Historical Fiction Based in Fact — Marguerite Gray
Today I’m excited to welcome author Marguerite Gray as she shares insights in where to find the history in your fiction. Read all the way through to find out how to win a free copy of her latest release. And don’t forget to keep scrolling to read the first page of her book, Surround Me.
I have always been a reader and writer. When I lived in England as a child, I had the opportunity to travel with my family to castles and palaces. My father took us to every church and cemetery and played games to learn the kings and queens of England. I started a journal in fifth grade and never stopped. I get the ideas for my novels from my travels and reading. I’ve traveled to every main setting of my stories hoping to obtain a true feel for the town, building, people, history, food, and art.
For the Revolutionary Faith series, I found my inspiration from my father as he was giving a tour of our family antebellum home. He showed items belonging to my eight times great grandfather Louis Lestarjette. For some reason, I was fascinated that I was attached to these items through history—the candlesticks, the locket, the walking cane. Soon I found myself in Charleston, S.C., deep into research and my first novel in the series. I bought and read 25 books before I wrote the first word.
The period is pre-American Revolution and American Revolution 1772-1776. Surround Me picks up in 1773. The setting is Charles Town, South Carolina. The two main characters, Louis Lestarjette and Elizabeth Elliott, were my ancestors, but their lives in the novel are fictional. I tried to develop an environment true to the period keeping close connections to the historical venue. The question that always surfaces is “How does someone go about his everyday life when chaos is brewing around them?” I love where my characters lead me. It’s a journey of faith, hope, and forgiveness.
Hold Me Close (Book One) covers 1772-1773; Surround Me (Book Two) 1773-1774; Bring Me Near (Book Three) 1775-1776; Draw Me to Your Side (Book Four) 1776-1777.
My books are historical Christian fiction. Surround Me is book two in the Revolutionary Faith series. Set in 1773 Charles Town, Surround Me takes the reader into the lives of colonists confronting imminent change and unpredictable circumstances binding them together to become a formidable force.
As the dark curtain of the rumors of revolution threatens to descend, Louis Lestarjette pursues his relationship with Elizabeth even as the emotional and physical struggles set the course for a life of changes. Will his commitment to God stay firm, or will the tide of change cause fear and flight?
The chance of reconciliation with England moves further out to sea, leaving Elizabeth Elliott on the shores of surrender to a greater challenge. Although others of unwavering courage give her strength, she must choose to allow God’s love to surround her. How can she enter a marriage during a time of uncertainty? Will selfish, safer options take her away from Louis and his love?
Who is your Ideal reader?
My writing tag is Entertain. Educate. Encourage. I want my reader to experience all those areas. The fictional aspect hopes to entertain the reader. The historical genre seeks to educate. The overall Christian theme lends opportunities to encourage.
What is your “go to” routine?
As odd as this may sound, I like to write at the zoo. I usually sit at a table beside the monkeys. The huge umbrella shades me from the heat and sun while I converse with my characters. Some days I might move to be “mused” by the giraffes. When I write at home, I like the view from my window of the birds and squirrels with my cat Cleo sprawled out across my table.
What is your next book?
I write the kind of books that I like to read. Ever since I read The Source by James A. Michener in high school, I have found the genre I love the most to read—historical fiction.
My next book is Bring Me Near: Revolutionary Faith Book Three. It is scheduled to be released in June, 2017. It continues the story of Louis and Elizabeth and the citizens of Charles Town.
Question for the reader: How do you choose what book to read next?
Leave a comment, and one lucky winner will be chosen to receive either an eBook copy or a print copy of Surround Me (print in US only).
About the author:
Marguerite Martin Gray is the author of Hold Me Close: Revolutionary Faith Book One and Surround Me: Revolutionary Faith Book Two. She enjoys studying history and writing fiction. An avid traveler and reader, she teaches French and has degrees in French, Spanish, and journalism from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, and a MA in English from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas. Marguerite is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Abilene Writers Guild, and Daughters of the American Revolution. Originally from Louisiana, she currently lives in Abilene with her husband.
His hands gripped the railing tightly, turning his knuckles a startling white compared to his wind chapped tanned skin. The pressure in his grasp mimicked the turmoil in his head. Louis Lestarjette’s gaze lifted to a sea of deep-blue waves. Charles Town and any semblance of land had disappeared days ago. Why the upheaval now when he had weeks to prepare for his journey and his family reunion? Could a prodigal son truly go back to his home and family? How would he be received?
If he had made a mistake, he would never forgive himself. All the “What ifs” jumbled in his mind, tumbling into compartments he thought he’d closed in order to keep doubts and insecurities away. Where was the peace he had claimed? At this hour, just when the sun was setting to the west sending threads of yellow and orange across the vast Atlantic, Louis dreamed of Elizabeth Elliott, with her blue-gray eyes and curly light-brown hair, and the hope she dispersed in his once troublesome, wayward life. Would she be waiting when he returned? Why the doubts when the voyage had barely begun? An ocean away from his heart’s desire, he longed for his fiancée. Their relationship was a secret kept from her family in order to shield her from scrutiny and questions while he fulfilled a challenging mission.