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Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Today it is my privilege to introduce you to Erin Rainwater. She managed to get a book published about that not-quite-historical-not-quite-contemporary time period, the 1950s--Refining Fires. Kudos to her!

Tell me more about your latest release, Refining Fires.

All authors try to make their stories unique, and I am no exception. I think I really pulled it off this time. It’s different in that it consists of three distinct parts. It’s almost (but not quite) like a combination of three short stories, each with its own main characters, where God weaves their lives together into a tapestry that glorifies Him. You might say they are all love stories in some form, but the first, titled “Refining Fires,” is what your readers would consider a romance. A disfigured war veteran reluctantly hires a nurse with a ruined professional reputation. She’s never had a patient so challenging as him, but her options are limited—nil, actually—and she has no choice but to stick it out with him. Her determined efforts help this bitter hero (in the real sense of the word) redefine himself, evoking a raw yearning in his soul while eliciting renewed life from his body. You’ll then meet Susannah, a nine-year-old mountain girl with more “Blind Courage” than she realizes. She must overcome her worst fears in order to save her mama’s life. When things go from bad to worse, she meets a couple whose love has an immense impact on her future. You might not find the “Kept Woman” so likeable at first, but once you learn how she got to where she is, you, like the child and the former love who come into her life, will find she’s worthy of redemption as she learns just Who has been keeping her all along. Paths cross and lives intertwine in these stories, showing how God’s hand is ever on us, leading and refining. Refining Fires goes beyond the simple romance formula, showing how a couple’s love spills over into and impacts the lives of those God brings into their path.

On your website, you say that you’re a student of Krav Maga. Tell me more about that.

I’m less active in it now, sorry to say, but Krav Maga is a self-defense and fighting system developed by and for the Israeli Defense Forces (or IDF). It is extremely effective and brutally taxing (I know I’ve just used up my ration of ‘ly’ words, but this deserves them!). It stretches you waaay beyond any limits you think you had, and teaches you to never give up. Training includes heavy metal rock music blaring in the room, which at first is unnerving, but that’s the point. They provide a stressful environment so that your brain gets trained to handle the stress and to focus despite numerous distractions. Every IDF soldier gets trained in Krav Maga as part of their mandatory service. I can see why!

Your story is set during the 1950s. You called the Korean War “the forgotten war.” What drew you to write about that not-quite-historical, not-quite-contemporary time period?

I was fortunate to grow up in the 1950s, and I still love those olden days. Perhaps it’s because I saw them through the eyes of innocence. But I also chose that time period because I love to share history when I write, and that is a neglected time period in fiction markets. And yes, the Korean War—or “police action” as it was called then—is often referred to as the “Forgotten War,” being sandwiched between the “good war” (WWII) and the politically charged Vietnam War. In some small way I’d like to pay tribute to the aging men and women who served during that war, which began sixty years ago this summer. Anyone who has a chance to visit the Korean War memorial in Washington, D.C. should go. It is a most incredible site to behold.

You’re also a veteran. How has your background as a nurse, veteran, Christian woman impacted your writing?

My Christian world view has a great impact, although my stories for the most part don’t contain the plan of salvation or get preachy. I have to admit, though, that the 3rd story in Refining Fires does go there. I hadn’t planned it that way, but it was one of those times all authors can relate to when a story takes on a life of its own and leads you where it wants to go. Actually, I think it’s more about where God wants it to go. I have had some incredible and unusual experiences throughout my nursing career and while I served in the Army, and some of them made their way onto the pages of my books.

Julia Cameron talks about the concept of “artist dates” in her book, The Artist’s Way. What are some things you do to revitalize and reenergize your writer’s soul?

The outdoors ranks high up there. Rocky Mountain panoramas, babbling streams with sunshine reflecting off the water, the various seasonal changes of nature—all make me reflect on God’s magnificence, which is both revitalizing to my soul and encouraging to my spirit. Taking my darling grandkids there for a picnic adds to the effect.

I was privileged to live in that Rocky Mountain splendor myself. Now I am looking for beauty right here in Oklahoma. What can readers expect to see next from you? Where can they find you on the internet?

Right now my focus is on collaborating with a theater producer in Pittsburgh who is translating scenes from my Civil War novel, True Colors, onto the stage. I earned that honor by capturing the Gold Medal in Historical Fiction last year from the Military Writers Society of America. And readers can always find me at my “virtual fireside” at I hope readers will feel right at home and feel free to contact me from there.

***Erin's book is available for purchase at***


JoAnn Durgin said...

I wish I could be beside those still waters in the gorgeous Rocky Mountain setting right now! Ahh...
I've read Erin's wonderful book, Refining Fires, and I would encourage everyone else to do so. I particularly appreciate that its stories are "outside the box" of traditional romance and extends those boundaries in marvelous, inventive ways. Just reading about it prompts me to pick up the book again! Erin is a terrific writer, and what an exciting opportunity to see one of her previous books translated onto the stage in the near future! Best of everything to you, Erin, and thanks, Darlene, for hosting her on your blog today! Blessings.

Kameko said...

I've heard such good things about your book, Erin, and can't wait to read it. I also congratulate you on your Civil War book being produced as a play - that is fantastic. I enjoyed your interview and look forward to hearing more from you.

Blessings to you both,


Erin Rainwater said...

Thanks JoAnn and Kameko for your support and kind words. I truly love this story (stories!) in Refining Fires and am honored to share them with readers who love romance and redemption in their fiction.