Historical Author Marilyn Turk
Marilyn Turk sees the miraculous creation of God in everyday life. As a writer, she tries to capture His truths through her historical novels and heartfelt devotions. She loves to encourage people to find their strengths and develop their God-given gifts, a message she shares when she speaks to audiences. She and her husband, avid lighthouse enthusiasts, have visited over 100, and her popular lighthouse blog features true lighthouse stories. In her spare time, she enjoys boating and fishing, taking walks or playing tennis.
In Abigail’s Secret, newly widowed young mother Abby Baker goes home to Hope Harbor to help her ailing mother and restart her life. Weighed down by grief and fear of failure, she wishes she had the strength of her grandmother, who raised a young child alone while taking on the role of lighthouse keeper after her husband drowned. What was the secret of Granny Abigail’s strength? Carson Stevens is a lighthouse enthusiast who has bought the deteriorating Hope Island lighthouse to restore it and turn it into a bed-and-breakfast. When he meets Abby, he wants the attractive granddaughter of the former keepers to be part of the restoration. As Abby and Carson work together, they uncover clues to a family secret that threatens to change Abby’s life forever. But someone is trying to sabotage their efforts at restoration. Is the saboteur trying to keep something from being found? Renovating the old lighthouse is Abby and Carson’s goal, but as they grow closer, they discover that what they’ve really needed is a renovation of their hearts.
What inspired you to write Abigail’s Secret?
Several years ago I surveyed more than 100 women about strength. To the question, ‘who is the strongest woman you know or have known?’ the overwhelming majority said that woman was their mother and especially, their grandmother. In my book, a young woman believes she doesn’t have the strength to handle her responsibilities but remembers her late grandmother, a lighthouse keeper, as having extraordinary strength. I wanted to show how often we doubt our own strength, but we have just as much as God gave our ancestors.
How would you describe this book to someone in a 30-second blurb?
Abby Baker, a young widow with a small child, goes home to help her ailing mother and start life over. When she meets Carson Stevens, the man who bought the lighthouse where her grandmother was a keeper, she gets involved in its restoration and discovers some surprising family history.
What genre do you focus on and why?
I usually write historical novels with romance and a little suspense.
Why do you write?
I write because I believe God gave me the stories to write and I’m obligated to write them.
Who is your main character?
My main character is Abby Baker who was named after her grandmother, Abigail Martin.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing a book?
Although I try to start on it in the morning, it’s often after lunch before I get going, even though I’ve been sitting at the computer for hours already.
What is the hardest part of being an author?
Consistency. So much about writing is based on self-control and self-imposed deadlines, and I lack the discipline.
What’s the best part of your author’s life?
Freedom and discovery. I never liked sitting under the scrutiny of a boss, which is why I was in sales for 30 years. Writing gives me the freedom to write when I want to, what I want to write, and as much as I want to write. I love the discovery of interesting historical facts I can weave into my stories and I love seeing how the stories turn out.
What’s one thing your readers should know about you?
I never dreamed of writing books. I thought I’d only write devotionals until I went to writers’ conferences that started my mind down story trails.
How have you changed or grown as a writer?
I don’t worry about whether I’ll get published or not, and I’ve learned my method is what works for me. I used to try to do everything everyone else did which stressed me out.
What is your favorite pastime?
Hard to pinpoint, but I love tennis, (although I started playing late and am not very good), and I love being near water, which is why I live in Florida.
Do you have other books?
Yes, I have a four-book series set in Florida from 1861-1883 called Coastal Lights Legacy, featuring four different lighthouse settings. I also have a two-book series called Suspicious Shores which consists of The Gilded Curse andShadowed by a Spy and are set in 1942 on the East Coast.
What are you working on now?
I’m currently working on a standalone historical romance called Love’s Saving Light, based on the true story of Maine’s traveling lighthouse schoolteacher.
Website: marilynturk.com, pathwayheart.com
Social media links: Facebook.com/Marilyn.turk.9
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