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Excited? Me, too! I can't wait, so let's get started.
Shirley Raye Redmond is the author of several sweet romance novels and dozens of children’s books. Many of her titles have won national and regional awards. She is a member of numerous writing organizations including American Christian Fiction Writer, Romance Writers of America, Women Writing the West, and SCBWI. She lives in New Mexico, has been married 41 years to her college sweetheart. They have two adult children, two adorable grandsons and one sassy Scottish terrier.
1. What was your inspiration for this story?
I actually had a private tour of the Jacksonville Insane Asylum many years ago. Mary Todd Lincoln was a patient there briefly following the death of President Lincoln. Built in the mid 1840s, the asylum was the product of humanitarian Dorothea Dix’s impassioned plea to the Illinois Legislature. Miss Dix was a stalwart advocate for mentally ill individuals mistreated by society. Some were locked away in cellars and attics. Others were put on display in county jails. No medical aid or social services were available at the time for those declared insane. Everyone was lumped into the same category—whether one was a cruel psychopathic killer or a melancholy young mother suffering from postpartum depression. Dorothea Dix changed that.
2. What is its take-away message?
There are two: (1) Trust God. He has goodness in store for you, and (2) Dorothea Dix is a fine example of how one Godly woman, dedicated to a cause, can change the world.
3. Tell us a bit about your writing routine. Do you have set hours? Do you get dressed first? Do you travel for research? Where and when do you do your best work?
Yes, I always get up, get dressed, have my quiet time with my Bible and coffee. I still write out my first draft on a yellow pad—the old-fashioned way. Then I revise as I type the scribbled down pages on my computer.
I do often travel to do research—even for my children’s books. In fact, almost all of my titles are the result of some family vacation or a trip with my younger sister. The Dog That Dug For Dinosaurs (Simon & Schuster) was the result of a three-week trip to England. Lewis & Clark, A Prairie Dog for the President (Random House) was inspired by a family vacation to Yellowstone National Park.
4. What’s your next writing project? I am working on a romantic suspense novel with gothic overtones set on the Liberian mission field in 1932. My working title is CURSE OF THE LEOPARD.
Wonderful answers. Thank you!
Just for fun:
1. Coffee or Tea? Both, depending on my mood!
2. Snacks: Sweet or Salty? I have a weakness for potato chips.
3. Dream vacation To go to Iceland…and I did!
4. #1 on your Bucket List New Zealand
Thank you, Shirley Raye. I appreciate getting to know great authors, and your answers intrigue me. I'd love to be able to sit down and enjoy and cup of coffee or tea with you. (I love both, too, depending on my mood!)
Now, dear readers, hold tight as we peek in Ms. Redmond's Viper's Nest.
Now, I have to admit I haven't read this book--yet. But from what I've learned about it, it has gone to the top of my to-be-read pile. It sounds absolutely fantastic.
Here's one more blurb:
Research assistant Wren Bergschneider and her boss, Professor Allan Partner, find themselves targets of a deranged shooter after they emerge from the basement of an old asylum slated for demolition. As their lives take an unexpected and dangerous turn, both the police and the institution’s comptroller want Allan and Wren to cease their research of the historical building.
But the handsome history professor has more at stake than publishing another bestselling biography about Dorothea Dix. He is also quietly investigating the death of his mother, who died under suspicious circumstances while a patient at the mental asylum many years before.
Can they uncover the scandal of the institution before the secrets—or Wren and Allan—are buried forever?
Purchase links for Viper's Nest: