Please help me welcome Carrie Callaghan to the blog today. Her second historical novel, Salt the Snow, was released earlier this year.
Author Name: Carrie Callaghan
Book Title: Salt the Snow
Book Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: February 4, 2020
Publisher: Amberjack Publishing
How would you describe Salt the Snow ?
Real-life American journalist Milly Bennett has chased fires in Hawaii and war in China, but when her broken heart brings her to Soviet Moscow in the 1930s, she meets bigger challenges than ever before. She finds a new love, but when he is arrested by Soviet secret police, Milly must uncover painful truths about her marriage and her vocation as a newspaperwoman.
Milly is such a fascinating character. What drew you to the idea for the book?
I learned of Milly while researching a different project, and I couldn’t get her brassy personality out of my mind. I read her posthumously-published memoirs, accounting for the first part of her life, and knew that I wanted to write the rest of her story. I learned in my research that Milly had wanted to publish a novel of her time in Russia, but she wasn’t able to. I loved the idea of exploring her intriguing combination of brave, sassy, and vulnerable.
This is your second historical novel. In what ways do you think you’ve evolved as an author since your first book came out?
When my first novel was published, I was incredibly nervous. Not everyone in my life knew I wrote fiction, and I had was afraid of both the opinions of people I knew and strangers. But the whole experience was very positive, and even the stray bad review didn’t bother me in the way I had feared. Now, I feel more confident. At the same time, I understand that my books are just one of the many stories readers can choose among, so I’m also grateful for all the kind people who have taken a chance on my novels of history’s forgotten women.
What’s your favorite part about writing/being an author? What do you find challenging?
Conjuring worlds from the past and bringing forgotten stories to light is such a delight. Reading is the only magic I know, the ability to directly connect one mind to another, and I love that joy of creation and connection.
What are your interests outside of writing and reading?
Books are so important to my life, it’s hard to think of anything outside of writing and reading (beyond day job and family). In fact, my volunteer work is also with books — I am a senior editor with the Washington Independent Review of Books. In addition to reviewing some books, mostly historical fiction, I help match books we’ve selected for review with appropriate reviewers. I’m passionate about spreading conversations about books and reading, and making sure that all sorts of books receive attention from intelligent readers.
Where can readers find you? Any upcoming live events?
I would love to see folks at a Historical Fiction Happy Hour I’m co-hosting with three amazing authors this Friday, May 29, at 8pm Eastern. We’ll be sharing drink recipes, playing silly games, talking history, and doing giveaways. It’s free to join: https://www.crowdcast.io/e/historical-fiction-happy Otherwise, I would love to connect with readers on Twitter or Instagram.
Thank you, Carrie! Salt the Snow and her first book, A Light of Her Own, are both available now.
From Carrie Callaghan, author of the critically acclaimed A Light of Her Own, comes a story of the trailblazing and liberated Milly Bennett, based on the life of one of the first female war correspondents whose work has been all but lost to history. American journalist Milly Bennett has covered murders in San Francisco, fires in Hawaii, and a civil war in China, but 1930s Moscow presents her greatest challenge yet. When her young Russian husband is suddenly arrested by the secret police, Milly tries to get him released. But his arrest reveals both painful secrets about her marriage and hard truths about the Soviet state she has been working to serve. Disillusioned, and pulled toward the front lines of a captivating new conflict, Milly must find a way to do the right thing for her husband, her conscience, and her heart.
Carrie Callaghan is the author of the historical novels A Light of Her Own (2018) and Salt the Snow (2020). Her short stories have been published in multiple literary journals around the country, and she is a senior editor with the Washington Independent Review of Books. She lives in Maryland with her family and two ridiculous cats. She loves seasons of all kinds, history, and tea.