sunday when the pastor's sermon included an amazing picture of the river at the falls as he talked about mercy. Readers--you are in for a treat!
Karen, tell us about your new novel, Where the Fire Falls:
I’m excited for readers to experience the second novel in my Vintage National Parks series, Where the Fire Falls. Olivia Rutherford is an up-and-coming watercolor artist who accepts a lucrative contract to paint illustrations of Yosemite National Park for a travel magazine. Olivia has spent a lifetime recreating her image in order to hide her family’s dark past, but she soon learns that park guide Clark Johnson has secrets of his own.
You spent several years as a park ranger, naturalist and outdoor educator. Tell us how that influenced your Vintage National Parks series:
I would say that my experience as a park ranger definitely inspired the series. From my first day on the job, I noticed a distinct sense of pride among the staff who served as stewards of these natural places. I also became fascinated with the history of our national park system and couldn’t imagine more exciting and romantic locations for a collection of novels.
The main character, Olivia Rutherford, tries to hide her humble beginnings and fashion her image as an avant-garde watercolorist to appeal to wealthy art collectors. I love character profiles, how did you develop hers? Let's talk about the historical context for her “flapper girl” image and the pressure she felt as an artist to appear a certain way:
The 1920s flapper image came about as a generation of young women struggled to reinvent themselves, throwing off their mothers’ stiff Victorian/Elizabethan styles and ways of thinking. Also, with so many making easy money in the stock market, people in the expanding upper class were embarking on wild spending sprees. I could easily picture some of them going crazy for new art trends. As I worked on Olivia’s character it struck me that most women wear a mask of some type, but God calls us to a deeper authenticity with Him and with each other. It’s my hope that Olivia’s struggle to discover who she really is—and what is important—will resonate with women in various walks of life.
What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
I hope readers will be reminded of happy memories from times they’ve visited national or state parks. Maybe it will inspire someone to go visit a new park or spend extra time in nature to grow their connection with their Creator.
Oh, and can you give us a preview of what you’re working on next?
I’m currently finishing up the third book in the series, set at another iconic location: Yellowstone National Park. This story will feature a young man from the streets of Brooklyn whose life changes dramatically when he signs up with the Civilian Conservation Corps and is shipped off to the wilds of Yellowstone. He expects hard work and rustic conditions, but it is a hotel maid with big dreams who might actually transform his future.
Where can readers find more information about Where the Fire Falls?
I’ll be posting more about Where the Fire Falls on my website, www.KarenBarnettBooks.com. Readers who sign up for my e-newsletter will also receive special behind-the-scenes info and will be the first to hear about new novels, giveaways, and eBook sales.
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Patty Rude is the winner!
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots.Nurse Practitioner by day.Wife, mother, writer by night.Coffee drinker--any time.Find me at: www.anneloveauthor.com