Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Interview with Erin Marie Bernardo, author of Scent of the Past

Please join me in welcoming Erin Marie Bernardo, author of the historical fiction novel Scent of the Past, to A Literary Vacation!

Hello, Erin, and welcome! Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with us. To start us off, have you always been a writer?

I suppose so. I remember writing from an early age. I always kept a journal, wrote poetry, and more often than not found myself writing short stories when I was bored, or on long road trips. I can even recount a few scripted puppet shows for the neighbors. It was a means to pass the time, but ultimately I wrote because I enjoyed it. However I never intentionally set out to become an author. It never crossed my mind as an option. It just happened.
That's amazing. When do you get time to write?

After midnight when my household is asleep.
Wow, that's dedication! Can you tell us what your writing process looks like?
I have had many authors tell me to write every day, even if it is for 30 minutes. Unfortunately my brain is not wired that way. I need to immerse myself in the story every time I sit down—think about my characters, reread a few chapters, research a few things—to open the creative pathway. Once I get going I like to write continuously without interruption for two to three hours.
I know most writers are also big readers. Who are some of your favorite authors?

I had the pleasure once of planning an event for Jodi Picoult, and she was absolutely lovely. She is a huge influence in the world of fiction and cannot go unrecognized. I am also a huge fan of the Australian author Kate Morton.
Picoult and Morton are two of my favorites as well. What books have influenced your life the most?

Most of the books that I would consider influential I read as a child. These all made an impact on me in some shape or form, and I would consider them my foundation.

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Watership Down by Richard Adams
Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

What do you enjoy doing when you're not writing?
My family and I live on a small hobby farm. I have chickens, goats and even a milk cow. When I am not working, or writing, or being a mom, I enjoy spending time around our property. Collecting eggs with the kids, riding 4-wheelers through the pasture or working in my [usually overgrown] vegetable garden. I am very committed to sustainable farming and an organic way of life, so if I can find time to can my own produce or source healthier food options you’ll find a happy mama in me as well.

What is your next novel about? Can you share?

Blackbird’s Bounty is another historical fiction novel that crosses planes between the past and the present. It is not a time-travel book like Scent of the Past, but rather connects present day with events that happened in the mid-1800s. The story—about a ghost— is set a few years before the start of the Civil War on a prestigious sugarcane plantation in Louisiana. If you enjoyed Scent of the Past, you will undoubtedly love Blackbird’s Bounty.”
Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts with us, Erin! Everyone, please continue below for more information about Erin and her novel, Scent of the Past!
Publisher: Scent of the Past
Pub. Date: March 31st, 2016
Pages: 314
Genres: Historical Fiction/Dual Timeline/Time Travel

A secret diary. A forgotten past. Another time.

When people think of time travel, they think of the clich├ęd manufactured kind. Of giant electronic machines with flashing lights and buttons calibrated to shoot you into the past with one press. But it doesn’t work that way. You need a reason, a connection, and—most important—a link. But you can’t choose when and why you go. That would be too easy, and we’d all be snapping our fingers in hopes of seeing lost treasures of yesteryear. It must choose you.

Close cousins Addison and Elissa live in present day New York City and lead somewhat ordinary lives. When uncertain circumstances surrounding a set of antique perfume bottles sends them back to eighteenth-century France, they must uncover the truth behind their travel.

Disaster strikes when Addison finds herself in a nearly identical situation to a mishap she experienced in the present—the witnessing of a murder and release of a secret. Only this time the truth could destroy the entire French monarchy. With Addison’s head on the line, the young women search for answers before Addison suffers her unlucky fate twice. It is only when they discover the haunting connections to life in the present, that they understand why they both were sent, and why a repeating past...may not always be such a bad thing.

Buy the Book


About the Author

Photo Credit: MyHoney Photography

Erin Marie Bernardo is an American writer of historical fiction. She has a degree in Communication Studies from the University of Minnesota, and is the author of the time-travel novel, Scent of the Past. A lover of historic places and days forgotten, Erin's novels connect the past with the present.

Erin is currently at work on her second novel, Blackbird's Bounty, set in the bayou of Louisiana – and is actively seeking a home for her children’s collection, Beautiful and Extraordinary Barnyard Stories, based on true events from on her farm.

Erin lives in Tennessee, but has roots in both Minnesota and Washington State. She is married with two young children.
Find out more about Erin on her website, and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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