3 Year Blogiversary Day 3: Author Lisa Norato
Please join me in welcoming novelist Lisa Norato as she tells you a bit about herself, her book Prize of My Heart and her furry baby Chaka! I'm so glad to have her and as a new Christian fiction author I'm sure she'd appreciate a friendly or encouraging comment. :-)
|Lisa and Chaka|
Since Prize of My Heart is your debut can you tell us a bit about yourself and your
The truth is, I’m a bit of a homebody, having lived in New England and close to family my whole life. I grew up surrounded by its rich colonial history, changing seasons and close proximity to the coast. Years later, this would greatly influence my writing, but it wasn’t until I was “forced” to try my hand at writing—when assigned to compose and illustrate a children's book at the art college I was attending—that I discovered the joy of creative expression through telling stories. Still, writing a complete novel seemed a frightening and awesome task, and it wasn’t until many years later that I found the courage to actually attempt a book of my own. That was the beginning of Prize of My Heart, which has gone through years of evolving and many revisions to
become the book it is today.
Meanwhile, I continued to work full-time as a legal assistant while penning several other manuscripts. Prize of My Heart is my inspirational debut, but people might not know that I’ve also written two secular romances previously published by a small library press. When I was nearly finished with the first of those early romances, a close writer friend of mine introduced me to her agent during the welcome reception of a New Jersey writer’s conference. That was how I met my agent, Mary Sue Seymour.
Throughout, the story of Prize remained close to my heart, and I hoped that one day it would be worthy to share with readers. I believe when God puts a desire in your heart, He also guides you towards making that dream come true. Your job is to trust and to always strive to do your best.
I love historical fiction and can only imagine how much research goes into writing it.
How difficult was it to find info for this story?
The setting for Prize of My Heart was originally inspired by an issue of Colonial Homes magazine that caught my eye while in line at the grocery store. It featured an article on the historic seaside village of Duxbury, Massachusetts. At the end of the War of 1812, well-built vessels were in demand, and Duxbury developed into one of the country’s leading shipbuilding centers.
An inordinate amount of time goes into researching any historical, but luckily Duxbury is within driving distance for me, and I’ve had the opportunity to tour its many historic homes. I quickly learned Duxbury is a town proud of its history. Numerous books have been written by local historians, and I’m pretty sure I’ve collected them all! For me, the hardest to research were the sailing scenes. I found navigation very complicated, with so much to keep in mind at once—the sails and rigging, the winds and direction, plus all the seafaring terminology used during the federal time period. It left me with great respect for 19th century sea captains of square-rigged, wooden ships.
There is one historical tidbit I’d like to share. If you read Prize, you’ll probably begin to wonder why the town is spelled Duxboro. That’s because the name went through several changes during its history. In 1637, the town was officially incorporated as Duckborrow by the Mayflower Pilgrims who sailed across the bay from Plymouth to settle there. In 1779, the name was changed to Duxbury, but in 1813 the town clerks adopted the spelling of Duxboro, which persisted until 1824, until the name was permanently restored back to Duxbury. There are many theories, but no one knows for sure the origin of the name or who chose it.
Give us three words to describe the heroine Lorena.
Besides writing what are some of your other loves? (I imagine that dogs might be an
answer here so feel free to share Chaka’s story!)
Yes, dogs and a love of all animals are high on my list. My New Year's resolution was to adopt a vegan lifestyle. It’s something I've wanted to do for a long time; and now that I have, I find the transition to not eating animal products a lot easier than I had anticipated.
My precious dog Chaka is a 6-pound, 10-year old, half Yorkshire Terrier/half Poodle mix. I still remember the first time I held her. She snuggled into my chest, and I fell in love. She was so small she fit in the palm of my hand. Because she was so small, I asked the breeder if I would be able to take her for walks. Well, Chaka must have been listening, because walking is Chaka’s favorite thing to do. She is very persistent in letting me know when it is time to get my sneakers!
Are you currently working on a new story? If so could you share a bit about it?
I’m working on another Federal-era, Duxbury-set historical. This one is a touch gothic, set in a large seaside mansion whose inhabitants continue to be affected (in Rebecca fashion) by the lingering influence of its deceased mistress. The heroine, a retired, sea captain’s daughter, climbs to the mansion’s widow walk each morning to stare out across the bay at the town’s lighthouse. She’s never seen its keeper even though he’s manned the light for a year now and it was her father who secured him the post. When they do meet, confusing dreams haunt her, making her suspect they share some past connection. It is not until a storm brings a shipwreck survivor to her door that she discovers the connection involves her mother’s dangerous past and now it is her life that is in peril.
Visit Lisa @ her WEBSITE or on FACEBOOK
Order Prize of My Heart
In order to celebrate the release of her book Lisa has kindly offered one copy of Prize of My Heart to one lucky winner! US residents ages 18 and up only. Winner selected at random, Sunday, March 18th. PLEASE read the entry form below for additional rules.
CORRECTION: The form incorrectly states that the giveaway ends on March 15 but it ends March 17 so please feel free to enter up until that date.