Author Interview: Allison Bruning

My featured Author for this slot is Allison Bruning,

Tell us about your latest project.

Currently I am working on book one of the Heritage series called Elsa. Elsa takes place in 1904 Marion, Ohio. The series is loosely based on the life of my great-great grandmother. Franklin Thaddaus Raymond plans to marry Elsa Beatrice Russell but must do so before his fiancee arrives back in Ohio. Elsa doesn’t know Franklin has a fiancee. The young couple must overcome several obstacles including family secrets, medical issues and Franklin’s secret life. Will Elsa ever learn the truth? A truth that could tear her young marriage apart or make it stronger.

I have recently published book one from the Children of the Shawnee series called Calico. Calico tales place in pre-revlotuionary war Kentucky and Ohio. Below is a brief description:

“A man whose heart appears pure shall deceive you. The power he holds over you leads you to evil. You shall denounce the ways of Our Grandmother. Another man comes, whose pure heart beats for you alone, and who has a pure spirit devoted to Our Grandmother. He shall defeats the evil and sets you free.”

A prophecy has been cast against her. In a harsh world deep within the western frontier of Ohio and Kentucky, Calico Marie Turner must learn to survive among the Shawnee and the trust the one man who hates her the most, Chief Little Owl Quick as the Wind.

The Children of the Shawnee series traces the lives of twin sisters, Rose and Calico. Books 1, 3, and 5 tell Calico’s story. Books 2,4,and 6 tell Rose’s side of the story. Calico’s portion takes place with the Shawnee Native Americans and traces the struggles they faced. Rose is raised in France as a Madame Royale, the first princess of the dauphin, Louis Ferdinad de France. She is rasied next to Louis Auguste who eventualy marries Marie Antoinette.

You’ve set a lot of your books in Ohio so far but in the past, is that because of family links or do you have other reasons to favour Ohio as your setting?

I have found much of my fodder for books through my family connections in Ohio. I am a direct descendant from one of the first families that settled in Ohio before it was a state. When I was a child, I was fascinated by the family stories my mother and grandparents use to tell me. I began to conduct genealogical research on my mother’s side of the family when I was nine years old. My research has never ended. I continue to discover new and interesting stories about my family. One of the family stories had provided the inspiration for my new series, Heritage.

What’s your favourite genre to write and what’s your favourite genre to read?

I love to write historical fiction, paranormal and women’s fiction. I tend to read adventure, historical fiction, paranoramal. My speciality is in Native American history and culture.

You like reading Woman’s fiction but don’t like writing it, is there a particular reason?

My novels have always had strong female leads. I do place romance scenes in them but try not to stress them. I do this because I want the focus to be on my heroine’s journey. My female leads often struggle with family or personal issues.  I want my readers to see a situation, whether historical or not, through the eyes of a female. Often history is written from a male’s perspective. I strive to challenge my readers to see history through the female’s point of view. “Calico” is a good example of this. Society has always heard about the Shawnee female captives, how they were mistreated and tried to run away. In Calico, I strive to show my readers not all white women were captives. There are historical records of women who, after they were rescued from captivity, ran back to the Shawnee. Why? Because women who had lived with Shawnee had more freedoms than they did living in 18th or 19th century white society. In “Calico”, Calico is refuses to be rescued by Daniel Boone and his colleague. She tells them she is not a captive. Society also forgets not all white women were captives. The daughters of the French fur traders intermarried with the Shawnee all the time.

Would you still write if there was no financial need to, and if not what would you do instead?

Absolutely. Writing is my passion.

Which do you prefer, paper books or ebooks and why?

Paper books. I love to feel a book in my hand.

What are you planning on doing next/What else are you up to?

I plan to keep on writing. My husband and I are buying a Victorian home that was built in 1882. We plan to renovate it and turn it into a Bed and Breakfast. We also want to open up a bookstore/gift shop.

I am also the executive director of the Kentucky Young Writers Connection. I love teaching children and adults how to express themselves within the written word. The publishing world is changing all around us and I think new authors need to know how to navigate in that world.

Is there some advice you’d like to give other new authors about your journey so far?

Never pay to have your work published and never pay for an agent. If you are writing historical ficiton, get out there and dig deep in your research. Try to see life through the eyes of your character. Not all characters are going to see the same event the same way nor are they gong to react the same.

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