Looking Out the Window: Tamera Lynn Kraft Talks About Red Sky Over America, An Historical Novel Tackling The Evils Of Slavery
I've always loved reading adventures. I love to write historical fiction set in the United States because there are so many stories in American history. I always include strong elements of faith, romance, suspense and adventure in my stories. I've received 2nd place in the NOCW contest, 3rd place TARA writer’s contest, and was a finalist in the Frasier Writing Contest. I have a number of novellas and two novels, Alice's Notions and Red Sky Over America, published. I've been married for 39 years to the love of my life, Rick. I have two married adult children and two grandsons. In August, I'm expecting the arrival of my third grandson.
I've been a children’s pastor for over 20 years. I am currently the director of a ministry called Revival Fire for Kids where I mentor other children’s leaders, teach workshops, and am a children’s ministry consultant and children’s evangelist. I've also written children’s church curriculum. I'm honored to be a recipient of the 2007 National Children’s Leaders Association Shepherd’s Cup for lifetime achievement in children’s ministry.
Were you an avid reader as a child? What did you read?
I was a very avid reader. I always had my nose in a book, and was one of those children who took a flashlight to bed to hide under the covers so I could read all night. I read just about anything. I remember enjoying Encyclopedia Brown and Nancy Drew Mysteries, but I also love Little Women, Black Beauty, Anne of Green Gables, A Wrinkle in Time, and Call of the Wild. My reading tastes were pretty eclectic. They still are.
Red Sky Over America is Book 1 of the Ladies of Oberlin Series. The series is about three women who attend Oberlin College, the only college before the Civil War to allow blacks and women to earn degrees beside of white men. Here's the blurb.
William and America confront evil, but will it costs them everything?
In 1857, America, the daughter of a slave owner, is an abolitionist and a student at Oberlin College, a school known for its radical ideas. America goes home to Kentucky during school break to confront her father about freeing his slaves.
America's classmate, William, goes to Kentucky to preach abolition to churches that condone slavery. America and William find themselves in the center of the approaching storm sweeping the nation and may not make it home to Ohio or live through the struggle.
Red Sky Over America tackles the most turbulent time in history with thorough research and fascinating characters. Tamera Lynn Kraft has woven a tale about the evils of slavery that should never be forgotten. -- Mary Ellis, author of The Quaker and the Rebel, The Lady and the Officer, and The Last Heiress.
In three words describe your style of writing.
Faith-filled, Adventurous, Heart wrenching. About the heart wrenching part, I'm not kind to my characters. I'm always placing them in horrible situations and then making it worse. I feel sorry for them.
Do you put yourself in your books?
Absolutely. I don't know of a good writer who doesn't. In Red Sky Over America, I remembered when I was a young adult trying to break away from family who wanted to tell me how to live my life. I always felt like I was being torn in two. Those emotions are what America, my main character, felt like when she confronted her father about owning slaves.
What are you working on right now?
I am editing and finishing up Book 2 in the Ladies of Oberlin Series. It centers on Lavena, the Oberlin lady who is passionate about rights for women. She is a reporter during the Civil War and convinces her boss to allow her to report on the Ohio Seventh Regiment, considered the most heroic regiment of the Union Army. The catch is she has to do an interview of an illusive Army captain who is hiding a secret and doesn't like reporters. It is due to be released in November.
Buy Red Sky Over America on Amazon and Barnes and Noble
I have a lot of favorite verses, but my all-time favorite that has helped me through some tough times is Isaiah 43:1-2. But now, this is what the Lord says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
This is not only my favorite recipe, my children love it as well.
1 lb. butter (I like to use real unsalted butter.)
3 lbs. or 10 ½ cups confectioners sugar
1-7 oz. jar marshmallow crème
3-4 lbs. chocolate (I use dark chocolate. The candy is so sweet that the dark chocolate tones it down a bit.)
Thouroughly mix by hand or with dough hooks the butter, sugar, and marshmallow crème.
Roll into 1 inch balls and place on cookies sheets lined with pastry or wax paper.
Freeze for at least 24 hours.
Dip in melted chocolate. (You can melt the chocolate in the microwave or buy a special dipping machine.)
For a variation, put a few drops of candy flavoring in the recipe such as mint or strawberry.
Connect with Tamara on her Website.