Monday, July 25, 2016

A Visit with Dorothy Adamek



I'm delighted that Dorothy Adamek is here this week. Dotti and I met years ago through our blogs, and let me tell you, she's a treasure! She's a gifted writer, sweet friend, and a lovely Australian native who recently released her first novel, Carry Me Home. If you enjoy historical romance, I suggest you pick it up - it's a wonderful read. Dotti's giving away one copy, so check out the details below.



Welcome, Dotti! Thank you for coming to see us. Congratulations on your book, Carry Me Home! I enjoyed the story immensely. 

Thank you, for your kind invitation and warm welcome, Karen. I’ve held Write Now in high esteem for many years. It’s an honor to visit with you and your readers, and share some of my Aussie stories. 

Aww, you are so sweet, thank you! :) Your blog has always been a favorite of mine as well. One of the many things I enjoyed about your book was the setting. What made you choose Phillip Island, Australia? 

Phillip Island has been our family holiday destination for more than 40 years. Many of my childhood memories are of summers on the island and as soon as my own babies were able to sit up, they dipped straight into the Ventnor rock pools. 

This majestic volcanic outcrop, surrounded by picture perfect coastline, has charmed many over the centuries. Some years ago, a newspaper tribute captured some of the stories of the early island settlers. It included old photographs which only hinted at how life might have looked for those who chose to make Phillip Island their new home. I already had the love. And so began the wonder. 

I wondered what it would have been like to live on this remote island in its first decade of white settlement. How would people have arrived (without the bridge which now connects it to the mainland at San Remo)? What difficulties would they have faced in creating a new life? What comforts would they have enjoyed…or longed for? I wondered…who would choose to come here? And so I created one character, Australian Shadrach Jones, who chose for himself. And then I added English-born Finella Mayfield, for whom the choice had already been made by her father. I threw these two already troubled souls into each other’s midst, and watched how the wild weather, isolated location, and general mischief of life overturned their plans and dreams. 

And when I was done, I discovered it was not enough to stop with Shad and Finella. So much more of the island’s delicious history beckoned. So I find myself gladly marooned there, still…working on the next two books in the Blue Wren Shallows series. I am a happy castaway. Not just on this island, but trapped in a time I can only dream into existence. That’s where you’ll find me. Sifting through the remnants of lives once lived. Taking inspiration from those who pioneered a hard yet satisfying life, and fleshing out those who my imagination suggests might have walked among them. 

"A happy castaway" - I like that! This story captures all of the above and more. You paint lovely and realistic images for the reader. I also enjoyed getting to know your main characters, Finella Mayfield and Shadrach Jones. They are down to earth and easy to relate to. What traits do you admire most in them? Any that frustrated you while writing the story? 

I most admire Shadrach’s loyalty. He’s a man devoted to the care of his sister and will not walk away from the promises he’s made, no matter how hard they are to keep. I don’t mind his blue eyes, either! As far as Aussie heroes go, I think he’s a keeper! 

Newly arrived Finella is a young character, and while life has tested her before, her past tragedies have happened in the midst of family who loved and protected her. Readers are introduced to Finella when life has just taken most of what she thinks she needs to survive in her new Australian home. We meet her grappling with deep trauma. It takes her a little longer to sift through the layers of her identity, fashioned for her by her father, to fully understand who she is at heart and what she’s capable of. I most admire the way she takes Shadrach's sister, Molly, under her wing. The opportunity to teach Molly becomes the ground on which Finella experiences her deepest learning, and something I think a lot of us have discovered for ourselves - our best ‘learning' happens when we are in the thick of ‘teaching.’ 

I think you are right; learning through teaching is a great experience. How did the idea for Finella’s “Everlasting journal” come about? 

An Everlasting was more than a journal. It was a place for Victorian-Era women to record life with words, as well as botanical specimens they found along the way. Drying and pressing flowers promised they’d last forever. An ‘everlasting’ token. For Finella, her Everlasting was a book in which to collect new (to her) Australian flowers. Her Everlasting journal entries allowed me to write Finella’s story in first person and give my reader deeper insights to her struggles and discoveries. It became the place where she could dare voice her affection for Shadrach before she was ready to admit it out loud. 

I enjoyed its inclusion, and did find that it offered another interesting dimension. For those who aren’t familiar, Carry Me Home is Book 1 in the Blue Wren Shallows series. Can you give us a peek at Book 2? When do you expect it to be released? Looking forward to reading Book 2. :)

You are too kind! Thank you. Book Two in the Blue Wren Shallows series is Carry Me Away. In it, we see the continuation of Shadrach and Finella’s world, their newly built guesthouse, and we are introduced to new characters in their midst, Tom Darley and Ada Carmichael, the only survivors of the 1878 Black Swallow shipwreck. To be released in your Spring, (our Autumn) 2017. 

Sounds like another winner! You'll have to come back and see us when it releases. What advice would you give someone writing their first novel? 

Keep at it. Keep writing. Keep reading fiction in the genre you’ve chosen to write. And keep on reading writing craft books. Writing your first novel is a lot like writing every other one after that. It takes time and dedication. For fabulous editing techniques once your book is written, look to Margie Lawson for Deep Editing online workshops and lecture packets. You won’t regret the sharpening of your scenes when you employ Margie’s methods.

Thank you for joining us, Dotti! Wishing you abundant blessings on your journey. 

Thank you so much for allowing me to introduce Carry Me Home to your readers, Karen. I’m delighted to share my Australian stories with book lovers from all over the world.  If a trip to Australia is on your wish list, reading Carry Me Home may be your first step to visiting our beautiful shores. 

Dotti's daughter Sophie was the cover model
An Excerpt of Carry Me Home  

Finella Mayfield hates two things: liars and thieves. And she’s determined to marry a man who’s neither. Chasing her dead father’s dreams, the twenty–year-old English bride arrives in Australia in 1875 for an arranged marriage. Anticipating her future as village preacher’s wife, she records her thoughts in her Everlasting journal. But instead of her fiancĂ©, Finella is met by Shadrach Jones, a poor farmer sent to collect her from the busy Melbourne pier.This is not what her father planned. And it’s only the beginning of the unraveling of Finella Mayfield ~ the bride with no groom. 

All Shadrach Jones longs for is rows of mustard and chicory. He’s busy growing a farm near the Phillip Island fishing village of Cowes, and caring for Molly, his simple sister. Far from the brutal life they remember with their ex-convict father, Shadrach’s building something new. But he’s also made a promise to a dying friend. To collect and marry the English girl destined to never be a preacher’s wife. Can Shadrach convince Finella she has a future with a farmer? Can he convince himself, knowing his family secrets will haunt their future?  Carry Me Home ~ Book 1 in the Blue Wren Shallows series. An Australian historical romance set in the pioneering ra of the 1870s, on Victoria’s majestic Phillip Island. 

Dotti's Bio 

Australian author, Dorothy Adamek, writes Displacement Fiction ~ the stories of people upended by tragedy and trauma, and their struggle to belong in their new worlds. Couched in romance, her fiction is set in the late Victorian era.  Author of the Blue Wren Shallows trilogy, she lives at Crabapple House in Melbourne with her Beloved and their three children, twenty fruit trees and Gilbert the Library Cat. A graduate of La Trobe University, Dorothy studied Literature, History and Education. She taught secondary school English and English As A Second Language. She loves black and white floors, collects blue and white china, and makes apricot jam every summer. Her favorite holiday destination is Phillip Island, the real life setting of Carry Me Home, book one in the Blue Wren Shallows trilogy. 

Find Dotti 

Twitter 
Facebook 
Website  
Blog 

My Review of Carry Me Home 

I was immersed into Carry Me Home's story immediately. Dorothy has a genuine knack for realistic, interesting characters and rich description. This, combined with an engaging plot, made it an absolute pleasure to read. If I'd not have known it was her debut novel I'd have guessed she'd written dozens of them already. This tale is a compelling combination of love, faith, and challenges - simply delightful! I look forward to Book 2. 

Giveaway Details 

Dotti is giving away an autographed copy of Carry Me Home to one of my followers. Kindly note the details:

1) Please comment below, leaving your email address so I can contact you. 
2) I'd appreciate you following Write Now by Google Friend Connect or Facebook (see sidebar). 
3) Giveaway ends Thursday, July 28, 2016 at midnight Eastern Time. Winner will be notified by email and have 36 hours to respond or another name will be chosen. 

Have you ever traveled to Australia? What's your dream vacation destination? What are you reading this week?

Happy reading and writing,
Karen

35 comments :

  1. Great interview. Phillip Island sounds beautiful. I want to go there on vacation too. Congrats on your book, Dorothy. I'm going to pass on the giveaway. I have too many books to read right now.

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    1. Thank you, Natalie, I hope you get to visit Phillip Island, one day! I promise you won't be disappointed. :)

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  2. Thank you for your sweet invitation and interview, Karen. I'm blessed to be with you and your readers, today! My Monday has only a few minutes left, so I'm heading to bed.
    I'll check in again with you guys tomorrow morning. :)
    Have a great day everyone!
    Blessings,
    Dotti xx

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  3. Write what you know - and love! I imagine settling on an island would present all sorts of challenges. Congratulations on your first book, Dorothy.

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    1. Thanks, Alex. This remote and rugged island is exactly what I love! (At least that's how it was in 1875.) Now it's a beautiful holiday spot, adored by many, as well as the lucky ones who live there full time.

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  4. Lovely interview! I love getting to know authors a bit more that way. The info about an everlasting journal was interesting! As for Australia, I have never been, but I have a highschool friend who lives there with her hubby.
    lattebooksAThotmailDOTcom

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    1. Hi Susan, lovely to see you here! I'm glad to share the details of the Everlasting Journal with new readers. I was charmed by the idea and had to use it in Carry Me Home. (Secret - there's an Everlasting Journal in book 2, Carry Me Away.) ;)

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  5. That must've been a wonderful place to spend your summers. I had a special place like that at my grandparents' cabin in the mountains.

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    1. Hi L. Diane, It was fabulous to spend summers there as a child, but even more so to share the joys of beach life with my own children, when they came along. We still love to sneak away to Phillip Island, in fact, I'm headed there tomorrow to speak about Carry Me Home in the local library. :)

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  6. Hi Karen and Dotti - Thanks for a delightful interview. I've never heard of an Everlasting Journal. Although I have several Aussie friends, I haven't visited Australia. My cousin and his family just moved there. Much success with your series. God bless, Susan

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    1. Hello dear Susan!! Thanks for your kind wishes! I hope you get to visit your friends in Australia someday... and don't forget to look me up too!! xo

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  7. Hey, amigo (XOXOXO). What an enjoyable interview. Dotti, I don't think I've ever heard of the Everlasting journal. Sounds wonderful. I have never been to Australia. I am an honorary Aussie though. That title was given to me by some Aussie writer friends. As far as my dream getaway, I want so badly to visit Ireland. Maybe one day. Ha.

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    1. Hi Robyn, honorary Australians are the best!
      I'd love to visit Ireland, too, someday. I have lots of destinations on my wish list. That's what happens when you live Downwunder - there's so many OTHER countries to see. :)

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  8. Hello Karen. Thank you so much for your interview with Dotti. Her book sounds quite fascinating. Congratulations, Dotti.
    No, I have never been to Australia and probably won't ever make that destination. So I must see it through the eyes of others.
    Just finished reading "Secrets of a Charmed Life." Wonderful, wonderful book.
    Some day I truly would love to travel to Italy. Susan

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    1. Thank you, Susan. In part, that's why I write Australian stories. To allow readers from all over the world to experience a little of what I love and get to enjoy every day. I hope you get to visit someday soon. :)

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  9. Hi Karen and Dorothy (or Dotti - great abbreviation) - I'd love to read this book - sounds fascinating ... I've never been down under - but one day ... and what a fascinating island to visit ... I've loved seeing and learning about this part of the world - and the settlement time ..

    Good luck - sounds like you're on a winning series .. cheers Hilary

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    1. Hi Hilary, I am on my way to Philip Island today! I'm speaking at the local library about my book journey. Wish I could take you with me. :)

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  10. Carry Me Home sounds like a wonderful story :-) Glad to 'meet' you, Dotti, and wishing you great success with your books. Your line "sifting through the remnants of lives once lived, taking inspiration from those who pioneered" says it all about historical fiction, something I enjoy, too. Thanks, Karen, for introducing us to Dotti!

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    1. Hi Kenda, so great to 'meet' you here and thanks for your kind words.
      I hope you get the chance to read Carry Me Home, someday soon. :)

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  11. Carry Me Home sounds like a great read. That's a hard genre to write. They were tough times for farmers. Dotti, here's hoping you have huge success. Hi Karen!

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    1. Hi Joylene! I thought it a great read; she did such a great job with the storyline, and well, everything. Glad you could make it by to see us.
      Happy writing and reading,
      Karen

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    2. Hi Jolene, I really enjoyed writing Carry Me Home and look forward to sharing the next book , Carry Me Away, with readers soon. :)

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  12. Natalie,
    I'm glad you got to meet Dotti. She is delightful, and a wonderful writer. :)

    Dotti,
    It is purely my pleasure to have you visit. Loved getting to know you better! We must do this again! :)

    Alex,
    Dotti is indeed very good at writing what she knows! :) Her book was a treat to read. :)

    Susan P.,
    So nice you were able to stop and see us! I'd love to visit Australia too someday. Hopefully we can meet up with Dotti in person! :)

    Diane,
    I agree - that sounds like a summer dream vacation spot. :) My grandparents had a cabin in the mountains as well! Spent time on vacation there when I was young. Good way to make great memories.

    Susan R.,
    I don't recall hearing about the Everlasting Journal either, so it was fun to see just how it worked and all. Glad you made it by to see us! :)

    Robyn,
    Hey back, amigo! Hugs and kisses to my honorary Aussie friend. So glad you came to see the interview. Dotti's a treasure, isn't she? :)

    Susan,
    You are welcome! Glad you enjoyed it. Hope you get to read Dotti's book - it does "take" you there, that's for sure! :)

    Hilary,
    I think you just might enjoy this one, and I know you'll appreciate her writing style. I agree, I think this will be a winning series! :)

    Kenda,
    I thought it was a wonderful story, rich with history and so much more. :) You are very welcome! Hope you get to read this one soon.

    Happy reading and writing,
    Karen

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    1. It's been a real delight to spend time with you and your readers, Karen. You're a gem for sharing Carry Me Home this way. Bless you! xx

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  13. Hello Karen and Dorothy :) I love the cover!

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    1. Thank you!!! My daughter, Sophie, is the cover model. :)

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  14. Great interview! This sounds like some terrific reading. Count me in!

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    1. Thanks, Lisa. Good luck in the giveaway. :)

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  15. Great description and I love the characters' names. Fantastic interview.

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    1. Hi Medeia, your name is beautiful!! Most of the characters' names come from a list of convicts to Australia in the 1800s.

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  16. Keith,
    Hello to you too! Hope things are okay in Germany. :) Appreciate you stopping by!

    Lisa,
    Thanks so much! It is a terrific read. I think you'd enjoy it. :)

    Medeia,
    Glad you liked it. Yes, the characters are wonderful. Dotti knows how to engage her readers! :)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  17. Congratulations Dorothy! What a wonderful inspiration for the book.

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    1. Thank you. I can't HELP but be inspired by the majesty of this island. God sure knew what He was doing when He created Phillip Island. ;)

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  18. Interesting! I'm late to participate, but anyway I wouldn't qualify...I'm not in the States and I doubt if Chile is on the radar for giveaways!
    I've just finished reading Lady of the English by Elizabeth Chadwick. An interesting read.

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  19. Joy, sorry you missed the giveaway! This one was worldwide, actually. Oh well. Maybe next time. :) So glad you got to meet Dotti. Thanks for coming by!

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your input. Have a blessed day!