Friday, April 26, 2013

Blog Tour, Interview, and Giveaway: Belonging To Heaven (Gale Sears)

Belonging to HeavenDescended from the Hawaiian royal line, Jonathan Napela became one of the first—and most influential—converts to the Church in Hawaii. A man of intelligence, social status, and wealth, he used his considerable position to further the gospel in his native land. He developed a lifelong bond of brotherhood with Elder George Q. Cannon, helping to translate the Book of Mormon into Hawaiian and establish a gathering place for the Hawaiian saints in Laie, Oahu. But when his beloved wife, Kitty, was stricken with leprosy, Jonathan made the defining decision of his life. He would leave his life of privilege to become her caretaker and spend the rest of his life on Molokai, the island of lepers. To those who suffered similar heartbreak and banishment, Jonathan’s self-sacrifice became their lifeline. Based on true story, this is an extraordinary novel of a man who chose love in the face of death.

Author Gale Sears
Gale Sears is an award-winning author, known for her historical accuracy and intensive research. Gale received a BA in playwriting from Brigham Young University and a master’s degree in theater arts from the University of Minnesota. She is the author of the bestselling The Silence of God and several other novels, including The Route, Christmas for a Dollar, Autumn Sky, Until the Dawn, and Upon the Mountains. She and her husband, George, are the parents of two children and reside in Salt Lake City, Utah.

What gave you the inspiration to write this book?

 My publisher, Deseret Book, had asked for a book to followLetters in the Jade Dragon Box. I was just beginning research for my historical fiction novel to be set in Italy. This book would come out in the spring of 2014 to correspond with the dedication of the Rome temple. The product manager at Deseret Book encourged me to bring out a book in 2013. I was at a loss. What topic? What subject matter? What location? I was brain weary at this time, so offhandedly I thought... where would I like to go to do reasearch? Hmm, perhaps Hawaii? Before you think me totally shallow, I did live in the islands for several years when I was in high school, and I love the people and the culture of the islands. I also knew that the church had an early missionary effort in Hawaii. When I found the story of George Q. Cannon and Jonathan Napela, I knew it was perfect. 

Who is your favorite character in the book?

 Jonathan Napela. He was one of the first Hawaiian converts to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the 1850's. He was a remarkable man. 
Which came first, the title or the novel? The novel came first. Through the majority of the writing, the working title of the book was Napela.

What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why? 

Without giving too much away, I love the scene where Jonathan and his wife, Kitty, chant and dance in the storm in defiance of their fate.
Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer from then to now? I think it's to put things in perspective. Realize that publishing is a business and you need to be savvy about the business. Know that if a publishing house rejects your book it may be that it doesn't fit their needs at the moment. If an editor looks at your work and gives you suggestions--carefully consider them. Work on your craft. Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. Love your story.

What do you like most about the cover of the book?

 I love the cover for Belonging to Heaven! I think it immediatly pulls you into a place and time. Sunset, ocean, palm trees? What's not to love?
What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2013? I would love anything from Toni Sorenson.

What was your favorite book in 2012? 

One? I liked Reached by Ally Condie and The Rent Collector by Camron Wright.
What’s up next for you? Another historical novel. This one concerning the mission of Lorenzo Snow to Italy in 1850.

Is there anything that you would like to add? 
 To be able to write is a blessing, but it's also hard, THANK YOU to all the wonderful readers who encourage me. 

Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 5/5/13

Book Blasts & Blog Tours Hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer

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