Monday, February 11, 2013

Interview with author Rita Gerlach

I'm so pleased to have Rita Gerlach on my blog. She is the author of several Inspirational Historical Drama books, including the acclaimed The Daughters of the Potomac Series.

Hi Rita, Thanks for being here today. Tell us a little about yourself and your writing journey.

Since I was old enough to hold a book in my hands, I wanted to tell stories. I first knew I wanted to write novels as a career back in the early 90s. Something sparked within me, something ignited, when my cousin, a famous romance writer, gave me one of her books at a family reunion. I first wrote a novella. I had a lot to learn about the craft and worked at it for several years.

The most significant thing in my journey to publication was learning to be patient and persistent. I had to get to the place where I trusted God implicitly with my work, whatever His plan. I wrote about my journey and the miracle it was the day I contacted Barbara Scott, then acquisitions editor at Abingdon Press. For writers that are struggling and feel discouraged, and for readers who are curious, please read Perseverance, Patience, and Humility under the link ‘For Writers’ on my website.

Oh, A famous romance writer for a cousin sounds exciting! What do you think makes a good story?

The characters. They have to be well rounded, what some writers call ‘fleshed out’. In other words readers have to be able to see these characters as living, breathing people. They have to ‘come alive’ in the readers imagination so the reader becomes attached to them. A book may have a great plot. But if the characters are flat the plot will fall short.

I've put down several books because the characters didn't ring true. But not yours! Do you have a favorite book? What about it makes it stand out from others?

I have a hard copy edition of ‘The Authentic History of Jenny Dorset’ that I will not loan to anyone. It is written by southern writer Phillip Lee Williams. His writing reminds me of Mark Twain. The book made me laugh, cry, and cheer for the characters. The historical aspect of the book had me engrossed, as he told it from the point of view of a house servant.

I looked the book up on Amazon and it sounds like a great story. What’s the one food item you can’t live without?

Veggies. I know you might have expected me to say chocolate. But at my age it’s veggies.

LOL...Yeah, veggies are a good choice now ;) Where is your favorite place to write?

My desk in front of a window that looks out at evergreen trees, a farmer’s field, and mountains in the distance.

That sounds inspiring! Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night and just have to get up and write down a thought? If so, do you keep a tablet on your bedside table or go to the computer?

It’s happened. I keep a pad of paper in my beside table. When an idea wakes me, I get my pad and pen and go into the bathroom so I can turn on the light and not wake my husband.
Read Chapter 1 here

You're very thoughtful :) Do you talk to your characters? Keep story boards? Pictures?

I don’t talk to them, but I do keep a character chart with photos so I can visualize them.

I follow your Pinterest boards and enjoy looking at all the exquisite gowns and costumes. Can you give us a glimpse into your next book or story idea?

I’m writing an Edwardian period novel at the moment. I also have a 2-in-1 novel that will be coming out later this year. Thorns In Eden & The Everlasting Mountains are historical romances set during the American Revolution.

Oh, those sound delightful, especially the Edwardian novel! Have you traveled to locations that your books are set in?

I live near the Potomac River in Maryland. The Potomac area is a setting in all my books. I’ve explored both the Maryland and Virginia sides. I have settings in England, and hope to visit them someday.

My husband and I went through Harper's Ferry this past summer and it was beautiful! Since Valentine’s Day is coming up, what’s the most romantic thing your husband has done for you? Only if you can share ;)

Last year he took me to his favorite spot on the Potomac River for a picnic to celebrate our anniversary. He went to a restaurant we used to go to when we were dating and bought all the food. It was very sweet, sitting along the riverside and reminiscing about our lives together.

Awww...that is so romantic! Thanks for sharing that with us. Where can you be found on the internet?

The Daughters of the Potomac Series

Y'all be sure and check out Rita's website, then hop on over to Amazon and order a book or two, or three! They would make the perfect gift for Valentine's Day!  

Rita is also on Authorgraph. If you haven't heard of it,  just follow this link - You can request a digital autograph for your electronic books or you can print it out after you receive it and keep it in a notebook. Cool, huh?


  1. This was very delightful to read :) I actually just finished reading 'Surrender the Wind'by Rita Gerlach. That was the first book I read by this wonderful author and I look forward to reading more.

    Thanks for the interview!


    1. Stephanie, I have that one on Kindle and need to read it. I love the cover on it too :)

  2. Rita Gerlach is one of my favorite authors ever. All of her books have been such a joy to read...she truly is a master storyteller.

    1. hey Diana, I know she is one of your favorites. That's why I know her books are good :) Only the best recommends the best!

  3. I cannot wait for everything Rita! And I need to get on to this one, I'm so behind!

    1. Hey Margaret, I am glad to know that you are a Rita fan! Raising little ones makes reading time difficult, but you'll get it :)

  4. Anne and Rita thanks for the beautiful interview. Rita I cannot wait to get my hands on Beyond the Valley...I loved loved loved the other two in that series. Did I say I loved them?? lol Can't wait for the others that you are working on now. :)

    1. Teresa!!! You are book reading machine, girl :) SO glad you came by to say Hi!


I am so delighted that you've taken time to come by and comment. Blessings for a joy-filled day!

1 Corinthians 1:3 ~ Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

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