Novelist Carla Olson Gade’s publishing credits include a variety of newspaper articles, newsletters, and web content. In addition to writing, she is a freelance web designer and webhost. She also designs marketing materials for her writing group, women’s ministry, and other functions. Carla is an advocate for adult literacy and the author of several novellas and two published novels.
A native New Englander, she resides in beautiful rural Maine with her “hero” husband, two young adult sons, and a new grandson.
What sparked your writing journey? How does your faith play into your work?
I’d say a divine spark! God created us all with unique gifts and words have always been mine to play with, rearrange, craft, and design. My faith and my words can barely be separated. I feel compelled to share the truths of God’s redemptive love with the words I write. That doesn’t mean sermonizing, but showing what faith looks like through story.
Has God ever provided an unexpected “detour” in your life that turned out to be positive?
He sure did, on several occasions. His detours always lead to great surprise! My move from Massachusetts twelve years ago brought me way up to the heart of rural central Maine. Although I love it here now, so many times I found myself wondering how in the world I ended up in the middle of nowhere. Who would ever have thought that it would be here that I would meet my writing mentor, Susan Page Davis, and another favorite author whom I have long admired, Ruth Axtell. Although I have been writing for my lifetime, my time in Maine has proven to be a significant place for me on my road to publication and I am inspired by my beautiful surroundings. It has been my experience that sometimes when we experience a roadblock in our lives, God provides a detour and reroutes us according to His purposes and provision. Isn’t He awesome!
Let’s talk about Pattern for Romance (Abingdon Press, August 2013). Please tell us about it.
Honour Metcalf is admired for her needlework, but a false accusation threatens to unravel her whole life. Honour Metcalf’s quilting needlework is admired by a wealthy customer of the Boston Mantua-maker for whom she works. In need of increasing her earnings, she agrees to create an elaborate white work bridal quilt for the dowager’s niece. A beautiful design emerges as she carefully stitches the intricate patterns and she begins to dream of fashioning a wedding quilt of her own. When Honour is falsely accused of thievery she finds herself in a perilous position and merchant tailor Joshua Sutton comes to her aid. As he risks his relationships, reputation, and livelihood to prove her innocence, the two discover a grander plan.
You also contributed a novella for Mistletoe Memories, releasing from Barbour this month. Please tell us about your story, ‘Tis the Season.
In 1820, Stephan Yost, resident carpenter of Schooley’s Mountain, New Jersey’s fashionable resort, spends off-season working on repairs, renovations, and constructing new buildings. When he is hired to build a permanent home for the resort’s physician and his spirited daughter, Annaliese Braun, in time for Christmas, Stephan finds himself enamored by the precocious spinster. But will he be able to compete for her affections against the advances of a manipulative iron baron?
What was the catalyst for the unique theme of the book—stories of four generations set in one family home? How did you and your co-writers work together on the project?
Gina Welborn found this unique location and put the project together for the group. Schooley’s Mountain, New Jersey is a hidden treasure as its history is relatively unknown, although it was once the most famed resort location in America. We discussed the project through email. We spent some time researching the area and the resorts featured of Schooley’s Mountain. This included discovering some 19th century maps and we decided together where the house would be located and what parts of the community would be featured.
A few fun questions…
When the words aren’t flowing—or when you want to celebrate if they are—what is your favorite comfort food and why?
Buffalo chicken pizza. I always find an excuse for that!
This website features musicians as well as writers. Do you have musical, as well as literary, talent?
I played guitar years ago, but I really am not very musically inclined, (and) admire those who are.
If you were a song, what kind of song would you be?
Maybe a familiar old hymn. Some of them really resonate with me and have inspired me through the years. The words and music often come back to me from my childhood. I’m very nostalgic.
In the story that is your life, are you the strong, female lead; the girl next door; the mysterious woman behind dark glasses; the super heroine; or the little girl trying to walk in high heels?
I’m the strong female lead. I have strong convictions, but a gentle heart so I provide a subtle, steady, but strong presence.
I’m a dog lover. Please tell us about your pets, if any, or your favorite pet as a child.
I have two cats, Briar Rose (Rosie) and Dasha. Rosie is a spoiled calico kitty that I’ve had for thirteen years and sticks to me like glue! Dasha is about two, a dainty orange tabby. We always had cats when I grew up, plus a dog or two, and horses. I recently went on a trail ride on some old logging roads here in Maine which brought back many nice memories of riding through the woods as a teenager.
Thanks, Carla! It’s nice to have you as a guest at DivineDetour.
Thank you for having me! I enjoyed visiting.
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For more information about Carla, visit her website.
To purchase Pattern of Romance, Mistletoe Memories, and other books or novellas by Carla, logon to:
thanks for the chance to read this fabulous novel 😉
Thanks for dropping by, KarenK!
Her books sounds interesting. I love Christmas novels, so I’ll have to be sure to look for hers.
I enjoyed learning a bit more about Carla! Thank you for the interview!
Laura, thanks for stopping by and thanks for the RT on Twitter!
Nice to see you all here and for your gracious comments. Thank you, Kathy, for having me on Divine Detours. I love the theme for this blog and as I shared, I’ve had many divine detours in my life.
I love riding on the old logging trails here in Michigan too. Especially in the fall when the color are gorgeous and the bugs are gone. I also love quilting and your book sounds wonderful. 🙂
Congrats to KarenK! You’re the winner of Carla’s book! I’ll be in touch via email.
Thanks to everyone–and Carla–for your comments.