Author Interview and Giveaway – A Tapestry of Light – Kimberly Duffy

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In A Tapestry of Light, Kimberly Duffy weaves earthy realism and intrigue to bring us a fresh look at socially conflicted romance. Welcome to the index, Kimberly!





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A Tapestry of Light

Ottilie Russell is adrift between two cultures, British and Indian, belonging to both and neither. In order to support her little brother, Thaddeus, and her grandmother, she relies upon her skills in beetle-wing embroidery that have been passed down to her through generations of Indian women.

When a stranger appears with the news that Thaddeus is now Baron Sunderson and must travel to England to take his place as a nobleman, Ottilie is shattered by the secrets that come to light. Despite her growing friendship with Everett Scott, friend to Ottilie’s English grandmother and aunt, she refuses to give up her brother. Then tragedy strikes, and she is forced to make a decision that will take Thaddeus far from death and herself far from home.

But betrayal and loss lurk in England, too, and soon Ottilie must fight to ensure Thaddeus doesn’t forget who he is, as well as find a way to stitch a place for herself in this foreign land.

 Kimberly’s Website




Questions about Kimberly’s Story

What inspired this story?

A Tapestry of Light was inspired by a scrap of embroidered trim I saw at an Indian fabric exhibit at my local museum center. It was just gorgeous—pure white with a trailing ribbon of beetle wings that, even 150 years later, were vibrant and lustrous. As green as the day they’d been sewn. I never knew beetle wings had been used in fashion and something about it caught my fancy. People today would find some Victorian fashion sensibilities horrific—stuffed birds on hats, a dead loved one’s hair in a pin, and beetle wings on gowns—but then, no one thought anything about it. Incidentally, the beetles weren’t harvested until after they mated and died, so it was a pretty sustainable fashion trend.

Is there anything in this book that is inspired by/modeled after something in your own life or someone you know in real life?

The faith element of the story, which is a big part of the book and my heroine’s character arc, was based entirely on my own struggle with doubt and questions. Having grown up Christian, I wasn’t prepared for it and it wasn’t something anyone was discussing at the time. I really wanted to write a character whose faith isn’t perfect. Who faces hard things and asks hard questions, but perseveres and is a vessel for God’s faithfulness. Ottilie was also inspired by an Anglo-Indian women I met while in Bangalore decades ago. When I first met her, I didn’t know if she was a British woman wearing Indian clothing or an Indian woman with very British habits. Then I learned she was neither, but from a very distinct community that has roots in both cultures.

What character in your book turned out to be your favorite?

My favorite character is Thaddeus. He’s just such a little boy—all sweetness and rambunctious joy and uncomplicated emotion. I have four kids, ranging in ages from 5-16 so I think I’m pretty good at writing children. And I LOVE writing children.

Why did you choose the geographical location in which your book is set?

I chose Calcutta (Kolkata today) because it’s one of my favorite Indian cities. In the 19th century, when A Tapestry of Light is set, Calcutta was an interesting blend of European and Indian. The architecture, food, culture, art, society as a whole, kind of met and melded and blended. Yet there was a definite us vs. them mentality that caused all kinds of conflict and simmering tension. It was a bustling city, absolutely beautiful—you can see that today in the crumbling old bungalows and monuments, as well as the well-established gardens and parks—and contained a kind of European flare with French and Italian bakeries and restaurants, high-end dress makers, fancy hotels that catered to the wealthy—both British and Indian, and all the elegance you would expect of a highly cosmopolitan Victorian city.


Questions about Kimberly’s Reading

Who is your favorite Christian Historical hero?

Marcus from Francine Rivers’ A Voice in the Wind. He’s so flawed. So taken by surprise by not only God’s love for him, but his love for Hadassah. He’s a protector, fierce when expected and gentle when necessary.

If your job was to sell one author’s historical fiction (besides your own) which author’s wares would you want to peddle?

And which is your favorite by that author? Laura Frantz. I just love everything she writes. Her books are so immersive, when I’m pulled out from one of her stories, it takes me a minute to place myself in 21st century Ohio again. My favorite books by her, so far, are A Moonbow Night and An Uncommon Woman. But I’m getting ready to read Tidewater Bride soon so that might make it into the list (and really, all of her books are wonderful.)

What was the last Christian Historical Novel that you read that made you think, “Man, I wish I’d written that”?

Havah by Tosca Lee. It’s one of my top ten favorite books of all time. It’s gorgeous and haunting and I have no idea how Tosca wrote Adam and Eve so believably with so little concrete information.

Kimberly is giving away either a print copy, USA only. Enter the Rafflecopter below!

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