Friday, September 2, 2011

Fairer Than Morning | Rosslyn Elliott | Author Interview & GiveAway

Rosslyn Elliott
author of Fairer Than Morning

The delightful Rosslyn Elliott, author of Fairer Than Morning, generously agreed to participate in an author interview here on Little Bit Of Wonderful, and is sponsoring a giveaway of her lovely book! I enjoyed getting to know her better imensely, and I know you will too. Be sure to read all the way to the bottom for a chance to win your own copy of Fairer Than Morning! If you missed yesterday's post, you can find my review of her book here, as well as information about the huge book release party going on all over the web, and the amazing giveaway she's sponsoring to celebrate the release of Fairer Than Morning.

Join me after the jump for my interview with Rosslyn Elliot, and a chance to win your own copy of her lovely book, Fairer Than Morning...


Where are you from?

Some people can answer this question with the name of a town and a state. Because I grew up in an Air Force family, we moved every three years, so I have a whole host of memories in different places both in the USA and abroad! I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything, despite some of its hardships. The time I spent living in England gave me my love for history, and my exposure to life in the Phillippine Islands showed me so much about life in the rest of the world and what it means to live in America…or not.

When and why did you want to become an author?

I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a little girl. For most of my life, I’ve been studying language in one way or another, whether I was writing plays, composing poetry, or studying great books. But for many years, I was intimidated by long projects and too perfectionistic to keep writing when what I wrote was so clearly flawed. After I wrote a doctoral dissertation in English in 2006, that achievement gave me the confidence to pursue creative writing, my first love. Completing such a long work of literary analysis showed me I could finish other long works by the same slow, steady process.

What inspired you to write FAIRER THAN MORNING?

I visited a historic home in Westerville, Ohio, and providentially, I happened to watch a video about the family who lived in that home. The Hanby family has inspired my work ever since that day five years ago, and theirs is the true story behind all three novels in the Saddler’s Legacy series. It’s full of romance, suspense, and heroism, and most of all, it’s a story of how faithful love transforms lives.

Is there a message in this novel that you wanted to convey to your readers?

Overall, what I hope readers gain is the affirmation that no matter how lonely and desperate a situation may seem, there is always redemption, love, and joy to be found through a faith-filled life. That’s the powerful example lived out by Ann Miller and Will Hanby.

Who is your favorite character in FAIRER THAN MORNING, and why?

I love Ann and Will so much that I can’t choose between them, so I’ll talk about my favorite supporting character, Ann’s father. Mr. Miller is a father trying to raise three daughters after the untimely death of his wife. He isn’t perfect, but he’s a good man who does the right thing without making a fuss, even when it’s dangerous. We need more good fathers in the world, just as Will needs a good father to realize his tremendous spiritual potential. So Mr. Miller’s strength and his love for Will as a kind of adopted son is one of my favorite parts of the novel.

Did you experience writers block while working on this novel? If so, what helped you break through?

In the first four or five chapters, I had a horrible time. My goal was so high that I melted down with the fear that the task was beyond my ability. Fortunately, my meltdowns tend to make me very determined once I finish flipping out! I knew I had to hold on to the faith that what I needed would be supplied—if I had been called to the task, I would be equipped for it. I don’t know how writers do it without faith and prayer.

Who is your favorite author, and what is your favorite book? Why?

I’ll answer with my favorite novelist, since it’s hard to compare fiction and nonfiction. Charles Dickens is my favorite author for what he knew about human nature, and how he could draw a character so well as to make us love or despise the person after only a few brief words or actions. Also, he is a compassionate, moral author but never preaches at readers. He lets the behavior of his characters speak for itself.

You are a Christian; how does your faith impact your writing?

I’ve described how faith enables me to keep going sometimes when I would otherwise give up, but, honestly, it does the same thing for me in all of life. I was agnostic for ten years after I lost my faith at the age of sixteen. The despair and loneliness I experienced during much of that time are now a great gift to me as a writer of faith, because I can understand characters who may be at many different places in their spiritual journeys.

I understand that FAIRER THAN MORNING is the first in a series; what can we expect in the sequels?

I want to share the description of the second novel, because I think my publisher did such a fantastic job of capturing its spirit.
Ben's talent and Kate's sweet voice make them the perfect match-but Kate's mother is determined to keep them apart. In 1854, the winds of change blow through Ohio, where free state borders slave state. By day, Ben Hanby is a talented musician who directs musicals for his Westerville college. By night, he secretly aids fugitives on the Underground Railroad. When Ben casts lovely Kate Winter to sing in his latest show, they find they share a love for music and ideas. But Kate's mother wants her daughter to marry a rich man. Ben has given his life to God, not to the pursuit of wealth. 
Kate Winter will be the first female graduate of Otterbein College, and every young man in town courts her. But Kate's dark family secrets leave her unspeakably shy. When Kate joins the Hanbys in their dangerous work on the Underground Railroad, she finds her courage and her voice. Can Ben and Kate find a way to be together in spite of the obstacle of Kate's family?

The third novel, LOVELIER THAN DAYLIGHT, takes place in the 1870s when a saloon owner tries to open a whiskey joint in Westerville, the driest town in America. Susanna Hanby ends up in the middle of a town-wide fight against the saloon, arguing with handsome German-American journalist Johann Giere. But all Susanna really wants is to find her missing sister and save her sister’s children from going to the state orphanage.

Is there anything you would like to say to your readers?

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. This writing journey can be rewarding but also difficult, in some ways I can explain and in others I can’t. Notes and encouraging words from readers and fellow writers keep me believing that the work has been worthwhile.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

I want to share something that’s been on my mind as I struggle to find balance between writing, family, and the rest of life. Writer friends, before you try to publish traditionally, make sure you are at a point in your life when you will be able to handle it if what you thought would be a part-time writing job suddenly goes full-time. Between the marketing, editing, and drafting that authors must do, this career field involves many hours of work per week. One of my writer friends who saw me go through a challenging rewrite over the past few months was shocked at the amount of work I had to accomplish in a short time. That’s not always the case, but it could happen to you! Most of all, I think that like any other pursuit, writing must be balanced among our spiritual priorities. I have one daughter who will grow up fast. She takes precedence over any fictional pursuit. I also have neighbors and friends who sometimes need my presence and my help, and I have to consider carefully how to do my writing in a way that still allows me to serve those around me. I think this is the most challenging aspect of making the transition from pre-published to published writer, and I hope I may be able to help some of my writer friends understand what kinds of decisions lie ahead once they realize their dreams.

How can readers contact you?

I LOVE to hear from readers and fellow writers. You can friend me or like my Author page on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, or visit my website and blog at I respond to all contacts through my website and I enjoy dialogue on my blog comments.

You can find more information about this book in this post, which includes my own review of Fairer Than Morning.


Want to win your very own copy of Fairer Than Morning? Enter my giveaway! Rosslyn has graciously offered a hard copy of her lovely book to one of my readers here at Little Bit Of Wonderful, and entering is super easy. All you have to do is follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter widget below. Not familiar with Rafflecopter? That's okay! It's super easy to use. The first two entries are mandatory (no other entries will count unless both of these are completed), but the others are optional, and you only need to do them if you want extra entries in the drawing. This giveaway will run for two weeks, and I will announce the winner on my blog within three days of the end of the drawing. Make sure you enter your name and email address where indicated, or you will not be eligible to win. So what are you waiting for?! Go enter! (This giveaway is open to residents of the United States & Canada.)


  1. I love to write, but I tend to procrastinate. I'll get a great idea in my head, say, during church, and by the time I get home, I'm too busy doing something else to write. I need to be more self-disciplined about writing!

  2. This is Rosslyn. Blogger is giving me trouble with logging in, but I wanted to stop by and say hello.

    Alena, thank you so much for having me. It has been a pleasure!

    Ellen, I know the feeling. :-) I had to learn to ignore mess and disorder, otherwise I would never have finished my novel. My bad habit was jumping up to go clean something. I don't have that problem anymore. LOL!

  3. I want to comment on the giveaway, but I'm not sure what you mean by leaving a direct link. I hope I win the book, as I believe a person can NEVER own too many books :o)

  4. Rosslyn, thanks so much for stopping by! I'm sorry blogger is being a pain, I sure know how THAT goes :(

    Mom, are you talking about the "Blog About This Giveaway" option? If so, write a post on your own blog that talks about the giveaway and includes a link to this post (so people can actually come and enter), and then copy the link in the URL bar at the top of your blog, and paste it into the comments here on this post so I can verify it. I hope that makes sense. If not, chat me up on Facebook and I'll walk you through it.

  5. Ok, here's the link:

    Let me know if it works! :o)

  6. This series sounds great. I can't wait to read this first book.

  7. Thank you, Christine! :) Good luck! (Btw, did you read the instructions for leaving a blog post comment? This is my first Rafflecopter giveaway, so I'm still working out the bugs, which is why I'm checking - the instructions where to answer a question.)

  8. I agree, you can never have too many books!!

  9. Hmmm. I left a response, I am not sure why it is not showing up that I answered it. Sorry Alena. Do I like to write? No, I have never been a writer, all the verb, nouns, writing styles et cetera never held an interest for me. I would rather read a book.


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