My book club met last night to discuss Sandra Dallas’s PRAYERS FOR SALE. (If you like Jan Karon’s Mitford books, you’d love this one, I think. ) We had a great time, but I’ve caught some kind of cold, so I kept struggling to speak, my eyes ran, my nose ran . . . and it wasn’t even a sad story! 🙂
The Cahira O’Connor series was born when Lisa Bergren, novelist and editor extraordinaire, was acquiring fiction for WaterBrook. She knew I was writing historicals, so she contacted me to see if I’d want to do a historical series for them. I was interested, but I told her I’d be bored setting an entire series in just one time period. So I suggested historical books that were linked by a theme . . . maybe from the medieval time period? (Since I’d already written three from that time.)
And she said yes, that would be fun. In fact, she’d been thinking about maybe a female knight. And I said that’d be really hard to pull off, seeing as how knights pretty much lived together round the clock. And all those feats of strength, you know . . .
And then that lovely serendipity thing kicked in and we started brainstorming. Maybe an entire series of women who leave the traditional female role to survive by their wits in a male world. Lisa laughed and said we could call it the “women in drag” series. And so we did (but only in a whisper).
And so was born the Heirs of Cahira O’Connor. Cahira is an Irish princess who, on her deathbed, begged God that her descendants would do amazing things . . . and so they did. Every 200 years, an O’Connor woman (marked by red hair with a white streak) leaves traditional womanhood in order to:
*become a female knight and fight in the Hussite Wars (1400s)
*sail the world in a voyage of exploration (1600s)
*fight in the Civil War (1800s)
*and record their adventures (year 2000).
From the back cover: The auburn-haired O’Connor women share a bond far deeper than their striking physical appearance. These courageous, high-spirited women all push against societal limits in this exciting historical, romantic novel that spans generations and countries from 13th-century Ireland to the excitement and mystery of 15th-century Prague.
For the Silver Sword, I looked for something interesting in medieval times . . . and discovered Jon Huss and the Hussite Wars. I’d never heard of them, but as I read about the struggle, I found myself in complete agreement with those who were rebelling against the corruption in the church. Jon Hus lived and preached during a time in which indulgences were bought and sold with impunity, and dissidents were punished with spiritual consequences. It was a fascinating and dangerous time, and I was eager to write about it.