Saturday, February 13, 2016

Annette O'Hare: Strong and Courageous

Her favorite season is fall, but her favorite holiday, Christmas, occurs in winter and her favorite activity is deep-sea fishing--great summer fun. Her favorite time of day is morning, but then, she likes to nap until night.

I think it's safe to say she likes all seasons (though she didn't mention spring), and most hours of the day (particularly the ones in which she can sleep).

She's fun and fun-loving, a sweet and sassy goof-ball. She's our very own Annette O'Hare.

Her favorite verse is Joshua 1:9: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

"I’ve faced a lot of fears in my life," she says, "especially in my journey to become a published author. This verse has always given me comfort to know that God is always with me even if I fall flat on my face I know He will be there to pick me up!"

Let's get to know her better:

Who (or what) influenced you to become a writer?

I’ve always been a lover of story, especially in the form of skits and plays. I wrote my first play as a high school freshman, complete with its own musical score. Believe me when I say it was over-the-top corny! But my creative writing teacher liked it, and I got an A. I’ve written loads of skits for my church and that led to me writing my first novel. It was a great story, but very poorly written. A friend encouraged me to join a writers group, where I learned the craft of writing, and the rest as they say, is history.

What do you consider to be the perfect conditions in which to write?

I have a beautiful home office with a desk, a nice view and everything else a writer might want, but I hardly ever write there! Instead, I write on my living room sofa. Why? Because when I’m on the couch I can be accompanied by my nine-year-old Weimaraner, my year and a half old Jack Russell mix, and my eight-month-old Chihuahua mix grand-dog. Surrounded by my dogs with either soft music or a TV program I’m not interested in, playing in the background is how I like to write.

How did you come up with the concept for Northern Light?

I really love Texas history, and the Bolivar Point Lighthouse has a fascinating history dating back prior to the Civil War. Also, I have a family connection to the lighthouse. My great aunt was married to the man who bought the lighthouse at auction in 1947. One of the two houses adjacent to the lighthouse bears the name “Maxwell” which is my great aunt and grandmother’s maiden name. I feel like it’s a part of my own history!

How much research went into this story?

I never knew how much research was required to write historical fiction until I started writing one myself. It’s important to me that the time period I’m writing about has been well researched. There is so much information out there about the Civil War. That can be good and bad. Good because it’s easy to find the information you need and bad because if you make a mistake your readers will surely call you on it. One of the things I’ve realized is that many of the words and phrases we use today weren’t around during the Civil War. My new adage is: If you’re not sure…look it up!

What do you hope the reader takes away from the story?

One of the big reasons I wanted to write this book that takes place in the South during the Civil War is to clarify some of the reasons the war took place, besides the big issue of slavery. Most people don’t know that the main reason the South went to war was not because of slavery, it was because the southern states were denied their rights. During this time period congress favored the industrialized North, demanding the South sell their raw materials exclusively to the North. The North would in turn tax the finished goods so highly that the agrarian South couldn’t afford what they needed. This is something I would like my readers to learn from by book. Of course another poignant issue addressed in the book is the horrific plight of the slaves, and how my heroine comes to understand how awful it really was.

What you’re working on now?

My current work in progress is a historical romance set during the Great Storm of 1900. This hurricane hit Galveston Island in September of 1900 and still stands today as the deadliest natural disaster to affect the United States.

What is your publishing history?

Northern Light is my first published novel. I have a short story, "The Perfect Storm, Our Perfect God" in a collection called Hurray God (compiled by Janette Sharp), and I have my story “Tempest Tossed” in our WOTS anthology, Out Of The Storm. I also have a skit called “That’s Not Funny Annie” published on the North American Mission Board Website.

About Northern Light:

Margaret Logan detests the North, having suffered the loss of her fiancĂ© at the hands of Union soldiers. She is uprooted from her home in New Orleans and moved to the desolate Bolivar Peninsula where her father is commissioned to man the Bolivar Point Lighthouse. 

The family arrives to find that the Confederates have dismantled the lighthouse for its iron to make artillery with. 

Things get worse when Margaret finds a wounded Yankee washed ashore, and her parents insist on bringing him to their home to recover. The sailor, Thomas Murphy, is immediately attracted to Margaret. 

Despite all that she’s been through, and how she feels about the North, Margaret falls for him. 

A jealous younger sister makes a selfish choice. Will her decision cost Thomas his life?

You can find Annette here: 


  1. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and loved the lesser-known truths revealed about the Civil War, of which I was aware. It is an out-of-the ordinary Civil War historical in many ways.

  2. Thank you so much for your comment Cynthia. I'm thrilled that you appreciate some of the views I touch on in Northern Light concerning reasons for the war and how many southern folks were themselves victims of southern oppression. I pray others will read the book and hopefully come to see things in a different light!

  3. So fun to see some of what went into your story! :)

  4. Hi Angela! So glad to see you here! Thanks for your comment my fellow author buddy. I'm so excited my release week is finally here!