Author Interview & GIVEAWAY! - Erica Marie Hogan

Monday, June 12, 2017

About the Book

Three couples. Three countries. One War...

On August 5th 1914, the world changed forever. For John and Beth Young, it meant the happiness they finally achieved was snatched out from under them. For Emma Cote, it meant that her husband Jared would do his duty, despite her feelings. For Christy Simmons it meant an uncertain future with the boy she loved. The lives of six people, spread across the British Empire to America were changed forever.

When John, Jared and Will find themselves thrust together in France and Emma and Christy decide to seek out their missing husbands, the lives of these three families intertwine in ways that none of them could possibly have imagined. Working together in a field hospital, Emma and Christy learn to rely on and protect each other. Lost together in a strange forest and cut off from their unit, the three soldiers run and hide.

But the further they go, the more they realize that the chances of all of them making it out unscathed are nonexistent and Emma and Christy find that blood is not easy to wash off, but no friendship is stronger than that made during times of war, sacrifice and healing.

Welcome to Bookworm Mama, Erica! I am so honored to have you here today!

While I have not read The Lost Generation YET...I am so excited to have Erica Marie Hogan sharing a little bit about the story, Julie Lessman, and BAKING!, read on while I go make a batch of brownies! 

Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

From Fair to Fierce: Disney Princesses Through the Years:
Erica: I think it all began when I was a little girl. Watching fairy tales like Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and so on, made me want to create my own happily ever afters. I started writing when I was really young, stuffing a ton of spiral notebooks filled with stories in my bedside drawer. Then, as I grew up, my stories developed into something a little more serious, with more need for the drama and reality we live every day. This made me interested in reading a little more of what I was trying to write, which led me to Historical Fiction where I began reading books by authors like Julie Lessman, Francine Rivers, Lauraine Snelling and, most recently, Pepper Basham.

Rachel: Pepper Basham! Eeeep! (I admit to being unashamedly biased) I also adore Beauty and the Beast and Sleeping Beauty! My two favorite! (I think I am going to like you!) 

When did you KNOW that you wanted to be an author?

Erica: When I was ten-years-old. I spent a lot of time recreating stories that had already been told, which gave me a little peek into my own imagination. It made me realize I wanted to write my own stories, create my own characters, and come up with my own happily ever after.

Rachel: This is beautiful! Imagination is a beautiful thing. I am so glad you followed through with your dream. Such an encouragement.

What literary character is most like you? Why?

"The one claim I will make for my sex is that we love longest when all hope is lost. " ~Jane Austen, Persuasion.:
Erica: Oh my. That’s a hard question to answer! I think I’d have to say Anne Elliot from Jane Austen’s Persuasion. Not only is Persuasion my favorite book by the wonderful Miss Austen, but I see a lot of myself in Anne. She’s timid and quiet around other people but strong; she always tries to do what’s right. While she can be persuaded to follow what other people say is right for her, her heart prevails in leading her to the life she was always meant for, no matter how late she was in getting there.

Rachel: Everyone says this is a hard one...Haha! Oooooh, this is a good one! I do love Persuasion. (Yup, it is decided, I like you!)

Can you share some something interesting you learned while researching for The Lost Generation?

Mairi Chisholm (L) was a Scottish motorbike fanatic who joined the Flying Ambulance Corps in Belgium. She & her friend Elsie Knocker did vital work in WWI, ferrying wounded soldiers to a field hospital in Furnes, & taking mutilated corpses to the mortuary. Appalled by the number of deaths, they left the Corps & set up their own illegal dressing station just 100 yards from the trenches, where they saved thousands of mens lives on the Belgian Western Front. Mairi was awarded the Belgian Order:
Erica: One thing I found interesting in my research was how involved some of the nurses were on the front lines during World War I. In my research I discovered one particular nurse who wrote a little about her experience near the trenches. She actually would do sweeps down in the trenches in search of wounded soldiers, something I never realized happened and which inspired a scene in my novel. I never once thought the nurses actually climbed down in the trenches, and finding proof they did was very inspiring.

Rachel: Oh my goodness! I had no idea. WWI was a whole new arena for the world. It is so good to hear the encouraging stories of bravery that came out of it all. I really enjoyed the show on PBS Crimson Field. It is about a field hospital in WWI. I learned a lot (and researched a lot) from watching it.

Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work? What impact have they had on your writing?

Stack them anywhere.                                                                                                                                                                                 More                                                                                                                                                                                 More:
Erica: Julie Lessman! Definitely at the top of the list. Julie taught me how to keep things real, have a little fun, and make my romance strong. While romance isn’t the main theme in The Lost Generation, the love between my characters is a pretty big part of it. Francine Rivers, who taught me how to dig deep into emotional trauma and find a way back out in God’s grace, mercy, and love. And Ronie Kendig. While the books I’ve read by Ronie are contemporary, her military novels are so very inspiring and deeply moving, assisting me in my journey writing a war novel.

Rachel: OH MY, YES! (where is my fan??? Julie knocks it out of the park with romance!) I am so glad that Christian Fiction is turning in the direction of keeping things real! And love, is so important!

What secret talents do you have? 

Erica: Secret talents … that’s a good question! I am a pretty good baker, something that always seems to surprise people since I’m often glued to my computer writing.

Rachel: Reader you know why I am off baking brownies...I love baking, cooking, food....haha! 

What are you reading right now and what made you pick it up?

Erica: At the moment I’m reading Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. The concept of someone being allergic to the outside world caught my attention and held on until I had no choice but to read the book! I’m always looking for new and unique books and this one seemed to have that written all over it.

Rachel: Eeeeee! I have seasonal allergies...but WOW! Now I am intrigued! Thank you! *adds to TBR planet that is threatening to topple over and crush me*

Do you have any unusual writing habits?

Erica: I think my habits are pretty normal. I do have the tendency to write scenes in the middle, or the end, of my book before I actually start with Chapter One. I’m also in the habit of rereading scenes at least three times before moving on with my book, just to be certain it’s the way I want it to be before I continue.

Rachel: Have I mentioned that I really like you? I do this with my blog posts...(yes, even this interview) I like to call it scatterbrained OCD. 

What writing advice do you have for pre-published authors?

Erica: I think the best advice I could give would be the advice given to me. Read, read, and read some more! If you have writer’s block, read a good book. Sometimes, stepping away from your story and your characters is the best thing you could do to move forward. Get your name out there too! It’s not easy, trust me I know. But if you let people know that you have this gift, you’ll gain interest long before you get published. One way of gaining that attention would be to join a good group like American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and start a blog. This will give potential readers a chance to check out your writing skill and joining the group will help you improve and grow in your talent.

Rachel: My favorite thing to do! READ! (Hopefully your book soon!!!!) A fresh perspective is always helpful. And ESSENTIAL! LOVE this!

Can you tell us what is up next for you?

Erica: I am working on a couple of projects at the moment. I’ve done my best not to limit myself to one genre, so hopefully you’ll be seeing something new and different from me soon! I’m also working on another World War I novel. It’s a bit different from The Lost Generation and certainly unique, so I’m excited! I hope to share it with everyone soon!

Rachel: I really enjoy authors who can seamlessly cross genres (*ahem* Pepper Basham, Julie name a few). It gives a whole new perspective to their writing. I can't wait to see what you have in store for us!

I am so excited about reading The Lost Generation! I don't typically read book descriptions, but this one really grabbed my attention. It is amazing how God directs our paths. Giving us opportunities that we may never have come across if certain things didn't happen to us. And while these things often are devastating and heartbreaking, it is possible to have joy and peace from God...not IN SPITE OF...but BECAUSE of the things we have gone through. This is something that has been on my heart recently. I was wondering if you could expound on your characters experiences with this.

Find joy in your journey 8x10 instant by Mimileeprintables on Etsy:
Erica: You’re absolutely right. That is actually one of the major themes of the book. My three couples go through some horrible things, and witness one of the greatest tragedies that stole the lives of nearly an entire generation of men and women. I’ve always said that the book isn’t so much about my characters, as much as it is about what they witness and the impact it has on their lives. Our characters set out with certain goals, but while in the heat of the conflict, they find themselves drawn to other purposes. And they each return to the same question: Where is God in all of this? They go on this journey together and find something in each other none of them ever expected.

Rachel: Such a powerful message! THANK YOU! For writing real and writing from your heart. I am so glad our paths crossed. Thank you so much for joining us today Erica! I am thrilled I got to chat with you! Brownie time?

Erica: Thank you for hosting me!

Chat with us! Comment below and tell us, what UNIQUE book have YOU read recently???

About the Author

From as far back as she can remember, Erica Marie Hogan loved to write. When she was a little girl she adored make believe, but gradually her imagination became too big to restrict it to playtime and so, she wrote. 

Erica was born and raised for nine years on Orient Point, Long Island, New York. After that she moved with her family to Virginia and, finally, to Texas where she now lives. She was homeschooled, is an avid reader, and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives to plot new stories, enjoys a good tear-jerker, and chocolate is her cure for any ailment. Once a month Erica publishes a post on her blog, By the Book: Diary of a Bookaholic, where she shares her experiences with writing and, occasionally, a book review. She is represented by Jim Hart of Hartline Literary Agency. 

At twenty-five-years-old Erica’s wish is to continue to write stories that not only drop her readers into the middle of historical time periods, but also to show the ability to rise up out of adversity and tragedy in hope, faith, love, and strength. When it comes to genre, she has no limits. 

The Lost Generation is Erica’s debut novel. It was long listed in the 2017 INSPY Awards and nominated for the Christian Retailing’s Best Awards. You can learn more about her on her blog or Facebook page. Her author website is coming soon!


Erica has graciously provided a PRINT copy of The Lost Generation for giveaway. Please enter via the Rafflecopter form below. Open to U.S. Only. Please see Policies & Disclosures for more information. Void where prohibited.

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