Interview with Beth Trissel1) What was the inspiration behind your award-winning paranormal romance novel, Somewhere My Love? Several sources of inspiration lie behind this novel. First ghosts, and Virginia has more ghost stories than any other state in the Union, not necessarily because we have a more fertile imagination, but sadly because the Old Dominion has seen more bloody battles over the centuries than any other. And yet, this multitude of hauntings doesn’t only feature soldiers caught in an endless fray who haven’t gotten word the war’s over. Many tales feature the myriad of people, great and small, who dwelt in our richly historic state. The old Virginia homes and plantations have accumulated a wealth of such stories. While touring some of these English styled manor homes with my dear mother I conceived the idea for Somewhere My Love. But there’s more to it than that.
2) Thought there might be. Can you elaborate? I was also influenced by one of my favorite British TV mysteries, Midsomer Murders. I enjoy the historic setting of these modern day mysteries, but especially when the story flashes back to an even earlier time. So I thought, why not incorporate that with my love of romance and history. Story ideas sometimes come from the most unlikely sources.
3) Yes, they do. I understand your family home place has influenced your work? Greatly, and not only in this novel. On my father’s side, I descend from old Southern gentry, now impoverished after the Civil War, Great Depression, and various other misfortunes, but the gracious Georgian home his ancestor built (circa 1816) still stands outside the historic town of Staunton, VA. I grew up visiting this old home, called ‘Chapel Hill’–all Southern homes have names–and it’s strongly influenced my writing.
As have the magnificent ancestral portraits in my family and on display in other Virginia homes. And it was just such a portrait of a striking dark-haired gentleman who embedded himself in my thoughts. Who was he? Why did he die so young? That other painting of the fair young lady…did she love him? Often, the guides at these old homes are brimming with tales. But other times we are left to wonder and ask ourselves are these folk who’ve gone before us truly gone, or do some still have unfinished business in this realm? And what of the young lovers whose time was tragically cut short, do they somehow find a way? Love conquers all, and so I answer ‘yes.’
4) Very romantic. I see Somewhere My Love is Book I of your Somewhere in Time series. Tell us more about what led you to create this series?
The idea behind my ‘Somewhere in Time’ series (shortened to ‘Somewhere’ on several of the books) is that the story opens in an old home, so far vintage Virginia homes, and then transports the reader back in time either in the same old house or another place entirely, such as the Scottish Highlands. As is the case in my Scottish time travel romance novel, Somewhere My Lass, and the sequel I’m at work on now, Somewhere in the Highlands. Both stories convey the characters to and from early 17th century Scotland via a portal in time. All of which is inspired by my fascination with the past. The unifying characteristic of the series is the paranormal/time travel element. The stories themselves aren’t necessarily tied together, though some of them are.
5) How novel. I love the door and mysterious woman on the cover of Somewhere My Love. Is this symbolic of the story?
Yes, and the series. Behind every door lies a secret, an intriguing puzzle to be solved, so these romances are also suspenseful mysteries.
6) A winning blend. What author did you read as a child that most influenced you?
C.S. Lewis and The Chronicles of Narnia. I’m still looking for Narnia, and scouted out the antique wardrobe at Chapel Hill as a child, but as Lewis cautions, I never shut the door behind me.
7) Very wise. Isn’t one of your ‘Somewhere’ stories a Christmas romance?
Yes. Somewhere the Bells Ring, a hauntingly beautiful novella set in the old Virginia family home place, Chapel Hill. Nostalgia about the late 1960’s and an earlier era, WWI, coupled with a vivid dream inspired this ghostly Christmas romance.
8) Intriguing. Can you sum up Somewhere My Love in a sentence?
‘Fated lovers have a rare chance to reclaim the love cruelly denied them in the past, but can they grasp this brief window in time before it’s too late?’
9) Draws me right in. Any final thoughts?
This quote sums up the theme of Somewhere My Love and my Somewhere in Time series: “Know that love is truly timeless.” ~Author Mary M. Ricksen
And this: Time Travel, Ghosts, and Reincarnation. Sacred relics and fated lovers. Fantasy, mystery, magic, and above all romance.
10) Thanks for sharing your wealth of inspiration. Where can readers find you and Somewhere My Love?
Somewhere My love is available in Amazon kindle for only .99
As for me, my blog is the happening place: http://bethtrissel.wordpress.com/
Also catch me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bctrissel