First, let me say that some of the first books (and the movies that were based on them) I fell in love with in junior high school were The Robe, Ben-Hur, and Demetrius and the Gladiators. These stories about the sufferings and trials of the early Christians inspired my faith, locked it into my soul, actually, and as a result I have never doubted that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. This is the power that fiction has in our lives. I don’t say that they supersede the Bible, but rather support the Scriptures by showing truly lifelike examples of how a person’s faith can be lived out under extreme circumstances.
In that way, The Protector tells the story of a dedicated Christian man who is enslaved because of his faith in Christ and thrust into the Roman arena as a gladiator. Although Qunitus becomes the “protector” named in the title, the true Protector of both Quintus and Adiona, the woman he loves, is Jesus Christ.
The story grabs the reader from the first page and keeps a thrilling pace throughout. And despite taking place in 81 A. D., the book addresses some themes and issues – fear, lust, betrayal, abuse – that are still prevalent today. The reader can find herself on the pages of this excellent story and also find healing through Jesus Christ by way of the Scriptural principles that are demonstrated through these compelling characters.
Carla, would you answer some questions about your writing vision?
Q. You write about eras other than early Christian times, specifically the Revolutionary War period. Will you be writing about other eras, as well?
A: I hope so! The best part of writing for me is getting to learn about other eras through research and travel to those locations. I’m always thinking up new plots to go along with whatever time I’m interested in at the moment. Right now, I’m working on the third and final story in my Roman series. Once I’m done, I plan to work on a new Victorian series I’ve been dreaming up.
Q. Do you have a particular time period that you like more than others? If so,
what is it and why do you like it?
A. I’m pretty partial to Roman & American Colonial times. I’ve been really fortunate that my first few books were set in such interesting places.
Q. What issues of that time period inspired you to create a fictional
A. I’m drawn to settings that have a lot going on. I like periods of upheaval and change, color, drama and danger. Give me those elements and I’ll eventually come up with a storyline and characters to fit.
Q. You have traveled the world and lived for a year in China. How has that
experience informed your writing?
A: As a writer, I like to visit the places I’m writing about because it gives the imaginary story and people in my head a foundation in the real world. By traveling to Italy to research my Gladiator series or South Carolina to research The Duke’s Redemption, I was able to see the actual places my characters would have seen and touched and experienced. It helps me make my characters more ‘real’ because I can write some of my own experiences through them.
Q. Your stories bring together people from vastly diverse worlds who seemingly will never find spiritual or emotional accord, much less romance. What is the impetus behind this approach? What do you hope to accomplish with your themes?
A. As a reader, I need big conflicts to keep me interested. The same with my writing. I figure if a story isn’t interesting no one will get anything out of it, so I do my best to make it compelling from beginning to end. In the end, the most important message I hope people get out of any of my books is that God is trustworthy. He really does move in our lives to provide for us even when we can’t see His ways and means of doing so.
Q. I see you dedicated The Protector to your sister. How has she influenced your writing?
A. My sister is amazing. She serves the Lord with her whole heart and is a sounding board for all my plot ideas. The poor woman has listened to me for hours talking about all these imaginary people in my mind. LOL! Then she actually reads about them once I get them on paper.
Q. What else would you like to say to your readers?
A. Just that I appreciate them and that I love to hear from them. They can reach me at: Carla@carlacapshaw.com or find me on most of the social networks like Facebook and Goodreads.
Thank you for a great interview, Carla! Here is a bit more about our guest: Florida native Carla Capshaw always dreamed of being a writer and world traveler, she followed her wanderlust around the globe before beginning work on her first novel. A two-time Rita nominee, she's found inspirational historical romance is the perfect vehicle to combine lush settings, vivid characters and a Christian worldview. Currently at work on her next novel, she still lives in Florida, but is always planning her next trip…and plotting her next story. Carla loves to hear from readers. You can learn more at http://www.carlacapshaw.com/
THE PROTECTOR is in stores NOW!!
Quintus Ambustus is a slave—Adiona Leonia is a wealthy socialite. He fights for his life in the gladiator's ring—she plays cutthroat politics in Rome's high society. He's sacrificed everything for his Christian faith—she believes in nothing and no one. But when Adiona's life is threatened, Quintus is chosen as her bodyguard, and their fascination with one another shocks them both. Neither thought to find joy in a match society would condemn…but their feelings cannot be denied. Have they lost too much to believe in happiness? Or will their growing love let them leave the past behind—and build a new future together?
The Protector is published by Steeple Hill’s Love Inspired Historical imprint.
Release Date: July 2010
If you would like to be entered into a drawing to win a copy of The Protector, leave a comment below. This drawing is limited to residents of the United States and Canada and is void where such drawings are prohibited. It is the responsibility of entrants to know the laws of their own state or province. The drawing will be held on July 31, 2010. We must have ten entries, or this drawing will not take place. So tell your friends! AND BE SURE TO LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS SO I CAN CONTACT YOU IF YOUR NAME IS DRAWN!!!