Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Interview with author Dianne G. Sagan
Today my guest is author Dianne G. Sagan talking about her Christian fiction, The Fisherman's Wife.
1) Tell me a little about your book.
The Fisherman’s Wife is the second book in a series about women of the New Testament Bible. My interpretation of their stories are based on Biblical text, Josephus writing’s, history and cultures of the time, and Christian resources. It portrays a woman’s life in first century Palestine. The main character is Simon Peter’s wife. Imagine what it would have been like to be the wife of a fisherman who is out spoken and decides to follow a new rabbi from Nazareth.
2) What gave you the idea for this particular story?
In reading and studying the New Testament, I’ve always been interested in what part the women who are mentioned played in history as well as daily life. I’m a lover of history as well. Most of these women are only mentioned once or twice, other more than that, but I ask myself what it must have been like to live at that time and to have had personal contact with Jesus and his disciples. How were their lives affected or changed?
3) Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?
At this time, I am a part-time writer. My husband and I own a business consulting firm and I spend part of the week doing that work and the rest either writing, promoting, or researching. It is a juggling act for all of us, but I shift my writing time around other activities, unless I’m on a deadline and then my writing comes first.
4) When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
We had a wonderful English department in the high school I attended. The emphasis was on learning to write essays and that’s when I got the bug. I’ve always been a story teller; every family has at least one.
5) What do you hope readers will take from your writing?
An appreciation of what a woman’s daily life was like in Middle Eastern cultures and the influence of the Greeks and Roman Empire. In addition, an issue that pertained to women then as well as now is incorporated into the story. I hope readers will enjoy the stories and learn from the main character’s growth throughout the book.
6) Which genres do you write, which do you prefer, and why?
I have written several nonfiction books as a ghostwriter, but love writing fiction that incorporates real people of the time. My fiction includes women’s contemporary fiction, suspense, and historical or Christian fiction.
7) What is the toughest part about being a writer and how do you get past it?
Balancing writing time with doing the business part of being a writer and promotional activities are the toughest challenges for me. I discipline myself and my time. I let family and friends know that during those hours I’m working, even if I am at home. I delegate household chores and errands to other family members and multi task with tools that help me post to several sites at the same time or set up email groups to save time.
8) Is there anything in your story based upon a real life event? If so, tell me about it.
The Fisherman’s Wife is based on 1st century history and the story of Jesus and his disciples. In this case Simon Peter and his wife are the main characters and interact with Jesus and the other followers.
9) How much is your protagonist like you? How different?
Johanna is actually modeled after a friend of mine who went through some of the same trials in life that my protagonist did.
10) What kind of research did you do for this type of story?
My research includes online resources as well as books from the library. I use the four Gospels from the Bible, Josephus and other historians from the time, Catholic Church history, Jewish history, maps, regional history, and world history. I also read books in the same genre.
11) What about your book makes it special?
The story is told from a woman’s viewpoint in a time when women were considered chattel and their opinions and thoughts were not regarded as important in their culture.
12) Where can people learn more about you and your work?
My author website is www.dgsagan.tripod.com , including links to book trailers and my blog http://diannesagan.wordpress.com The Fisherman’s Wife and Rebekah Redeemed are also available on Kindle and Nook at http://bit.ly/ibFkdj+
13) Any tips for new writers hoping to write in the genre of your book?
Do your research. Fiction actually needs as much research as nonfiction writing because the story has to be believable. Many readers will just stop reading and never pick up another one of your books if your facts are off. Use multiple sources so you get a clear picture of events rather than just one viewpoint. Include studying maps of the area where you are writing about. Nothing is worse than saying your character traveled north when the terrain shows that it would be impossible for them to travel that direction to get where they are supposed to be going. Even take time to study the climate and what the seasons are like for the setting. One more tip is to stay organized throughout your project. That way you don’t waste time looking for information you’ve already gathered. I use binders to keep research as well as back up files on a flash drive.
Thank you so much for having me as a guest,
Dianne G. Sagan
Author - Ghostwriter - Speaker
My blog: http://www.diannesagan.wordpress.com
The Fisherman's Wife ISBN: 978-0-937660-63-8
Rebekah Redeemed, ISBN: 978-0-937660-52-2
Shelter from the Storm, ISBN: 978-1-934335-35-2