Friday, June 29, 2012

Carla Olson Gade: A Maine Gal Writes About The West


Everyone’s Story welcomes author Carla Olson Gade. Carla lives in Maine, one of my favorite states to visit, and if you ever try driving from New Hampshire into Maine during the summer months, you will discover that there are droves of us diehard Maine fans that head north to scenic Maine. So, how does someone with a love of the Northeast end up writing about the old Western days? Come for a visit with Carla and find out. Also, enjoy some beautiful photos from Carla!


  1. Book Giveaway of Carla’s THE SHADOW CATCHER’S DAUGHTER

Carla is generously offering 1 copy of her new release to one randomly chosen commenter. Please leave your email address within the body of the comment. The winner will be announced Friday, July 6th. Here’s a blurb:
Set in Colorado & New Mexico in 1875, The Shadow Catcher’s Daughter is Carla’s debut novel, released through Harlequin’s Heartsong Presents book club. Eliana Van Horn aims to make her mark by joining her father as his photography assistant on an expedition to survey and document the placement of a marker at the intersection of four southwest boundaries. Living in the shadows of his native heritage, a half-Navajo guide, Yiska Wilcox, is thrown off course when The Shadow Catcher’s Daughter opens up the uncharted territory of his heart. As they travel through dangerous terrain in New Mexico and overcome barriers of culture, faith, ideals, and secrets that they both keep, they at last discover common ground and stake a chance on love.

How Does A Lover of New England History End Up Writing A Western Novel?
By Carla Olson Gade

I’ve been writing since I was a child and still have a story I penned in sixth grade. Over twenty years ago I had aspirations of getting published. At that time I wrote articles, devotionals, and stories for my children. For the past 12 or so years I’ve been writing inspirational historical fiction “stories” and began my pursuit to learn the craft of writing for publication and preparing to be an author.



Fort Knox on the Penobscot River with the quaint town of Bucksport in view. (Taken from the Penobscot Narrows Observatory -tallest public observatory in the world)

Since I grew up in New England, I’ve long been fascinated by the bountiful history there. Home for me as a child was Massachusetts and I spent many occasions visiting places like Boston, Plymouth, and Cape Cod. When I was in grade school my hometown of Wrentham celebrated its tri-centennial, which was great fun for a child like me with an enormous imagination. I think that was one of the catalysts that inspired me to learn more about the past – events, places, and the people who lived then.

My imagination always soared as I wondered about the “true” stories from history, and New England has a lot of them. You’d think that might make me become a non-fiction author, a biographer or such. In fact, I have written many non-fiction pieces through the years. But I recall the times of being enchanted by a wonderfully told story…and so often that is how I learned best. When I started reading inspirational historical fiction, not until I was an adult, I realized that was the type of story I wanted to tell – rich in history and woven together with faith.


        Heard of deer on their daily visit to my former neighbor's farm in Fairfield, Maine.

So how did I end up writing a western novel?


Darlene Franklin presented the concept to me for the historical series Love in Four Corners. She invited me and Susan Page Davis for this series, each of us setting our novel in a different time period relating to the Four Corners Monument at the intersection of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona – way out of my element. Yet, I have enjoyed reading some fiction set in the west, and addicted to Bonanza and Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, I thought I could meet the challenge. After doing a bit of research for the novel’s setting I was hooked and The Shadow Catcher’s Daughter was born.

When I did my research, I became fascinated with the idea of my characters joining a survey expedition, fictitiously of course, though the survey is an historical event. I appointed Yiska as the guide and Eliana as a photography assistant. By the way, Shadow Catcher is what Native Americans called photographers, thus the title! I believe it was providential for me to write this when I did as this book became a tribute to my stepfather who passed away during the writing of it. He was my go-to guy when I needed someone to answer questions about the Wild West.

And there you have it! I have lots of stories yet to be told and my next two books releasing are set in colonial New England – Colonial Courtships this October and Pattern for Romance in 2013. But you never know, I might have another western in me yet!
    Portland Head Light House on the rocky coast of Portland in Casco Bay, a family favorite.

Have any interest-turn-motivation stories for writing or reading that you'd like to share with Carla? She'd love to hear from you.
Author Bio:


Carla Olson Gade has been imagining stories most her life. Her love for writing and eras gone by turned her attention to writing historical Christian romance. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Maine Fellowship of Christian Writers. An autodidact, creative thinker, and avid reader, Carla also enjoys genealogy, web design, and photography. A native New Englander, she writes from her home in beautiful rural Maine where she resides with her “hero” husband and two young adult sons.

You can find Carla on the web at:

http://pinterest.com/carlaolsongade/the-shadow-catcher-s-daughter/    



Autographed copies are available through Signed by the Author.



23 comments:

  1. I have a copy of Carla's book, The Shadow Catcher's Daughter. I was almost afraid to read it because we are real life friends. What if I didn't like it?? But there was no need to fear. I LOVED the book. I actually dreamed about the characters at night - that's how real she paints them. I encourage everyone to get a copy!!!

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    1. Hi, Groovy! Thanks for visiting with Carla & me this evening. If you've dreamed about her novel, that's great testimony of one fine story!

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    2. Wow, Groovy! I am deeply honored and so glad you enjoyed the book. The characters invaded my dreams, too, as I wrote them and imagine that is why they took on a life of their own!

      Thanks for taking the risk and reading it! ;)

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  2. I was pulled into the story from the moment Eliana took the stage coach ride and didn't come out until the end! Never a dull moment and never a lull in the story, I heartily recommend it.

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    1. That was quite a ride for me, too, Promised Heart. I'm so glad that you went along for Yiska and Eliana's journey. It was a white knuckle trip in some places and I'm pleased beyond measure that you enjoyed it!!

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  3. Welcome to Everyone's Story, Promised Heart. So glad you enjoyed Carla's novel and are a fan!

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    1. Thank you so much for having me here, Elaine. You have a fantastic blog and are so encouraging to writers!

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    2. Thanks, Carla. I really try my super best to make my guests and viewers comfortable, entertained, thought-provoked, and encouraged. Your feedback means a lot to me ♡ I'm glad you're my guest this week.

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  4. i love to learn about the east coast, and would love to read Carla's novel. Thank you for the giveaway and highlighting a new to me author.

    mitzi underscore wanham at yahoo dot com

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    1. Marianne/Mitzi--so nice to see you again :) Aren't Carla's photos of Maine breath-taking-beautiful?

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  5. Elaine,
    So interesting that someone from New England would end up writing this type of story. An inspiration that we are able to do more than we think, not limited to our own small circles of life.

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    1. Cynthia, glad of your return visit :) So well said, my friend!

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  6. Thank you for stopping by, Marianne! I hope you will enjoy this book and my future novels as well!

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  7. I thought so, too, Cynthia! LOL! But my two mentors, Darlene and Susan, are also originally from Maine and they write wonderful westerns all the time. It is wonderful to live in a day in age to have so many resources for research available to make writing something like this possible!

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  8. AnonymousJuly 01, 2012

    Elaine, thanks for the interview with Carla. I love reading old west stories. They have always been a part of my reads. I have been in Colorado a number, and it is beautiful. And, have lived in New Mexico for a short time, but visited a number of times. Liked both places. I would love to read your book. Hopefully I can win it. Maxie ( mac262@me.com )

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  9. Maxie, How wonderful to have been to Colorado so many times and to live in New Mexico. I would love to visit in person sometime, but for now my imagination must do!

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  10. Maxie, welcome to Everyone's Story. I'm glad you enjoyed Carla's segment.

    I've traveled through both Colorado and New Mexico via Amtrak. Although my destination during those 2 different trips was California and I didn't get off the train, I remember the beauty of those 2 states very well. It saddens me to hear about the wild fires. I've been praying for the residents of those states as well as the firefighters who battle such horrific circumstances.

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  11. Carla,

    I'm excited for you about your release! And love Boston! I've been so encouraged by you online. And I really want to read this since you consider it a tribute to your stepfather. I find writing very therapeutic as well.

    julesreffner(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. Thanks so much, Julia. Yes, you do know this well, writing is such a tremendous therapy, healing and fun even! I'm so glad you stopped by. Love to you!

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  12. Julia, welcome to Everyone's Story. I love your enthusiasm for writing :) It's definitely therapeutic as well as an escape... and then again, quite grounding at the same time. Blessings on your writing.

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    1. So true, Elaine! The many benefits of writing to the writer and the reader, too!

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  13. Carla, thank you for a wonderful & exciting week here at Everyone's Story. Not only did you receive a slew of viewers, but for the first time in the blog's young history more viewers from Russia took the time to join us here than in the U.S. That's very exciting!! I pray you've gained many new fans and that you will have much success with your future novels.

    The winner of Carla's book THE SHADOW CATCHER'S DAUGHTER is Cynthia. Congratulations ♡ A separate email will be sent to you shortly.

    Blessings and thank-you's to everyone who has visited this week.

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  14. What a fantastic week. Thank you all, and especially Elaine! Cynthia, I hope you enjoy my novel!

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