Tag Archives: historical fiction

As she releases new historical romance, Alice Wisler tells how she first published

Christian contemporary and historical author Alice Wisler

I’m so happy to welcome multi-published author Alice Wisler to “How I First Published” today.  Alice has published nonfiction in the area of healing from grief and loss, as well as contemporary  fiction. She is about to release  her first historical romance called Under the Silk Hibiscus. Here’s Alice!

What was your first published novel?

Rain Song, a southern contemporary novel, came out in October 2008.

Was it a traditional publishing contract or did you go indie?

Bethany House was my publisher.  They published my first four novels.

How did that come about?

It was the day before my birthday in January 2007 when my agent called to say that Bethany House was interested in Rain Song (I’d titled it The Kimono Lady Sings) as well as another future novel.

How did this make you feel? Has it been as good as you expected, or a letdown, or exhausting, for example?

I was so excited!  This news made my birthday celebrations wonderful.  The contract arrived about a month later.

Tell us what’s happened with your writing journey since.

Since that day, like I said, I’ve had four novels published with Bethany House.  I have also had one with River North (Moody) and a devotional with Leafwood, and now, my first novel with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas.  Under the Silk Hibiscus is also my first historical romance, set during World War II.  I can’t wait to introduce it to my readers!

Christian historical fiction by Alice Wisler

Why don’t you tell us more about it now!

Under the Silk Hibiscus

Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas

Release date: November 11, 2014

This novel takes place in an internment camp in Wyoming where many Japanese-Americans were sent after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. There’s upheaval, frustration, pain, and sorrow.  Families are separated.  Some members are accused of being spies, like Nathan  Mori’s father.

To balance the discrimination that evolved during this time period, I had to rely on humor and romance.

One of the most fun relationships I enjoyed crafting was between the main character, Nathan, and his aunt Kazuko. Even though she’s single and has no children of her own, Aunt Kazuko knows how to keep Nathan and his brothers in line.  But even she knows a body can’t live on hard work alone. She loves cookies and keeps morsels in her sweater sleeves, taking them out when she needs “a pep”.

And of course, there’s young romance. Nathan dreams of the lovely singer, Lucy, and wants her to notice him, but she seems more interested in his older brother, Ken.

There are two characters which are not people—one is Heart Mountain, the mountain viewed every day from those in the barracks at the camp.  Then there is the Mori family’s coveted gold watch, a family heirloom from Japan.

So the questions form:  Will Nathan get the girl?  What happens to the family heirloom during the war and after the war ends? Does Nathan’s father return?  How does war and discrimination change hearts?  How does God’s love prevail?

Recipe from Under the Silk Hibiscus:

My character, Aunt Kazuko, is all about eating a cookie . . . or two.  She often says she needs “a pep” to pep her up.  Here is her cookie recipe for raisin cookies, sure to add fun to anyone’s day. 

Recipe for Aunt Kazuko’s Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (1946)

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ cup shortening

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 ½ cups rolled oats

2/3 cup buttermilk

½ cup chopped nuts

1 cup seedless raisins

Cream shortening, blend in sugar and add egg. Beat until smooth and light.  Sift flour with salt, soda and cinnamon.  Stir half the flour in with egg mixture; add milk, the rest of flour, and then oats, nuts and raisins.  Stir till well mixed.  Drop from a teaspoon onto a buttered baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees F. for 10 minutes or until nicely browned.  Yields about 36 cookies.


Alice has authored four contemporary novels published by Bethany House:  Rain Song (Christy Finalist), How Sweet It Is (Christy Finalist), Hatteras Girl and A Wedding Invitation, and Still Life in Shadows by River North/Moody. Her newest novel, Under the Silk Hibiscus (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas) is her first historical romance.

Since the death of her four-year-old son, Alice teaches grief-writing workshops and her devotional, Getting out of Bed in the Morning:  Reflections of Comfort in Heartache (Leafwood), covers the many losses we face and how God sustains us through each one.  In 2012, Alice and her husband started a business, Carved By Heart, where they carve memorial plaques/remembrances, house number signs, bird feeders, rustic clocks, and other home décor.   Her website is:  http://www.alicewisler.com


Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Alice-J.-Wisler/e/B001J6GVNE/

Website:  http://www.alicewisler.com

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alice-J-Wisler/333751835453

Alice’s Patchwork Quilt Blog:  http://www.alicewisler.blogspot.com/



Historical fiction author Diane Tatum tells how she published her first book

Today’s guest author on “How I First Published” is  indie historical fiction author Diane Tatum. I really enjoyed her story of how she got published because in some ways it echoes mine. We both had that one special story that we started in our youth that just wouldn’t let us alone, that we turned back to again and again through the years, until we took the plunge and tried self-publishing. If you wonder what that’s like, Diane is very up-front about her experiences and plans for her next books. Enjoy!

What was your first published book?


Self-published historical fiction Gold Earrings published by Tate Publishing
Gold Earrings

My first book is Gold Earrings. It’s the story of Angelina Mercy, the daughter of a bordello Madame. Her godfather is a theology professor at Harvard and has helped her become a Christian young woman. However, for her sixteenth birthday, her mother gave her a pair of gold hoop earrings which are not removable. To some they represent the sordid past of her mother. To Angelina they represent her Italian heritage. Nevertheless, those who see her earrings think they are a statement of a less than Christian life. She desires to escape her mother’s influence and the prejudices of the Boston population. Jonathan Thomson is a pastor in St. Joseph, MO, where her godfather sends her. He is attracted to her but repelled by her gold earrings and what they seem to represent.

I began writing this story in high school in the seventies. I finished the novel during the summers while in graduate school in 1990s. After sending the proposal out to several publishers with little success, and a move halfway across the nation, I set my novel aside. In 2009, I retired from teaching 7th grade Language Arts. My husband encouraged me to stay home and complete the many story ideas I had set aside over the years while raising our sons and helping them pay for their college expenses. After trying several publishers and a few unorthodox choices, I sent my novel to Tate Publishing, which is an author investment publisher.

I struggled with whether to sign the contract. We didn’t have the money to pay to publish my book. However, my mother paid my investment, so that Gold Earrings would finally come to fruition. The stigma of paying to have my book published worried me. Still, it would be hard to sell my novel without the book format. So I signed the contract.

What has that indie  publishing experience been like?

I had a wonderful experience with the editors, layout, and artistic departments. I felt it was an okay option as long as I went in ‘eyes wide open’.

The day finally arrived when MY books that I had purchased arrived in many boxes from the back of the UPS truck. It was so exciting seeing my work finally in book form! Book signings in our small town were at first quite successful as friends, colleagues, and former students and their parents lined up to purchase my book. Then the hard work began: marketing. The down side of author-investment (self-publishing or indie publishing as well) is that no one cares much about your book, so you are responsible for promoting and selling your book. Unfortunately much of traditional publishing has become the same way.

I am glad I took the chance on an alternative publishing option. Gold Earrings is available on Amazon and Kindle, and through Barnes and Noble and my website. This past Christmas season I did a book signing at Barnes and Noble that did very well.

What’s coming next?

I have two more novels completed and have several at varying stages of development. I am trying to find a traditional publisher for my next novel partly because ACFW does not recognize me as a published author or Tate as a traditional publisher.

I have a web site, 2 blogs and 2 other blogs that I help write. I have a Facebook personal page, an author page, and a book page. I also have Pinterest pages for each novel where I collect research materials. I continue to do freelance writing for church ministry. I am excited to have the opportunity to live the Write Life. I don’t make much money, but that’s not really what it’s all about for me. For me, it’s a ministry showing the world how being a Christian affects the everyday life of the saved and overcoming obstacles in his/her life. I appreciate the prayers of everyone for the publication of my next book Colonial Dream, the first in a series of novels I call Faith Amidst the Crucible of American History.

Here’s where you can find me online:

Self-published  Christian historical fiction author Diane Tatum.
Diane Tatum

Diane E. Tatum


Gold Earrings on Amazon


Website: www.dianeetatumwriter.com

blogs: http://tatumlight-tatumsthoughts4today.blogspot.com/


email: tatumlight@gmail.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/tatumlight

Author page https://www.facebook.com/DianeETatum

Book page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gold-Earrings/159033617489278

twitter: @DianeTatum


Faith Amidst the Crucible of American History series

Colonial Dream American Revolution

Transforming Bitterness Into Joy (WIP) War of 1812

A Time to Choose Civil War

Diane began writing in 5th. grade. The story about not judging on the outward appearance that became Gold Earrings was completed when she was in graduate school. Diane and her husband Ken have been married 36 years. They have two sons , two daughters-in-law and two, grandsons. She’s a member of the John 3:16 Marketing Network (#John316authors) and American Christian Fiction Writers (#ACFW).

To read more authors’ stories–self-published and traditionally published–of how they got published, check out the Publishing a Book Archives.  And authors, if you’d like to be featured, use the  Contact Me form up top  and let me know. Thanks!