". . .the word of God is not bound." II Tim. 2:9b

Monday, June 20, 2016

An Interview with Susan Page Davis, Author of River Rest

Available now at Amazon.com
I'm thrilled to introduce my mother, inspirational author Susan Page Davis. Susan is the author of more than sixty books and has won her share of awards along the way. Her new book, River Rest, is available now from Tea Tin Press.

Before we get started, check out our contest! You can enter to win a copy of River Rest just by posting a comment below (required for entry) or by stopping by Susan's Facebook page (bonus entry!). Mention "Christian Teacher" when you post. Contest ends at midnight EST on Saturday, June 25th. We teachers love freebies!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Winner chooses the format, either paperback (USA only) or ebook (available for Kindle or Nook).

Amy: Hi, Mom! Let's start out with some background on the book River Rest. What was your inspiration for the story?

Susan: River Rest is purely fiction, but many of the events in it were inspired by things that really happened in my family. My great-aunt Belle left a journal she wrote in the 1920s and ’30s. It gave such a vivid picture of life in rural Maine that I wanted to write a story in that setting. I decided to push it back to 1918, near the end of World War I, because of the added tension, and because my grandfather (Aunt Belle’s brother-in-law) served. I adapted some details of his story to fit my heroine’s brother.

Aunt Belle noted so many cultural things in her diary—who she voted for, the famous boxers of the day, the way the neighboring farm boys were building tractors out of truck chassis, and all the community events and gossip. She never had children of her own, but she doted on her nieces and nephews. I think I would have loved her.

Amy: Cool. I remember you sharing details from the old diary years ago when you first transcribed it. Tell us more about Judith, the main character inspired by great-aunt Belle.

Inspirational author Susan Page Davis
Susan: Judith has left her teaching job to help her family. In real life, my grandmother (Aunt Belle’s sister) was a schoolteacher before she married my grandfather. Judith has a lot in common with both my Nana and Aunt Belle. She loves her bird feeder, she learns to make quilts, and she cooks many of the same things my Nana served. Her life on the farm is a lot like theirs was.

Amy: I was looking at some of Nana's fudge recipes recently in the family cookbook. I don't think I have the knack for candy making that she had. Like your character Judith, you taught school, and then you homeschooled your six children.

Susan: Yes, I taught in a Christian school after graduating from college, and then I substitute taught for a short time. I later homeschooled for about 30 years with the six of you.

Amy: And a good job you did of it, in my humble opinion. Is there a certain Bible verse that is important to the story? What spiritual themes do you bring out?

Susan: Matthew 11:28-30 is at the front of the book. The last part of that is,
“...and ye shall find rest for your souls, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
The Christian theme is spiritual rest/peace. Judith feels inadequate. Her mother always seemed so serene and at peace, and she chose the farm’s name, River Rest. But Judith can’t seem to latch onto that restfulness. She also becomes very concerned about being an example to the younger children and especially keeping watch over her next-younger sister, Christina. She assumes the mother role and finds it challenging and sometimes wearisome.

Amy: I guess every Christian woman can relate to that! It sounds like this book will appeal to readers who are looking for clean historical romance. Who is the target readership for the book?

Susan: This book will appeal to a wide range of readers. Judith is young, about 21, and her brother who gets drafted is 19, so young people who like historicals should like it, but it will also appeal to older readers who remember doing things the old way. Some of the activities mentioned, like apple picking, making butter, cutting ice, and quilting, might bring back memories for older readers. The quilting bee, where Judith helps her female relatives make a quilt for an aging uncle, reminded me of times spent with my own mom, sisters, aunts, and cousins. Some of my most cherished memories are of times spent doing productive work with people I love.

Amy: I'm a beginning quilter myself, so I'm always glad to read about quilting in fiction. It's such an important tradition in rural America. The ninth-grade literature anthology I use contains the short story "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker, and I use it to springboard to a lot of other quilt-themed activities. Even the boys seem to enjoy it.

I'm looking forward to reading River Rest. Thanks so much for joining me, Mom!

Susan: I'd like to add that there are discussion questions in the back of the book for book clubs, etc. Thank you for having me.

Amy: And one more reminder to enter to win a copy of the book by leaving a comment for Susan below! Mention "Christian Teacher" when you post on Susan's Facebook page for a bonus entry.

Buy River Rest here. Don't forget to share Susan's interview and follow her on Twitter @SusanPageDavis!

May we all remember to take time for resting in the Lord.


41 comments:

  1. I love to read all kinds of srories. right now I bounce between romance and mystery.

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    1. Those are my favorite genres, too! I write mostly historical romance and cozy mystery. Thanks for taking part!

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  2. It's great to be on your blog for teachers. I hope they are all getting a good rest this week or will have one soon.

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  3. I misread historicals. Anytime.

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    1. Amy, misread or must read? Smiling. Hope you enjoy this one! I like just about any historical period too.

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  4. River Rest sounds wonderful! Would love to learn more about the old-timey traditions and how the main character comes to terms with her restlessness. Sounds like a multi-generational book I would enjoy sharing with my mother, my daughter, and my students. Always looking for clean historical romance. Bravo!

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    1. Thanks so much, Dalene! Readers, you should check out the post Dalene wrote for this blog earlier. The theme of rest is present there, too! She has a great book for Christian teachers in public schools (See Books We Love at right).

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    2. Thank you, Dalene! I have to say I appreciate teachers who share good values with their students. I like to encourage young people to spend time with older people, too. Keep it up!

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    3. Dalene's post is called Balance and Boundaries.

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  5. Amy, I just found your blog through your mom's newsletter. I was a public school teacher for 25 years. I think it is so important that we have Christian school teachers in the public school. I subscribed by email and I'm looking forward to reading your posts. I really enjoyed the interview and I think it's fascinating that River Rest is based on family members. What a treasure that journal is! Summer reading--since I'm retired, I read a lot all year around, so don't really do much differentiation during the year, except during the holiday/Christmas season I only read that type of book. The rest of the year I read Christian fiction of most genres. I just finished a contemporary, psychological fiction by Angela Hunt, The Awakening. Next, I'll be reading Shadowed in Silk by Christine Lindsay, which is set in India after WWI. Blessings...

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    1. Kay, thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! I agree, we need Christian teachers in public schools, and it's not getting any easier for them to stay there. We need prayer! Blessings to you and yours.

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    2. I agree, Kay! Welcome, and I hope you enjoy your reading. I love Angela Hunt's books!

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  6. My favorite book for a summer read is a wintertime like a Christmas book. Summers here in West Texas get pretty hot.

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    1. What a fun way to pick your summer reads! I was just telling my kids today that we're almost halfway to Christmas!

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  7. Fiction. Historical is probably my favorite but I like contemporary too. I am the mother of a "Christian Teacher" in a public school! jarning67(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. That's wonderful, Joan! I hope you'll pass my blog along. Thanks for stopping by!

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  8. Glad to oblige, Jan! River Rest isn't strictly a Christmas book, but it takes place in fall and winter, and the holidays are important to the story.

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  9. I like to read all kinds of Christian fiction, but my favorite is historical set in the mid-late 1800s in the west.

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  10. Thanks for letting us learn about your new book

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  11. I also love good summertime type reading.

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  12. I love to read all kinds of books

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    1. I've gotten more into nonfiction the older I've gotten and since becoming a teacher. I still read fiction for fun, though! I recently finished The Seafaring Ladies of the Vera B., by Susan Page Davis and her son (my brother) James Davis.

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  13. Thank you, ladies! Susan, I hope you'll try an Eastern. But I know how you feel--I love westerns, too, and a lot of my books are westerns. But this one is set about as far east as you can get in the USA.

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  14. Having never been to Maine, I look forward to reading about Maine, and I love historical novels. I am a retired teacher who is also interested in quilting, so, I know I'll find River Rest very interesting.

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    1. Sounds like you have a lot of interests, Susie-Q. Thanks for taking part!

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  15. I really enjoy good clean historical fiction, and especially enjoyed your prairie dreams series Susan!

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    1. Thanks, Patty! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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  16. I love a good clean book whether it be historical or Amish which are my two favorite books as well as a good mystery. Sorry to say, I've never read any of your books but this will be a great chance to do so.

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    1. I think Amish books have the same feel as a historical in some ways, Judy. I love mysteries, too, and a lot of my historical novels have mysteries in them, though River Rest does not.

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  17. I prefer historical fiction/romance, but I love a great contemporary read, also!

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    1. So glad you stopped by, Kathy! It has been a fun week here at Christian Teacher, Public School!

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  18. Such a powerful storyline, Susan - I'm looking forward to reading 'River Rest'!! I enjoyed the interview also. I love various genres of Christian Fiction, however, read Historical Romance the most frequently.

    Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!!

    bonnieroof60(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  19. I love books of all sorts -- historical fiction, biography, Christian romance, mystery. I love every one of Susan's books I've read, and my favorites are her contemporary, military-themed ones and anything set in Maine. Susan is one of my favorite writers and I really want to read this new book!

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    1. Nancy, great to hear from you! I also enjoyed Mom's contemporary, military-themed books.

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    2. Hi, Nancy! Thank you for your kind words. The Frasier Island series seemed to resonate with a lot of people.

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  20. My favorite summer read is just about anything Christian. Although I prefer Amish, historical, western and romance. I like to read books of different genres so I don't get into a reading rut. It also helps me enjoy different authors writing styles.
    marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  21. Sounds like a good reading list to me, Maryann!

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  22. We've had so many great responses from our visitors. Halfway through our giveaway, let's think of friends, family, and Christian teachers who might like to get to know Susan and her book. Let's share the love!

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  23. Don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway of River Rest above!

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