I always wished I could write historical fiction …
Alas, I am NOTHING if not a literary lazy-ass! I make stuff up, and I never do any more research than I absolutely have to. I’m a ‘write what you know’ kind of author. It doesn’t help that a lot of what I know is really, really weird, but hey … to thine own self be true!
But that’s not Viola Russell. She has a keen grasp of history, and the ability to chronicle it in an wonderfully engaging manner. So let’s check out her latest release! And do stick around for an interview afterwards!
The Legacy: Sins of the Fathers blurb:
As war rages in Europe and Asia, Jude Mooney’s progeny battle to survive. From Europe to Asia to the Home Front, the Mooney clan faces the terrors and danger in the jungles of Asia or the city streets of Europe. In New Orleans, war offers its own challenges.
Daniel—the son who married his brother’s wife to protect her. Daniel thought he would surrender the beautiful Esther to his brother Paul if they survived the war, but his feelings for her now smolder, surpassing the friendship he’d initially proposed. Nonetheless, he and his brother must resolve the tension between them as they embark on a dangerous mission.
Paul—the son who escaped from the hell of Colditz prison only to find that his brother had married the woman he loved. He is caught between the abiding love for his brother and the love for the woman he desires. The war will change him forever and lead him onto an unforeseen path.
Esther—the beautiful Jewish operative skilled in espionage is adapting to her life as a wife and mother, but she sees a world of hate and vengeance enveloping her. When war ends, she will be faced with a monumental choice.
Julia—Jude’s niece, trapped in San Tomas. She wrestles with a sin for which she can’t forgive herself as she treats Allied prisoners of war. Scarred by war, she sacrifices for her captured friends.
Jade—Jude’s step-daughter and friend of Julia. Like Julia, she cares for prisoners in San Tomas, but her love for a handsome British officer could lead to disaster.
Wally—Jude’s nephew, reckless and daring. He fights his way through the jungles of the Philippines to rescue his sister and to save the beautiful Filipino woman he loves.
Peppy—Wally’s honest and honorable brother who suffers but endures in the hell of a burning Europe.
On the home front, Jude and his wife, Marjorie, wrestle with the challenges war brings to the United States and with the changes taking place within the beautiful and passionate Aoife, Jude’s daughter. How will the Mooney family survive the war and adapt to a post-war New Orleans?
Interview with Viola:
(All opinions and statements contained in this interview are solely those of the author providing them, and may not necessarily reflect my own. – Virginia)
When did you start writing? What made you first decide to try your hand at it?
I always wrote, but I never had the time or discipline to finish major projects. Grad school, work, etc. always intruded on my time.
What was your first published work? What do you think of it now?
My first published work is no longer in print. It was a contemporary/second chance story called Buried Truths.
How do you balance writing with your personal life?
This is a continuous difficulty. I have a full-time teaching job, a husband, and own a rental house. I write mostly in the summer (which will be short this year because of Hurricane Ida) and during school holidays.
Do people you actually know make appearances in your stories?
Some historical figures make appearances, not people I know; however, I think elements of my personality, the personalities of friends and family, etc., make appearances in my writing.
Do family members or friends help with your writing? Your marketing?
I have some individuals who help me with marketing in a professional capacity. Friends and family help me by spreading the word.
Do you have stories you want to write that you haven’t yet?
I’m trying to finish a manuscript right now. I also may want to tell the story of the Mooney family yet again.
Do you ever target differing age groups or demographics with your writing?
My contribution to Rainbow Desire, “The Holy Trinity,” was about teen gay love. As a teacher, I’ve seen how young people struggle with their sexuality and/or experiment sexually.
Have you ever written non-fiction? If so, what?
My graduate career was all non-fiction and all analysis.
Are you married? How does being a writer affect that? Has your marriage affected the way you write love stories?
I married later in life. Marriage to my man has taught me that there are happy endings.
If you could see one of your stories made into a movie, which one would you pick and why?
I’d love to see my Mooney saga stories become films, and I also think Love at War has that potential.
Do you try to keep your stories within their pre-determined genres, or do you just tell the story your way regardless of genre expectations?
I write the story, not the genre.
Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what kinds? Does music influence your stories?
Music often inspires me. For instance, I listen to Irish rebel music before writing one a scene set in Ireland and the war for Irish Independence.
Do you let real-life events influence your work, or is there a ‘disconnect’ between your stories and world/national/local events?
Local and national events definitely influence my writing. For example, The Unveiling of Amber dealt with the way an ex-lover could use the Internet to betray and ruin someone. The Doctor and the War Widow dealt with online dating and its pitfalls.
Is your writing time planned out or structured? Do you go on writing ‘benders’?
I plan, but as I said, the time has to come between work commitments. Sometimes, a plan doesn’t always end as planned.
What to you is the most rewarding aspect of being a writer?
I love creating, and having my books published is a dream come true.
Which character of yours is your favorite? Why? Whom would you pick to play him/her/it in a movie?
I don’t know if I have a favorite character, but the one actor who could be Jude Mooney was the late, great Marlon Brando. Colin Ferrell, the talented Irish actor, could be his son Daniel. I’d have to think about who should play Paul. That’s a tough one.
Do you write when you take a vacation, or do you prefer to simply relax?
To my husband’s chagrin, I write.
Do you prefer to read fiction that’s similar to what you write, or do you pick different types of stories?
I love mysteries and historical fiction.
Do you set up events to meet your readers, or is your interaction with them strictly online?
I haven’t met much with anyone since COVID, but I love book signings and have one quickly approaching in July.
Have you ever had to exhaustively research something (say, history) for any of your books?
I do a lot of research on my historical work. I love the WWI and WWII eras. Right now, I’m researching The Troubles in Ireland.
Thank you, Viola, for joining us today! It was an honor to have you!
Check out Viola’s Website! www.violarussell.com
Order The Legacy: Sins of the Fathers: https://www.amazon.com/Legacy-Sins-Fathers-Viola-Russell-ebook/dp/B09Z2VKDCK/ref=sr_1_2?crid=302XT5NGVLXYQ&keywords=viola+russell+the+legacy&qid=1654135569&sprefix=%2Caps%2C221&sr=8-2