Meet author Emily Wright

Emily Wright is a writer of inspirational historical fiction. She is the author of the three-part Civil War narrative Trials of the Heart series and has been published in The Copperfield Review and The Tennessee Magazine. Emily lives in Tennessee with her husband, daughter, and Labrador Retriever.

Tell us about your newest book.

Trial of Courage is the final installment of a Civil War trilogy called Trials of the Heart. The series follows two main characters: Elizabeth Campion and Tom Murphy. Trial of Courage follows the conclusion of the Civil War and the beginning of the Reconstruction period in Memphis, TN.

What inspired you to write Trial of Courage?

The series originated about eighteen years ago, when I was a middle school student. The original set of short stories was inspired by a visit to Shiloh National Military Park. The series was always in the back of my mind and eventually served as part of my senior thesis in college. After graduation, I decided to completely rewrite the entire series with eventual publication as my ending goal.

How would you describe this book to someone in a 30-second blurb?

Overcome with grief, Elizabeth Campion and Tom Murphy must learn to move forward during the aftermath of the Civil War. As Memphis falls under the control of a lawless mob, Tom is soon forced to join with an unlikely ally to save innocent lives. With their entire world crashing down, will Tom and Elizabeth have the courage to pursue a future together?

What genre do you focus on?

I focus on historical fiction because history has always been a fascination of mine. I feel that there is so much we can learn from the past. To me, historical figures are not just a bunch of random black-and-white photographs; they’re real people who are more like us than we think.

Why do you write?

My passion for writing began when I was in kindergarten. I thought that creating stories was the coolest thing ever, and I’ve been writing ever since. I feel that every person has a story and has something to share with the world: a lesson, something that people can learn from. I believe that the need to create was given to us by God. If I can use my writing to point people to Him, then I am successful.

Who is your main character, and how did you choose that name?

The main characters are Elizabeth Campion and Thomas “Tom” Murphy. When I first wrote the series, I was also interested in Queen Elizabeth I and thought that the name was very pretty. I chose the name Thomas because I thought the name sounded nice; ironically, I am now married to a Thomas and have a daughter named Elizabeth!

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing a book?

Since I am also a high school English teacher, my writing schedule is mostly limited to weekends and breaks. I usually write in the mornings or at night in the office room in our house for a few hours at a time.

What is the hardest part of being an author?

Learning how to market has been the toughest part for me as an author. Since I knew next to nothing about marketing when I first started, I had to meet with consultants in order to figure out how to get my name out there. I’m still learning!

What’s the best part of your author’s life?

Who would’ve thought that three stories I wrote in middle school would someday be my first published series! To me, that is the coolest thing ever. The fact that people are reading my novels and enjoying them makes me happy for that little seventh grader in English class.

How have you changed or grown as a writer?

I have grown into a painstaking reviser/editor. I think being an English teacher makes me even more critical of my own work in that I go through every paragraph with a fine-toothed comb. With historical fiction, I also have to make sure that everything makes sense and feels as real and true to fact as possible.

Do you have other books? We’d love to know.

Yes! The first novel in the Trials of the Heart series is called Trial of Strength, and the second novel is Trial by Fire.

What are you working on now?

I am actually taking a small step away from historical fiction at the moment and trying something completely new and different for me. I am working on a novel called If We Stay Silent, and it is about a futuristic world in which Christians and other religions are being severely persecuted and sent to concentration camps. My goal is to mirror Nazi Germany in the events that take place (banning books, burning churches, etc.). I’m not very far into it yet, so we shall see what happens!


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