Emily Ann Putzke is a 19-year-old Christian homeschool graduate and history lover. Besides writing historical fiction, she enjoys photography (especially photographing her nieces and nephew), reading, spending time with her family, Civil War reenacting, traveling and a good cup of coffee. She resides in New York State, where she drinks in the beautiful autumns and tries to endure the long winters.
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Amber: Congratulations on the release of your debut, Emily, and welcome to “Seasons of Humility”! What sort of battles did you have to face as a writer to reach this place of publication?
Emily: Thank you so much for hosting me, Amber! The biggest battle I had to face was fear. I’ve always wanted to be a published author but once I started pursuing it, I was definitely afraid of what people would think and wondered if my book was good enough. I prayed a lot, repeated Jeremiah 29:11 over and over in my head, and felt that publishing my book was what God wanted me to do.
Amber: Fear seems to be a common battle among authors. You're certainly not alone! It sounds like you've found an effective and admirable way to combat it, though. :)
Your blog bio states that you’ve done some Civil War reenacting. What role did those experiences play in the story-writing process? Can you share how you got involved in reenactments?
Emily: Civil War reenacting definitely played a part in the writing process! We reenactors wake up to Reveille, just like my characters do. We eat food cooked over the fire, sleep in tents, wear authentic clothing, and do our hair in 1860’s style. We sit around the fire at night, smell the sulfur from the guns, and our heads rattle from the loud artillery and guns going off.
After seeing my first Civil War reenactment in 2009, I really wanted to reenact. It wasn't until 2012 that I actually started. A reenacting family I know took me under their wing and got me hooked on reenacting!
Amber: I'm fascinated by reenacting and role-playing. That's awesome that you've found a way to get involved! You also have a love for photography. How has that passion intertwined with the indie publishing process?
Emily: I love storytelling through my photography, so that plays a part in writing books. I love the quote, “The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.” ― Dorothea Lange. Photography helps me notice small details, lighting, and facial expressions that result in descriptions I can visualize for writing.
Amber: Very cool!
This being the holiday season, I'm curious, how might your main characters, Joe and Lucas, celebrate Christmas in their day and age? And what’s one of your favorite Christmas traditions?
Emily: For Joe and Lucas, they would be away from home on Christmas during the war years. There are accounts of soldiers putting Christmas trees outside their tents and decorating it with hardtack and pork. Their families might have sent them Christmas packages. Soldiers were homesick. Families tried to be cheerful, but they were missing their husbands, brothers, and sons. Here’s an excerpt from a Christmas poem called Christmas Night of ’62 written by Confederate soldier William Gordon McCabe.
There's not a comrade here tonight
but knows that loved ones far away
on bended knees this night will pray:
"God bring our darling from the fight."
One of my favorite Christmas traditions is going to church on Christmas Eve, then coming home and watching A Muppet Christmas Carol with my siblings until 2 in the morning. =)
Amber: Can readers expect more Civil War stories from you in the future?
Emily: I would love to write more Civil War stories in the future! However, the next book I’m working is a historical fiction about a German resistance group during WWII.
Thanks again for hosting me, Amber!
Amber: That's great to know you have another war story in the works. And thank you for being with us here today, Emily. Happy book birthday to you!
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About the Book
1861 - Sixteen year old Joe Roberts leads a mundane life as far as he’s concerned. His world spins in the same circle each day: working at his family’s store, taking his sisters on boyish escapades and bickering with his rogue of a cousin, Lucas. Joe can’t understand why his mother allows Lucas to live and work with them after all the pain he caused their family. When war is declared, Joe is quick to join up and become a soldier with the 11th Pennsylvania Volunteers, but war is nothing like he imagined. To make matters worse, he must endure having Lucas in the same regiment. Can Joe put the pain of the past behind him? Forgiveness is easier said than done.
Purchase the Book
Amazon (Paperback) | Amazon (Kindle)
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In honor of this occasion, Emily is giving away some awesome prizes! Hit the arrow buttons on the Rafflecopter form below to browse, and enter via the form to get your name in the hat. Giveaway is limited to US residents only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway