Today, I welcome Marilyn Turk to my blog. Marilyn has been published in Guideposts magazine, Guideposts books – A Joyful Heart and A Cup of Christmas Cheer, The Upper Room, Clubhouse Jr. Magazine, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and Lighthouse Digest magazine. Her Coastal Lights Legacy series features stories set around lighthouses. Her book, Lighthouse Devotions was published in 2015. The Gilded Curse, published by Heritage Beacon, an imprint of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, is her debut novel. Her weekly lighthouse blog can be found at www.pathwayheart.com. She lives in Florida with husband Chuck and enjoys boating, fishing, tennis, and gardening when she’s not climbing lighthouses or playing with her grandsons. Visit with her at her website Marilyn Turk
Why do you write what you write? First of all, I believe God has led me down this path to write, so I write for the Christian market. He’s given me the stories and ideas, and it’s my duty to write them down. So I write devotions and stories that have a biblical truth imbedded. As far as genre is concerned, I love to read historical fiction, so that is what I’ve written so far.
Tell us a little bit about your newest release, The Gilded Curse. In 1942, Lexie Smithfield becomes heir to her family’s estate including a vacation home on Jekyll Island, abandoned ten years before because her mother believed the island was cursed. But when she returns to dispose of the home, mysterious events threaten her safety and only Russell Thompson, a childhood friend and club manager, can help her discover the truth before it’s too late.
Why did you set the novel where you did? The Millionaires Club on Jekyll Island has a unique and fascinating history. The island was once owned by millionaires who wanted to use it as hunting and fishing getaway during the cold winter months up north. Although abandoned for years, many of the cottages have been restored and the hotel is still open for business. These wealthy families were part of the Gilded Age in this country, an age which disappeared with the depression and the World Wars.
What inspired you to write this story? I was attempting to write a Southern Gothic, and while vacationing, I visited Jekyll Island. Its history and setting lent itself to a historical suspense novel.
What was the most difficult part of writing this book? I wanted to make the novel as suspenseful as possible, so keeping that tension going was a challenge.
What do you hope readers will take away from this novel? There are a couple of things I’d like readers to take away. One, that we aren’t doomed to take on all the characteristics of our parents, and two, that God is still there for us even when we abandon him.
You seem to have a recurring theme in your novels about trust. People often put their trust in the wrong things – wrong people, material things, worldly success – instead of in God, the only truly trustworthy being.
Of the novels you’ve written, which is your favorite? Right now, this one is.
What do you like most about being a writer? What I like most is the freedom to write when I want to. What I like least is getting rejections from publishers.
Do you have any advice for aspiring novelists? Go to writers’ conferences, take classes and listen to the instructors, continue to improve your writing skills, and never give up.
If you could go back to the pre-published writer you were, knowing what you do now, what advice would you give her? It may seem like a long time before you get published, but the time will fly and you need the time in between to get ready.
Where can readers find your books and more about you? My books are available on Amazon.