Lindas Book Obsession Interviews Martha Hall Kelly Author of “Lost Roses” for Suzy Approved Book Tours

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Lindas Book Obsession Interviews Author Martha Hall Kelly Author of “Lilac Girls” and” Lost Roses” for Suzy Approved Book Tours

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What was your inspiration in becoming an author?

Martha Hall Kelly:

I visited The Bellamy Ferriday House and Gardens, a house museum near where I lived in Connecticut, to see the lilac garden, and took a tour of the house. It turned out to be the former home of Caroline Ferriday and when the tour guide said she had helped a group of Ravensbruck survivors I became very interested in Caroline and telling the story.

 

  1. What advice would you give to others who want to write?

Martha Hall Kelly:

Pick something you’re passionate about since it requires a lot of dedication.

 

  1. The inspiration for writing “Lost Roses: came from a newspaper clipping. How did this inspire you to write “Lost Roses”?

Martha Hall Kelly:

I spent a lot of time at Caroline Ferriday’s house researching my first book Lilac Girls. One day I opened a desk drawer at the house and found a newspaper clipping, which featured a photo of a teenaged Caroline holding a doll. The article told the story of her mother Eliza and how she helped a group of destitute White Russian women resettle in the U.S.

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  1. How did you go about researching this time period in history?

 

Martha Hall Kelly:

Just as I did for Lilac Girls, I read everything I could from the period and researched in Caroline’s archives at her house. I travelled to Russia and back to Paris, to a part of the city that once hosted an extensive White Russian population.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. What are your goals for readers to take away after reading “Lost Roses”?

 

Martha Hall Kelly:

I hope readers like learning more about WWI from a female point of view and take away the importance of kindness and compassion for those less fortunate, which all of the women in Caroline’s family practiced. Those qualities seem to be somehow getting lost these days.

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  1. What are your hobbies, and interests in your downtime? Do you like to garden?

 

Martha Hall Kelly:

I don’t have much downtime, since I’m working on my third book, but I love to hike with my mini golden doodle Ollie and I can’t resist a good flea market.

 

  1. What are your favorite genres to read? Write?

 

Martha Hall Kelly:

I love to read historical fiction, memoirs and anything that makes me care about the characters and keeps me up at night tuning pages. Writing-wise I’ve only written historical fiction but I’d love to write a thriller.

 

  1. What is a typical day in the life of Martha Hall Kelly? How do you balance your life with writing and other responsibilities?

 

Martha Hall Kelly :

I get up early and write since I’m a morning person. After 3:00 I’m usually done writing and move on to research. After 5:00 I try and switch off work and focus on my family but sometimes it’s hard to just switch it off if I’m in the middle of writing something all-consuming.

 

  1. Can you tell us anything about your future writing projects? Is there a third book to follow “Lost Roses”

 

Martha Hall Kelly:

Yes–I’m working on the third book about this family–set during the Civil War. Caroline’s great grandmother Jane Eliza Woolsey was a staunch abolitionist and an incredible woman and had six daughters and one son. So I’m telling that story. It was been great so far, and very moving, walking the Gettysburg battlefields–Jane Eliza and one of her daughters were nurses there.

 

  1. In “Lost Roses” several women are very strong characters. Are these based on actual women in history?

Martha Hall Kelly:

Yes, Eliza, Caroline’s mother is real and Sofya the White Russian woman who has to escape Russia is based on a real Russian Countess who lost everything after the Russian Revolution.

 

  1. If this were a screenplay or movie, what actors would you choose to play the main characters?

 

Martha Hall Kelly:

What a fun question. The actress who played the voice part of Kasia in Lilac Girls, Kathleen Gati, is wonderful and might make a great Sofya. Or Rachel Weisz? Eliza’s a tough one…Maybe Kate Winslet? And for the young Russian peasant girl, the Polish actress Natalia Kostrzewa.

 

  1. How would you like the readers to connect and follow you?

 

Martha Hall Kelly:

Facebook and Instagram are always good!

 

Thank you so much Martha Hall Kelly for such an intriguing, entertaining, and wonderful interview!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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