Interview with Lori Benton & GIVEAWAY

Interview with Lori Benton & GIVEAWAY  | The Engrafted Word

Lori Benton was born and raised east of the Appalachian Mountains, surrounded by early American and family history going back to the 1600s. Her novels transport readers to the 18th century, where she brings to life the Colonial and early Federal periods of American history, creating a melting pot of characters drawn from both sides of a turbulent and shifting frontier, brought together in the bonds of God’s transforming grace.

When she isn’t writing, reading, or researching 18th century history, Lori enjoys exploring the mountains with her husband – often scouring the brush for huckleberries, which overflow the freezer and find their way into her signature huckleberry lemon pound cake.
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Welcome to The Engrafted Word, Lori! It’s wonderful to have you here!

Savanna: Congratulations on your upcoming release, The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn. What a beautiful cover! Can you tell us what first sparked the idea for this novel?

Interview with Lori Benton & GIVEAWAY  | The Engrafted WordLori: Thank you! I agree the cover is gorgeous. My cover designer rocks.

The first spark of inspiration for The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn came straight out of the pages of history. While researching an earlier novel set in 18th century North Carolina, I came across mention of the State of Franklin—an attempt of the citizens west of the mountains to form a separate state. Had they succeeded, Franklin would have been the fourteenth state admitted into the Union.

This first post-Revolutionary War attempt at independent statehood spanned a brief but tumultuous period (1784—1789), marked by courthouse raids, fisticuffs, siege, and battle. For a little over four years the people of the Tennessee Valley region lived under the jurisdiction of two opposing governments. How, I wondered, could such a situation result in anything but chaos for those folk simply trying to live their lives? It was a setting that begged for a story to be woven through it.

Interview with Lori Benton & GIVEAWAY  | The Engrafted WordSavanna: I can’t wait to read this one! Sounds SO intriguing! 😉 What is one of your favorite things about writing stories set in the 18th century?

Lori:  Exploring what happens when a person from one culture encounters a person from another culture, whether there is conflict, loss, enrichment, compromise, or friendship. It’s the Middle Ground, where two worlds merge (wherever that happens to be found) that continues to hold my interest.

Another thing is all the history I learn along the way. You’ve probably heard the iceberg analogy. Only the tip of what I learn ends up in the novel, but it’s all fascinating.

Savanna: Which character in this story do you most relate to and why?

Lori: Since I created them all, I deeply relate to all the characters, even the unsavory ones. That’s part of the writer’s job—or should be. But with every novel there is usually a character I love spending time with the most. In this book I especially enjoyed writing scenes from Jesse Bird’s point of view and found him easy company. With Jesse, what you see is what you get. He’s straightforward, and I like that. I also like writing from a male point of view, perhaps because in the 18th century it was men doing most of the things I find interesting. The challenge is finding plausible situations in which my female characters can have believable adventures too!

Interview with Lori Benton & GIVEAWAY  | The Engrafted WordSavanna: From your website, it sounds like you’ve spent a lot of time in the mountains. Do you have a particularly favorite place there in North Carolina you like to visit?

Lori:  I’m usually trying to cover so much ground on my visits back east for research that I can’t linger like I’d want to in any particular place. I have fond memories of waterfalls and settler’s cabins and Grandfather Mountain, and of traveling through the areas I write about, soaking up a sense of the place. But the places I’ve spent the most time are actually on the coast and in the Piedmont, where I visited as a child. I hope to share stories in the future set in those parts of North Carolina, too.

I did enjoy a visit to Blowing Rock, the high mountain town that inspired the setting of one of my favorite series, The Mitford Books by Jan Karon. And if you happen to find yourself in Boone, NC, do drop by The Cornerstone Bookstore ( http://www.cornerstoneboone.com/ ). You’ll be glad you did.

Savanna: On your website, you’ve also shared pieces from your journey, which included being diagnosed in 1999 with cancer. Can you share with us a passage of Scripture that both strengthened and encouraged you along the way?

Lori:  One of my mainstays is Jeremiah 29:11. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

And of course Romans 8:28. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

He is good. No matter what. I trust that.

Interview with Lori Benton & GIVEAWAY  | The Engrafted WordSavanna: What great verses and what an incredible journey you’ve had so far, Lori. Your testimony for Christ truly shines through you.

Can you tell us what is one of your most unforgettable moments from your writing career to date?

Lori:  The first conversation I had with someone who’d read my book before I met her, hearing her talk about my characters—how surreal that felt. I wanted to ask how she could possibly know these people who’d lived in my head for years, know them by name. Then I remembered—she works at my publishing house so of course she’s read my book. It took seconds to process, but the impression of that moment remains vivid.

That’s only one of them. There are so many.

Savanna: What will you do to celebrate your new release next Tuesday? 😉 And do you have any upcoming projects you can share with us?

Lori: I’m the worst celebrator in the world, I think. I’ve come to realize that I don’t really know how to celebrate. So it’s good that I enjoy what I do, and find it reward enough, as I’ll probably just keep working right on through. The week The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn releases I’ll be answering reader emails, keeping tabs on interviews and giveaways, polishing up a new manuscript, and researching and writing yet another. I suppose I may have some extra chocolate.

And readers needn’t worry that I’m leaving the 18th century behind. There are many more stories to tell about this fascinating era. The State of Franklin isn’t the only part of our nation’s history that has too long been overlooked. I anticipate sharing news about upcoming novels later this year.

Savanna:  Thank you so much for being with us today, Lori! How can readers connect with you further?

Interview with Lori Benton & GIVEAWAY  | The Engrafted WordLori:  My pleasure! Thanks for hosting me on your blog!

Readers can find me on…

My website: http://loribenton.blogspot.com/

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLoriBenton#

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/lorilbenton/

Read the first two chapters of The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn for free here.

There are downloads, sign-ups, and freebies—valuable resources that I hope stir your passion for God and His Word. So take your time. Look around. Visit often. – See more at: http://www.mesuandrews.com/#sthash.h5gue3da.dpuf

GIVEAWAY!!

Interview with Lori Benton & GIVEAWAY  | The Engrafted Word

Lori has graciously offered one free signed copy of THE PURSUIT OF TAMSEN LITTLEJOHN to one lucky winner!

HOW TO ENTER:

-Leave your name and email in the comments below. (You MUST include your email to be qualified)

GET EXTRA ENTRIES:
(Be sure to tell me in the comments below)

-Subscribe to The Engrafted Word

-Like The Engrafted Word on Facebook

-Share this Giveaway on Social Media

Thanks for entering! Contest is open only in the U.S.
and ends April 15, 2014.  Winner will be notified by email.

Posted in Author Interviews
33 comments on “Interview with Lori Benton & GIVEAWAY
  1. Carisa Rinne says:

    sessasavvy2000@yahoo.com
    Carisa Rinne
    Liked,
    Subscribed:-)
    Shared:-)

  2. Kathryn Voss says:

    I can’t wait to read this book!

  3. Sharon Timmer says:

    Sharon Timmer
    Stimmer@familylife.com
    Liked
    Subscribed & Shared

  4. Well, I had to drop on over and show my support ! I so love your books Lori and now that I have read your first book, I am going to read this and I am sure it is every bit as awesome as the first.
    I have had to deal with some life issues that slowed me up in reading this one, but I am getting there.

    Blessings
    Linda Finn
    faithfulacresbooks@gmail.com

  5. Lisa Eichelberger says:

    Lori sounds like a very inspiring person, and she writes in my favorite time period. Romans 8:28 is one of my favorite verses as well! I’d be absolutely thrilled to win this book!

    followsjc(at)yahoo(dot)com

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Lori’s story is certainly an inspiration to me too, Lisa. I’m so glad you stopped by. I love the era this novel is set in as well. I hope you get a chance to read it soon. You’ll receive 3 entries in the giveaway.

  6. Lisa Eichelberger says:

    I’m also a subscriber and already like your Facebook page. 🙂

    followsjc(at)yahoo(dot)com

  7. Heidi says:

    I’ve read several fabulous reviews of this book- I’m really looking forward to reading it!

    I’m a subscriber, a facebook fan, and shared on twitter!

    Thanks so much!!!

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Yeah the reviews only make me want to read it that much more! 😉 Thanks for following my blog, Heidi. You’ll receive 4 entries in this giveaway.

  8. The 1800s is one of my favorite time periods to read about. Thank you for the chance to win. griperang at embarqmail dot com

  9. Patty says:

    I think Burning Sky was one of my favorite reads last year, so I am really looking forward to this new release.

    I subscribe via e-mail
    I liked you on FB

    pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      It’s wonderful to meet another fan of Lori’s. Hope you get your hands on this new novel as well, Patty! 😉 You’ll receive 3 entries in the giveaway.

  10. And I’ve enjoyed Lori’s previous books!

    missionwife@hotmail.com

  11. Sarah says:

    Hello!
    I’ve not read Lori’s Burnibg Sky, yet, though I have seen it often. I’ll have to look it up again and refresh my memory! 🙂
    Thank you for the chance to win one of her books!
    ~Sarah
    bookluver1492[at]gmail[dot]com
    Liked and subscribed

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Thanks for joining us, Sarah. I haven’t read Burning Sky yet either, but it is on my “To Read” list for sure! And now this one is as well. 😉 Good luck in the giveaway. You’ll receive 3 entries.

  12. Diane Nocks says:

    Thanks for the chance to win this book! Sounds like a great story!

  13. Trixi O says:

    Great interview & history lesson…hmm, State of Franklin? I had no idea! I love historical fiction & this one sounds good. Thank you Lori for a chance to win a copy! I also am a fan of (liked) & subscribe to the Engrafted Word, shared this on Facebook & including my email.

    Blessings,
    Trixi Oberembt
    teamob4@gmail.com

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Hi Trixi! I know, isn’t that fascinating? There are so many little pieces of history still out there for us to discover. 🙂 Thanks for following my blog. You’ll receive 4 entries in the giveaway.

  14. Bonnie Roof says:

    Hi, Lori and Savanna!!

    I enjoyed the interview and learning the story behind “The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn”!! It sounds like such an exciting story and I would love to read it – thanks for the giveaway opportunity!!

    I’ve heard nothing but praise for Lori’s books and having read of her illness previously and her struggle to write afterwards – I find both Lori and her books to be an inspiration!! Thanks for hosting Lori, Savanna!!

    bonnieroof60(at)yahoo(dot)com

    I am a subscriber of The Engrafted Word, have also liked the Facebook page, and shared this post on my Facebook page!!

    • Savanna Savanna says:

      Lori is definitely an inspiration to me too. I can’t wait to read this as well, Bonnie. Everything about it draws me in. 😉 Hope we both get a chance to read it! Thanks for visiting.

  15. Jennifer Bretsch says:

    Lori’s new book sounds like such a great read. I can’t wait to read it. I also “liked” the FB page. =)
    jennybug52@hotmail.com

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