This week’s book of the week is the newly-released Sara’s Sacrifice by Flo Parfitt! We are happy to present a short interview with Flo about her novel, which is available to order here.
About Sara’s Sacrifice
What would you sacrifice to have your voice heard?
For over 50 years, women sacrificed home, family, wealth and much more for the right to vote. Sara was one of the unsung heroes of the early 20th Century who sacrificed everything for her daughter’s voice.She paid the price for you to be heard today.
Q: Women of many different countries and time periods have made great historical achievements–why did you choose the United States suffragette movement as your focus? What about that era draws you?
A: There have been several movies and documentaries featuring the suffragette movement in England and they are very good, but little is said about the women here. It is important that we understand the sacrifices of women here and know why it is imperative for our voices to be heard.
Q: Sara’s Sacrifice is not only about the suffragette movement, but about Sara’s personal life, too, as familial, romantic, and friendship drama helps shape the narrative. Why did you choose to include these other elements as strongly as you did?
A: Personally, I don’t believe that history tells the whole story. In school we read about wars and the men involved in politics. I believe true history is about the people and how those wars and events of history affected them personally. I particularly wanted to focus on women, those unsung heroes.
Q: Who are your personal women heroes and why? Did they play a part in Sara’s Sacrifice either literally or in your writing process, and if so, how?
A: My grandmother had to quit school at the age of 12 when her mother died. There were two younger brothers and a baby sister to be tended to and a farm to run. She wanted to be a teacher but never got the opportunity. She married a farmer who was seriously injured in a farm accident. They moved to the city where she took a job and was the primary breadwinner while raising a family at a time when women’s place was still at home. She was never political, but I always looked up to her. It was because of her that I developed a strong belief in the power of women in all walks of life.
Q: Sara’s Sacrifice is the first in a series–can you tell us a bit about what you have planned for your future novels, with Melissa and Ella?
A: I never intended to write Sara’s story. It wrote itself. Every time I sat at my computer, I just knew what would happen next. I lived Sara. I was Sara. In doing historical research, I ran across many things in the coming eras and of course that involved the “greatest generation.” This was my grandmother’s generation. It isn’t her story, although that would have been a good story in itself, but it was a story of survival and endurance. Who would better experience it than Sara’s daughter Ella?
So, Ella Endures will be my next release. Melissa who is Ella’s granddaughter brings back to life shades of my own life and involvement in the Civil rights cause, war protests, and the feminist movement. This is not my story, but it is an era I lived in. It is a composite of people I knew. Melissa’s March for me is personal. The march brings us to the corollaries of today’s world; the world we now live in.
Q: Where is your favorite place to write?
A: Depends on my mood. I will write anywhere but mostly I sit at my computer away from all distractions in my office. Not even a radio to distract me.
Q: What is your method for researching your novels, especially writing historical fiction?
A: My first resource is my computer (Google and Wikipedia), but I never trust just one resource. I double and sometimes triple check facts. I like going to the Wisconsin Historical Society site, as well as other historical sites, libraries, and museums. Often I will watch video documentaries and sometimes fictional movies of an era such as “Pearl Harbor” and “Saving Private Ryan” They for the most part follow facts but they also display the human emotion.
Q: What is your favorite genre to read, and who are some of your favorite authors or books?
A: I mix up my reading a lot. I love mysteries especially those with forensics or legalities. John Grisham fits the bill. I love historic novels and one of my favorites is Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. The most recent favorite book is Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. It reminds me of another similar book I loved: Educated by Tara Westover. I love some of the oldies, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and my all-time favorite was Heidi, my childhood gem that I still love today.
Q: Who is the support team for your writing? Family, friends, editors, writing group, etc.
A: I have no shortage of fans among family and friends. My biggest support team is a small group of writers calling themselves Authors and Allies. We critique each other’s work and can be brutal in a supportive way. The group offers suggestions and ideas and are all great friends and promoters of each other’s work,
Q: Do you have any advice for new or young authors, especially women?
A: Look for ideas no one has explored, or choose a different way to explore an old idea. There are a ton of books out there and it can be difficult for even the best writers to be recognized. If it is your passion and you are willing to make it a priority in your life, pursue it. If it is your hobby, enjoy it for what it is. For everyone, but women in particular, don’t give up too soon. I did. After three rejections I decided I was not good enough and gave it up. I realized many years later most of the famous authors today had twenty or thirty rejections before someone took them on. Embrace every rejection, it is one step closer to success.