Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Blog Tour ~ Tricia Goyer's A Valley of Betrayal

Welcome to the Blog Tour for Tricia Goyer's latest release, A Valley of Betrayal!

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I am thrilled to be hosting my first blog tour! Please welcome Tricia Goyer!

I first became aware of Tricia last year when I joined American Christian Fiction Writers and she was looking for people to answer questions for her Generation NEXT Marriage book. Then I saw her name everywhere, it seemed! Tricia is one of those enviable writers who can tackle nonfiction and fiction with equal aplomb, and is wildly successful at both genres.

Today we are talking about her latest fiction release, A Valley of Betrayal. This novel takes place during the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s, in the aftermath of The Great War (World War I) and the rise of Adolf Hitler's Nazi Party in Germany and the Fascist movement in Italy. Here is Tricia's own story behind the novel:

The Story Behind the Novel:

A few years ago when I was researching for my fourth World War II novel, Arms of Deliverance, I came across a unique autobiography. One B-17 crewmember I read about claimed to make it out of German-occupied Belgium after a plane crash due, in part, to his skills he picked up as a veteran of The Spanish Civil War. Reading that bit of information, I had to scratch my head. First of all, I had never heard of the war. And second, what was an American doing fighting in Spain in the late 1930s? Before I knew it, I uncovered a fascinating time in history—one that I soon discovered many people know little about. This is what I learned:

Nazi tanks rolled across the hillsides and German bombers roared overhead, dropping bombs on helpless citizens. Italian troops fought alongside the Germans, and their opponents attempted to stand strong—Americans, British, Irishmen, and others—in unison with other volunteers from many countries. And their battleground? The beautiful Spanish countryside.

From July 17, 1936-April 1, 1939, well before America was involved in World War II, another battle was fought on the hillsides of Spain. On one side were the Spanish Republicans, joined by the Soviet Union and The International Brigade—men and women from all over the world who have volunteered to fight Fascism. Opposing them, Franco and his Fascist military leaders, supported with troops, machinery, and weapons from Hitler and Mussolini. The Spanish Civil War, considered the “training ground” for the war to come, boasted of thousands of American volunteers who joined to fight on the Republican side, half of which never returned home.

Unlike World War II, there is no clear line between white and black, good and evil. Both sides committed atrocities. Both sides had deep convictions they felt worth fighting and dying for.

Loyalists—also know as the Republicans were aided by the Soviet Union, the Communist movement, and the International Brigades. If not for the weapons and volunteers from these sources their fight would have ended in weeks rather than years. While many men fought side by side, their political views included that of liberal democracy, communism and socialism. The Catholic Basque Country also sided with the Republic, mainly because it sought independence from the central government and was promised this by Republican leaders in Madrid.

Nationalists—or Francoists were aided mainly by Germany and Italy. The Nationalist opposed an independent Basque state. Their main supporters were those who believed in a monarchist state and fascist interests. The Nationalist wished for Spain to continue on as it had for years, with rich landowners, the military, and the church running the country. Most of the Roman Catholic clergy supported the Nationalists, except those in the Basque region.

During the Spanish Civil war, terror tactics against civilians were common. And while history books discuss the estimated one million people who lost their lives during the conflict, we must not forget that each of those who fought, who died, had their own tales. From visitors to Spain who found themselves caught in the conflict, to the communist supporters, Basque priests, and Nazi airmen . . . each saw this war in a different light. These are the stories behind A Valley of Betrayal.
Tricia Goyer, October 2006

Now, let's welcome Tricia herself in an interview:

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Tricia, welcome! I am so glad you are here! I wanted to ask you a few questions about your life as a writer and Generation X woman, and I will also throw in a few oddball questions just for fun (with the oddball being me, not you!).

During your research of the Spanish Civil War, did you read any novels or other fictional accounts of or about that time period (such as Hemingway)?

Pattie, you caught me. I have to admit I only made it through 1/3 of Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls ... on CD! The writing was amazing, the story was so slow :-) Isn't that bad? I did glance through other novels on The Spanish Civil War. I'm not sure why, but I do much better with non-fiction books, or biographies. I LOVE biographies.

(Pattie’s aside: Hemingway’s never been my favorite either! However, I did suggest to Tricia in a separate email to check out Chaim Potok’s amazing Davita’s Harp, which takes place during the same time period as Betrayal, only in the US.)

As a writer, what do you enjoy most about living the writing life?

Writing :-) Seriously, managing a writing career is like any other business. There is paperwork and filing and bills and ... yeah, I don't like that part. I like the creative stuff. I like sitting down with a research book and finding the perfect nugget, or getting caught up in the story and realizing two hours had just passed and my fingers hadn't stopped. I also love meeting with people, talking about writing, and connecting with readers. But the best part of all is getting swept away with the words.

What do you enjoy least about the writing life?

Hahaha. I answered above. Oh yes, especially trying to figure out my income/expenses for taxes. I'd rather go do the dentist than deal with a spreadsheet :-)

How do you deal with the distractions of home life when you’re trying to write and work on a book?

I deal with it through prayer. There will always be grocery shopping, housecleaning, cooking, spending time with kids (which is a good thing, of course). I pray and say, "Lord, you know my deadline. You know I'm honoring my family and You by taking care of these things, too. So, Lord, when it's time to write please honor me for my faithful and make the words flow. And you know what? He does!

I also set goals for myself, such as 2,000 words a day or other goals. I'm very goal-oriented and I find writing in little chunks makes a book!

Do you keep a personal journal, and does it ever occur to you that someday it might be fodder for a future historical writer?

Oh my, I wonder what type of story MY journal would tell. Yes, I journal nearly every day. I mostly write my prayers, confessions, and struggles. Or I write quotes from devotional books or awesome Scripture passages. I have bits of idea for books and such that I don't want to forget. It's a jumble of stuff for anyone but me!

As a member of Generation X, I sometimes find myself frustrated with the advice of older writers. What advice would you give to writers that is different from writers of previous generations?

One thing about Gen Xers is that we want to follow God's calling ... and have really great personal relationships, too. I don't want to sacrifice time with my family to be a great writer. Yet, I also think that it's important for our kids to see us making goals and striving to achieve them. Personally, I'm finding balance by working with my calendar to set myself up for success. This means making dates with my kids and setting goals for my writing. It means scheduling errands and making family dinner a priority.

Also, I don't like putting my writing into a box. I (obviously) write what God puts on my heart—fiction, non-fiction, teens, children ... blogs! If my heart burns, then I want to be able to write about it.

Finally, I think that quantity will help quality. Write about everything, because the more you write the better you'll become!

I’ve moved around a lot in my lifetime, and my husband recently joined the active duty military, which means I’m not likely to settle down anytime soon. I love asking people about where they’ve lived. What do you like the most about living in Montana?

I've lived here for 12 years. It's amazingly beautiful. It's a small community, but everything I need is here (Starbucks, Target, Costco ...). But my absolutely favorite thing about living here is the community of believers. Our churches work together and serve together. I first saw things when I helped to start a crisis pregnancy center. I've seen in more when churches have come together to help each other with building funds or helped a family in need. It's too cool.

Thanks so much for joining me! I hope I’ve been helpful in your blog tour.

Thank you!!! You're so awesome!

Be sure to read A Valley of Betrayal as soon as you can, and don’t forget to catch Tricia at her blog (http://triciagoyer.blogspot.com/)!

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