Kathleen L. Maher
Today I am honored to have a special guest on the HIStory blog! Please help me welcome Kathleen L. Maher.
Welcome Kathleen! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a stay at home mom of two Middle schoolers, I am married to my soul mate, and we have three rescued dogs and a tuxedo cat who rules the roost. I write Christian historical fiction, occasionally paint, love to garden, and hope to one day grow all our own food.
Wow! That's a worthy goal. How did you discover your calling to be a writer?
I’ve always loved books and story. I would dream such vivid dreams that I would immediately try to capture them on the page. And then, when I learned about the local history here in upstate NY, how we have ties to Civil War, Revolutionary War, and so much more, I was hooked with historical writing.
What books have influenced your life most?
One of my most memorable moments was watching Gone with the Wind as a preteen with my mom and actually liking it. I read it for the first time in 7th grade, and twice since. It brought history to life, made me feel the universal conflict of unrequited love depicted between Scarlett and Ashley, Rhett and Scarlett. I related to Scarlett’s determination to survive, being a child of a struggling single mom. And It made me determined to appreciate the people and things in my life and not pine for the ones I couldn’t have.
A few nonfiction books gave me great hope in times of trial. Bruce Wilkinson’s The Dream Giver took me on an allegorical journey to fulfilling the calling on one Ordinary Man’s life. Captivating by Staci Eldredge helped me understand the strength in Godly femininity and the ways the world has tried to put blockades on the path of living the life God intended.
That's very interesting. If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
My critique partner Debbie Lynne Costello, represented by Tamela Hancock Murray, has been my go-to gal for five years. She is incredibly good at plotting, characterization, research, all the things that a great historical writer is. And Carrie Fancett Pagels has gone out of her way to help me on several instances. She is a very gifted writer aside from being a kind and generous person and brilliant at networking. Both of these ladies’ edits on my debut novella, Bachelor Buttons, have been invaluable.
I've met Carrie on facebook, and you're right. She is a sweet, wonderful person. She also has a book in the Cry of Freedom Series. What is your favorite time in History?
The American Civil War. It staggers the mind to think that in one battle, more American men died than in the entirety of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq combined. And boys as young as 12 participated. . . it is a conflict full of drama and nuance and strange and fascinating facts.
It's my favorite time period as well! What was the most outstanding thing you learned while researching for this novella?
Bachelor Buttons is about the Draft Riots in Manhattan after Lincoln called for mandatory conscription in 1863. Some Irish set fires to the draft offices in protest, and committed some pretty heinous acts, but many Irish were also very heroic and selfless during this time, too. When a black orphanage was set on fire, it was Irish firemen that fought the blaze, and when mobs took over the city, it was Irish soldiers and police that restored order. It really brought to life the sights and sounds that I had always heard about in family stories about my great, great grandmother.
Have you enjoyed being a part of a historical series? Tell us a little about the Cry of Freedom Series.
It’s been a great experience. Murray Pura is our brilliant and energetic leader, and I love his vision to commemorate the 150 year anniversary of battles such as Gettysburg, Vicksburg, Chancellorsville, and Chickamauga. Bringing together 15 different writers to provide unique perspectives on the year 1863 has been a rich learning opportunity. I’ve made some wonderful friends and read some great stories from my fellow contributors.
Please tell us about your book Bachelor Buttons.
I have based my heroine, Rose Meehan on my great, great grandmother Katherine Meehan, who lived in Manhattan in the 1860’s. Rose is a feisty and resourceful Irish lass with two suitors, a poor violin instructor who is hoping for his big break on the stage, and an Irish doctor who would offer Rose a comfortable life. She must choose the man she will marry, and meanwhile Manhattan erupts in chaos and violence. Through heroism and character one man emerges as her clear choice.
I read the novella and enjoyed it very much. I really appreciated you kept the romance clean and moral. What do you want readers to take away from Bachelor Buttons?
I hope they see the role of faith and prayer in times of crisis to take a person through to a better outcome than we could even think to ask for ourselves.
Amen. I know I've experienced that in my life. Any fun behind the scenes tidbits you'd like to share with us?
My g-g grandmother really did court both a violin teacher and a doctor, and the men ran a foot race to see which one she would marry.
A foot race! I'll have to think about using that one. What is the next project you're working on?
I can’t say too much about it, but it is a combination of Princess Bride and Silver Linings Playbook. J
Intriguing! Can't wait to hear more. How can readers find you on the internet?
I am on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/mahereenie?ref=tn_tnmn
Blogs I contribute to:
Thank you for taking the time to stop by today, Kathleen! This has been a great time.
Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Amber! You are a blessing.
As thanks, I’d like to offer an e-copy of my novella Bachelor Buttons to one lucky commenter. If you’ll leave your email addy and a comment, I’ll draw one name via random.org and send you either a kindle or nook copy, your choice.
Wow! That's very generous of you. Well, ya'll heard the lady! Leave a comment with your email address for a chance to win a copy of this great book.
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Kathleen L. Maher’s novella Bachelor Buttons released through Helping Hands Press in May, 2013 as part of a Civil War sesquicentennial collection. Her manuscript Closer than a Brother won the historical category of ACFW’s Genesis contest in 2012. Her work has finaled in several writing contest since 2009. She is represented by Terry Burns of Hartline Literary Agency.
Kathleen blogs about New York State history and enjoys reading and writing reviews for historical CBA releases. She and her husband live in a 100-year-old farmhouse in upstate NY with their three children. Two rescued Newfoundland dogs and a tuxedo cat complete their family.
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Amber Schamel was born in Littleton, CO and has traveled extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and the Holy Land. She was raised in a family of 11 children, home-schooled through education and currently works with their 10 family businesses. Amber is a multi-published author and currently lives with her family outside of Colorado Springs, CO..
(c) 2013 Amber Schamel