Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Story Time with Erin Rainwater - Interview

I've been trying for months to feature Erin Rainwater on my blog, but we kept running into technical difficulties. So finally, it is with great delight that I welcome this lovely woman to Writing Roseanna!


About Erin

A writer of historical fiction, Erin Rainwater is a Pennsylvania native who probably should have been born in the 19th century but somehow got flash-forwarded into the 20th. There was never any question she would be a nurse when she grew up, regardless of which century she was in. She launched her nursing career in the U.S. Army, serving during the
Vietnam War era. Erin was privileged to care for the bodies and spirits of soldiers and veterans, including repatriated POWs and MIAs. She has incorporated some of her military experiences into her writing. Her support of the military is ongoing, and one of her favorite pastimes is volunteering at the USO in Denver. She participated in Operation Desert Swap, having “adopted” a soldier in a medevac unit in Iraq to whom she sent a copy of her Civil
War novel, True Colors, for reading and swapping with his fellow troops.

Erin is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and the Military Writers Society
of America, who awarded her a 2009 Gold Medal in Historical Fiction. She lives in
Colorado with her husband of thirty-six years. She has four children and the four most adorable
grandchildren on the planet.


About Refining Fires

Her career in ruins, a desperate nurse answers an ad to care for a disabled veteran.

Disfigured in the war, the antisocial businessman can’t get his mind off the nurse he
had tossed out of his home.

A young child who never leaves the confines of her mountain home must make a
treacherous journey alone to save her mother’s life.

A woman kept by men all her life learns through an old love that she has been kept
all along by Someone else.


What's your latest book?

Refining Fires released in both print and eBook format in July 2010 from Torn Veil Books, a new Christian publisher in Winnipeg, Manitoba. I appreciate them so much for taking a chance on a book others turned down. It’s unique in that it’s made up of three parts, each with its own protagonist, although by the end God has woven their lives together in ways none of them could have predicted.

The first story is “Refining Fire” and is a love story between a disfigured, bitter veteran and a nurse with a disreputable professional past. But his anger can’t match her pluck, and before long not only is his body being renewed but his soul is yearning for a life he couldn’t dream of.

Then, “Blind Courage” introduces a young girl who must dig deep within herself to find the courage needed to face tremendous challenges and overwhelming fear to save her mother’s life.

The third is the story of a “Kept Woman,” of how she got to that point, and of how she learns about just “who” it is who’s been keeping her all along. Paths cross and lives intertwine, showing how God’s hand is ever on us, leading and refining as we go. Three stories of people seeking redemption, all rolled into one larger story. Just like how our lives are made up of smaller journeys that are part of the “big picture” that God controls.

Oh, that sounds awesome--I LOVE the premise! I've read a few books that take you on similar paths, and it's so sweet to get to the end and see how they all come together! What's your favorite part of the story?

Tough question. But I believe it’s the moment the hero, Peter Cochran, finally realizes the difference between loving someone and just wanting her. He’s never loved sacrificially before.

What was the hardest part to write?

The entire third story. I didn’t even want to write it. But this character’s story needed told, and she needed redemption in her life. Neither she nor the Lord would let me off the hook. I can’t express how glad I am that I caved in and wrote it. It’s quite a moving story, and the most gospel-containing story of any I’ve ever written.

Well, I'm intrigued! What do you hope your readers will get out of the story?

The fact that God’s hand is always upon us, no matter how it looks to the contrary. His love sometimes takes the form of discipline, as Peter learns, to impede our progress from what is dangerous to our physical and spiritual lives. His children are never, ever, out of his care.

Is there a theme to this book?

Each character undergoes redemption in one form or another. One is redeemed from professional ruin. One from his bitterness and prodigal status. One from her fears. One from her sin. I guess you could say, then, that there’s a theme of Redemption.

Yep, I'd say so. =) So what's your favorite genre to write? To read?

Historical love stories, both to read and to write.

Oh, blissful sigh. I'm right there with you. Now, time to dish--what's one of the oddest or most interesting things someone has ever said about you?

A couple of years ago my daughter and I applied to be contestants on The Amazing Race. One of the application questions was “What famous person does your race partner remind you of?” My daughter put down that I reminded her of Judge Judy. Judge Judy! I was flabbergasted. “Am I that judgmental?” I asked my daughter. But she told me she thinks of Judge Judy as smart, fair, and a good judge of character. So my shock was assuaged. Since then I’ve seen interviews with the judge, and I, too, am impressed by that woman.

LOL. Great story. Are there any people (family, writing group, editors) who you rely on when writing?

I was hesitant to join a critique group. I hear “critique” but think “criticize.” But I took the leap and was blessed by becoming part of a wonderful, loving and very knowledgeable bunch of ladies who are now considered my good friends. I have learned so much from them; I can’t even begin to think what my story would be like without the benefit of their input.

I know exactly what you mean! I'm not sure how I ever wrote a book without my critters. Now, here's a fun one. If someone were to give you $5,000 to spend on anything you wanted, what would you buy? (No saving of gifts to charities allowed!)

First I’d go to a day spa and get a massage, a facial, a makeover and my first ever mani-pedi. Then I’d road trip with my husband, probably starting with places in Colorado I’ve yet to see despite living here for twenty-three years. Then we’d travel back East to some Civil War sites. Then Disney World. Then I’d wake up from my nap and remember I have $5,000 worth of car repairs that need done and head for the shop. So sad.

I say go with the dream, and let me come with you! ;-)


Thanks for visiting (finally, LOL), Erin! Everyone be sure to check out her website at www.ErinRainwater.com. You can purchase Refining Fires at Amazon.


  1. Great interview. I'm halfway through Erin's new book and it is fantastic. Her characters come alive off the page and straight into your heart!

    Big fan,

    Kathleen Rodgers

  2. Thanks, Kathleen! You sure do know how to make an author blush.