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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Author Interview with Kristina Emmons

Today I would like to welcome author, Kristina Emmons, to The Maiden's Court. Kristina is the author of the new book Roeing Oaks - you can find my review of it here. So without futher adieu...

1. Your book is self-published - what has this experience been like self-publishing your own book? What have been some of the challenges and rewards?
Self-publishing has been a worthwhile journey for me. The process of getting published can take years, beginning with finding a good agent who is willing to invest in your work, who then advocates on your behalf to different publishing houses. The manuscript passes through many hands, and likely it’s dramatically altered in the end, for better or worse. Even after publishing, much of the promotional efforts are in the author’s hands, so I decided to take a chance on myself and get things moving, though traditional publishing is not something I've shunned. If opportunities arise in the future to go this route, I’d likely consider them.

As far as challenges, editing and word processing were a huge part of it, just getting it to the point where I felt satisfied with it. I take my work very seriously, and I can be very much a perfectionist with it. For me, self-publishing has been a great tool of expression and empowerment. I love that I have full reign as a publisher, that I can design the book inside and out and keep the chapters just as I want them. Another difficulty with self-publishing is the stigma attached to it, since anyone can self-publish, but that doesn't mean my book or many others are not legitimate works. Readers have thusfar enjoyed Roeing Oaks, and that's the point of it anyway.

2. What inspired you to write Roeing Oaks?

My faith was a big inspiration for Roeing Oaks. After watching a modern Cinderella movie that I loved, I found myself questioning if there was ever a true Prince Charming. Who among us is that perfectly delightful? Then I got to thinking according to my faith how Jesus was the only perfect man to have ever walked the planet, and how for me personally he has been something of a Prince Charming, spiritually speaking. The idea for the book began to take form, and Mr. Roeing became a kind of prototype to demonstrate the great goodness of Jesus, and portray his complexity alongside an interesting storyline. He is not the main character, however. Researching nineteenth century England with its intriguing system of nobility and its own complexities, I was able to flesh out the story with historical facts.

3. The premise of this story is of a husband who auctions his wife off so that he can marry another. Was this a common occurrence in Victorian England or a plot device of your creation? Is it all the more shocking because the family was members of the nobility?

I actually did not create this scenario! It really did happen in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, though generally it happened in rural communities, and not all that often by the Victorian era, but it has been documented as happening all the way through to the twentieth century. It had to do with the wife being the husband’s legal possession, and the cost of divorce was prohibitively expensive. Since women were not self-supporting in those days another way to look at the practice of wife-selling, which did take place at auctions, was that the unhappily married husband cared enough to make sure her needs would be provided for upon separating from her instead of simply abandoning her, as many husbands did. It is also noted historically, true or untrue, that the wife would have been a consenting party to the sale.

The twist in Roeing Oaks is that the family was a noble family, for whom divorce was affordable but included obtaining an Act of Parliament and enduring a humiliating public trial, necessary if a legal re-marriage was on the agenda. Our clever character found a way around all that by taking his wife to auction at a cattle market far from home and creating lies that she deserted him for another man. Alleged desertion and adultery charges proved enough for Alistair Percy to get his legal divorce granted.

4. Was it difficult to find historical evidence during your research for this book? Were any of the characters in the novel based off of real historical people?

Much of the historical evidence I happened upon while reading about the time period, but some of the facts, like wife-selling, are indeed obscure. None of the characters are based off of real historical people.

5. The way Roeing Oaks ends, should we expect that there is a sequel in the works? What are you currently working on?

There is a sequel in the works, which I am passionate about. There is so much more to Kate’s story! I am also working on an unrelated present-day novel, which I hope to be finished with at about the same time.

6. What are some things you enjoy doing when you aren’t writing?

The older I get the more important family and friends are to me, so I try to keep myself available for spending time with them. Exploring is important to me, whether by traveling, reading, or getting to know people who are different from myself. I also enjoy cooking and hearing/playing music, singing…the list goes on. Life should be enjoyed!
Inspired by the writings of English authors Charlotte Bronte and Wilkie Collins, Kristina began researching the Victorian era in England and found it to be a fascinating backdrop for the theme of a young lady struggling against imposed cirucmstances. Using her natural talent for writing, Kristina began Roeing Oaks as an experiment, but over time it emerged to become a gripping, inspirational tale that she felt needed to be shared. Reader response to Roeing Oaks has been overwhelmingly positive, and the demand for a sequel has led Kristina to continue with Kate’s story, as well as with writing itself. (After all, her other dream of becoming a rock star has not panned out.)

Kristina and her husband are the parents of two fantastic children, who keep them on their toes and challenge their sanity, but fill their hearts with love

You can visit Kristina's website to purchase this amazing book!

Copyright © 2010 by The Maiden’s Court


  1. Good luck with this book and your future ones. You are brave to try self- publishing. I hope it works out best for you to either remain self-published or be picked up by a publisher. As you said, the independence is nice, but a wider readership would be good too.
    Best of luck.

  2. I agree with your statement that there is a stigma attached to self-publishing. I've read several that were very good and were later picked up by a publisher. I've actually never heard of this 'wife-selling' and it sounds like a horrible situation to be in... a good topic for a novel as well!


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