Carrie Turansky is the award-winning author of more than a dozen novels and novellas, including Surrendered Hearts, Snowflake Sweethearts, and Along Came Love. She has been the recipient of the ACFW Carol Award, the Crystal Globe Award, and the International Digital Award. Her first historical fiction book—and the first in the Edwardian Brides series, The Governess of Highland Hall—was a 2014 Carol Award finalist. Although Carrie has been writing articles, devotions, and essays since 1999, writing fiction is her passion.
When she’s not writing she enjoys spending time with her family, working in her flower gardens, cooking healthy meals for family and friends, or walking around the lake near her home.
What sparked your writing journey?
Our family spent a year in Kenya and loved it. When we returned to the U.S., I missed Kenya, and I thought I’d write a story set there to relive my experiences. So I poured out a story and actually wrote two stories. I didn’t know much about the art of writing fiction, and those stories will always remain “in the drawer,” but those stories were a place to start. I began learning to write by writing.
God sometimes sends us down an unexpected path in life—one that ultimately blesses us more than our original plan. Have you ever experienced such a “Divine Detour”?
When our oldest son was ready for first grade my husband was very interested in homeschooling, but I didn’t like the idea. I had two younger children and many happy memories of my school experiences. My husband knew I would be doing most of the teaching, so he was gracious about it, and we set the idea aside. But that year we discovered our son had learning disabilities, and reading was very hard for him to grasp. We were moving to a new state at that time, so we decided to try homeschooling our son after that move. He did so much better, and we liked the way it brought our family together. That is how we started our homeschooling journey. It was a great choice for our family, and our kids have done very well. It was a big job for me as our family grew from three to five children. But it gave me an excellent education along with our kids, and it reignited my love for history and sparked the ideas of writing historical fiction. I’m thankful for that Divine Detour!
How does your faith play into your writing?
My faith is very important to me, and that becomes clear in all my books. I like to show how my characters face the challenges and struggles in life, and my hope is that readers will identify with them in that process. My characters are not perfect. Some make good choices, others do not. But God is at work in our world and in people’s lives, and I like to show that in my stories. I’ve received some wonderful emails from readers who have been touched by my books, and that is a great encouragement to me.
Let’s talk about The Daughter of Highland Hall (Multnomah Books, October 2014), Book 2 in your Edwardian Brides series. Please tell us about it.
The Daughter of Highland Hall follows 18-year-old Kate Ramsey on a journey of faith and self-discovery as she travels to London to make her debut in society. Her overbearing aunt insists she secure a marriage proposal from a wealthy, titled man. As Kate begins making the round of balls and garden parties, she attracts the attention of Edward Wellington, who seems to have all the qualifications on her list. Yet, is he the best choice? Will this lifestyle bring her true happiness?
When a shocking family scandal forces Kate out of the social spotlight, she has time to volunteer with medical student Jonathan Foster, the handsome and caring brother of her former governess. Jonathan, a strong Christian, is determined to help the poor in London’s East End. As her friendship with Jonathan deepens and her faith grows, Kate begins to envision a different kind of future, one that includes Jonathan. Is she ready to make the sacrifices that choice would require? If she does, what will her family think?
Fans of the popular TV show Downton Abbey, will enjoy The Daughter of Highland Hall, which captures both the upstairs and downstairs aspects of Edwardian life, giving readers an emotional connection with the aristocratic Ramsey family and the hardworking, loyal servants. This pure and inspiring romance will warm the hearts of readers and ultimately point them to the Author of their own love stories.
In this book, Kate is on a journey of self-discovery. How about you? What did you learn (about life, faith, and/or even yourself) in the process of writing this series?
I wanted my heroine to meet people of faith living in London in 1912, so I did some research to find out who she might have met and what type of ministry would be going on at that time. I loved learning about the men and women who helped start the Salvation Army. Reading about their work among the poor and their commitment to share the Gospel as well as meet practical needs was very inspiring. It caused me to think more deeply about outreach efforts and consider (how) we balance both sides of ministry and outreach. Reaching out to meet practical needs is a wonderful way to open up opportunities to connect and share God’s love with others.
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?
I like to make fruit smoothies. Banana, strawberry, blueberry is my favorite, and I sometimes throw in a little spinach to give it a nutritional boost. I also like the individually wrapped Ghirardelli’s Intense Dark Twilight Delight Chocolate squares.
This website features musicians as well as writers. Do you have musical, as well as literary, talent?
I took piano for a few years when I was young and I enjoy singing, but I wouldn’t say I have much musical talent. I do love listening to music, and I have several favorite Pandora stations, including instrumental music that I play in the background while writing.
If you were a song, what kind of song would you be?
I hope I would be a heart-stirring praise song taken from the Psalms.
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’d say I’m more the girl next door. I love being at home, working in my flower gardens, cooking healthy meals for friends and family, making my home a place of peace and comfort for everyone who comes in the door.
I’m a dog lover. Please tell us about your pets, if any, or your favorite pet as a child.
Our two youngest daughters are true animal lovers, so we’ve had a series of birds, fish, and rabbits in our family. They now own a dog grooming shop, and I often stop in and give them a hand with clean up or greeting customers. I love seeing all the different types of dogs that come in. They do a great job with all the dogs they groom, and it’s fun to hear their stories.
Thank you, Carrie! It’s nice to have you as a guest at DivineDetour.
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Hi Kathy, thanks for inviting me over to Divine Detour today! I enjoyed thinking about the way God guides us and leads us in ways and down paths we had not expected.
Blessings on your writing journey,
It was an honor to have you here, Carrie! I was encouraged, and I know others will be too, by your story. I love the way God guided and encouraged you on your “detour.”