Author Interview and Giveaway – Phoebe’s Light – Suzanne Woods Fisher

17 Comments on Author Interview and Giveaway – Phoebe’s Light – Suzanne Woods Fisher

I’m always excited to see books about time periods that don’t get much light in the fiction world! This sounds like a great one, and a story-within-a-story at that!

Phoebe's Light-Book Cover

, , , , , , ,

Phoebe’s Light

Phoebe Starbuck has always adjusted her sails and rudder to the whims of her father. Now, for the first time, she’s doing what she wants to do: marrying Captain Phineas Foulger and sailing far away from Nantucket. As she leaves on her grand adventure, her father gives her two gifts, both of which Phoebe sees little need for. The first is an old sheepskin journal from Great Mary, her highly revered great-grandmother. The other is a “minder” on the whaling ship in the form of cooper Matthew Macy, a man whom she loathes.

Soon Phoebe discovers that life at sea is no easier than life on land. Lonely, seasick, and disillusioned, she turns the pages of Great Mary’s journal and finds herself drawn into the life of this noble woman. To Phoebe’s shock, her great-grandmother has left a secret behind that carries repercussions for everyone aboard the ship, especially her husband the captain and her shadow the cooper. This story within a story catapults Phoebe into seeing her life in an entirely new way–just in time.

Suzanne’s Website



Questions about Suzanne’s Story

What inspired your story?

While on a research trip, I signed away my life at the Nantucket Historical Association, put all my belongings in a locker, wore white gloves, and then…at last, I was able to hold Great Mary’s accounting book. It’s over 350 years old! She was one of the first settlers on Nantucket and was considered to be the “Deborah” of the Old Testament. As I squinted to read the faint ink of Mary Coffin Starbuck’s beautiful handwriting and careful accounting (she ran a store), I felt chills run down my spine. It was clear that she was highly regarded, extremely intelligent (though her husband, apparently, was illiterate), and involved in the lives of nearly everyone on the island—local Wampanoag Indians, settlers, visitors, traders, seamen. I knew there was a story here!

What was the hardest part of your book to write? 

Here’s the tricky part. I created a journal, written by Great Mary, that her great grandchildren pass on to each other. Thus, each book in the Nantucket Legacy series has a story within a story. It was not easy to write, to pull a reader along in a story without a sudden jarring of another time frame, another story. Hopefully, the entries of Great Mary’s journal slipped into the larger story arc without being distracting. Hopefully!

Did you include a real historical character or incident in your story?

I’m a firm believer in original sourcing for research—so I visited a number of historical ship museums to try and capture life in the American colonies. There was one whaling ship still in existence, and on it rested a “cuddy.” Think, shed-like. The captain’s wife had joined him on a whaling voyage. Most everyone experiences some seasickness at first, but a very few never recover and get their sea legs. Sadly, this captain’s wife was sick as a dog. He built her the cuddy, which helped a little. But she ended up disembarking and heading home at the first chance. As for me, I tucked that cuddy away and used it in Phoebe’s Light.


Questions about Suzanne’s Reading

Which book got you hooked on reading Christian Historicals?

Lynn Austin’s Hidden Places. I loved the spunk of her female main character.

What Christian Historical Novel taught you something about the craft of writing because it was so well done?

Christy, by Catherine Marshall, has a little bit of everything—a love triangle, a wise older woman, a secret that shocks everyone, charming and quirky characters, and just enough haunting moments.

What Christian Historical Novel in your To Be Read pile is begging you to make time to plop down with it right now?

Jane Kirkpatrick’s All She Left Behind. Jane writes only one book per year, and puts so much careful research into her work. Can’t wait to dig into it!

Suzanne is giving away a copy paperback (usa only) and I’m giving away winner’s choice of ebook of any of the books mentioned above. Enter the Rafflecopter below!

**If you don’t want to enter Rafflecopter, you must put something very similar to this in a comment below: “I’m not entering the rafflecopter, but please throw me in the hat” so I know to manually put you in there for a chance.**

a Rafflecopter giveaway