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Tuesday, 5 August 2014
Author Interview with Rayanna Jamison on the Release of The Prodigal Bride and Polygamy
Hi Rayanna, I’m thrilled to have you here today. Congratulations on the release of The Prodigal Bride, second in the Love Multiplied series.
TF: Rumour has it that you actually live in a polygamist area in the USA, is this so? And if so, perhaps you would like to give a very brief outline of how it works, for the benefit of those who might not have seen your blog posts on the subject?
RJ:Thank You for having me Tara! I love doing interviews. It’s such a fun way to get to know my author friends and readers. I live in an area where it is rampant. You can’t go anywhere without seeing them although, I cannot say with any solid idea how many actually live in this town. However, 2 major polygamist sects have their communities about 45 minutes from here. We are the nearest large town, so they travel here a lot. Also, quite a few live around here, although I am not sure where or how many. There is a family just around the corner from me. I have seen them around, but not met them. As far as how it works, that largely depends on the sect, and their belief system. It’s not all as pretty as some modern TV shows make it out to be. One of the major groups around here is very scary in their morals and beliefs, and that is all I am going to say about that.
The second group, however, is the one I base my books off of. They have a very unique set of beliefs that I find intriguing. They believe that the woman recives a vision or a word from God that tells her who she is supposed to marry. She then (if she is of age at time of vision) takes the name to the bishop, who prays on it, and then informs the intended husband. After a short courtship, they marry.
TF: When I read your post on Natasha Knight's blog, I thought it was a fascinating set up, too. Obviously, there is no need to ask where you got your inspiration on the setting for your books, but what about the individual stories? Where do you look to for inspiration?
RJ:I watch a lot of the polygamy tv shows, and I just wait for an idea. The interesting thing is, with my first book, Bride Two Soon, the plot could not have existed outside a polygamist relationship. In The Prodigal Bride, the main story actually could have easily existed in a monogamous relationship, which made writing it as a polygamous tale more difficult at times. The other wives were not a major part of the plot, but they definitely added to the story and had a lot to do with the way it ended up in the end.
TF: I'm looking forward to reading this. You have shared the blurb with us all below, the story centres around a young woman who fled the village just hours before she was due to marry. What happens if someone leaves the village in real life, are they welcome to come back or is shunning the lifestyle seen as taboo and grounds for ostracization?
In the sect I base my stories off of, from what little I have seen, they don’t shun, and are very accepting should their children choose not to live a polygamist lifestyle. However, with the other sect that is nearby, that does not seem to be the case.
TF:. I’m curious, in Bride Two soon, although the woman chooses her husband it is still a very traditional society in that men are definitely the heads of house. Is that the case in real life, or are the relationships very much like modern ones, each family unit having their own dynamics?
RJ:To be truthful, I really have no idea. I believe men are mostly heads of the house in a lot of ways, but I couldn’t tell you if that involved domestic discipline or not. A friend who counsels a lot of DD couples and used to live nearby once told me it was. I have no idea if this is true. I really never gave polygamy much of a thought before I moved here. Then I watched everything I could, and when I was done with that, I began to read books on the subject. Me being me, I instantly searched for polygamous DD books. At the time, I didn’t see any, so I decided to write one.
TF: Is there a hierarchy amongst wives, if so how does it work?
RJ: Again, I don’t live polygamy, so I can’t speak to this very much. However, in the one sect, (not the one I base my books on) You can tell the first wife by her hairstyle. She gets a special hairstyle that the others don’t wear.
TF: I have to confess, you’ve caught my attention with the blurb, by telling us that Hiram’s wives begin scheming with Sophia, can you share any more about their plotting?
RJ: I can tell you that Hiram was already married to his first wife Lucy, when he was engaged to Sophia before she left. Sophia and Lucy had grown very close during the time Hiram and Sophia were courting. His second wife Phoebe however, was not in the picture then, so Sophia has never met her. This is crucial to the plot, and that is all I am going to say :)
TF: Can you remember making the decision to try your hand at writing? What prompted it?
RJ: I used to write as a girl. All my teachers thought I would be a writer someday, as did I. However, I quit writing in my teens and didn’t pick it back up for over 15 years.
TF: Have you any advice you would give an aspiring writer?
RJ: Have faith in yourself, don’t overthink it too much and just keep writing.
TF:.That's good advice! What’s next for Rayanna? Are you planning a third in the series? What else have you planned?
RJ:I am actually working on a novel for Corbin’s Bend that I am really excited about, and it is a little bit of a crossover. Hiram’s brother, Josiah (who is not married) will be leaving Green Valley and moving to Corbin’s Bend. He loves the traditional values he has grown up around, but has never been called to live polygamy. He will be much happier in Corbin’s Bend where he can fully embrace the spanko side of his nature and leave the other stuff behind.
TF: I'm really looking forward to reading how Josiah settles into life in Corbin's Bend! What do you like to do in your free time?
I love exploring my new area, and finding fun and inexpensive things to do with my kids. I spend way too much time on facebook, and I love to cook.
TF: It's been a pleasure having you here and getting to know more about you, Rayanna. And very informative too. I wish you every success with the release of the Prodigal Bride.
Hiram banged on the door to Josiah's small house. "Josiah!" He bellowed, "Open up! I
just called the station, and they said you were off shift. I know you're home, open up!"
He hesitated as he waited for Josiah to come to the door. He knew he needed to go home
and check on Lucy and deal with Phoebe's text, and help with the younger kids, but he also knew
he couldn't go home in his current mood. He needed to blow off some steam first, and Josiah's
house was the perfect place to do that.
He raised his fist to bang on the door again, just as a very annoyed and sleepy looking
Josiah flung it open.
Josiah was shirtless, and his hair mussed from the pillow. He had a two-day growth on
his normally clean-shaven face. Hiram winced. He knew Josiah was coming off a long shift,
and he had hoped to catch him before he went to bed.
"Hiram," Josiah barked. "I just got off a twenty-four hour shift. Can we do this later?"
"No," Hiram said darkly, as he shoved past his brother into the small kitchen and grabbed
a beer from the fridge, chucking the top off angrily.
He watched as Josiah squinted at him, looking stunned. Hiram knew his brother well
enough to know what Josiah was thinking. Hiram rarely drank, and was never one to help
himself to something that wasn't first offered.
"Oh, I know what this is about," Josiah said nodding. "Look, Hiram, I'm sorry, I had no
choice. I had to give her a ticket. She was speeding in a school zone!"
"Not what this is about," Hiram growled. "I'll deal with Phoebe later. And, I would never
be mad at you for doing your job."
Josiah sighed, and grabbed himself a beer. "So then, what's got you so upset, Bro? It's not
like you. Is everything okay with Lucy?"
"She's back? From where? Where did she go? Was it for treatment?"
Hiram frowned. He apparently wasn't making any sense. He was all tied in knots from
seeing Sophia. "No, not Lucy," he corrected. "She didn't go anywhere. She's at home in bed.
"Sophia?" Josiah choked out staring at him slack jawed. "Sophia Randall? In Green
Valley? When did that happen? She hasn't been back since..." he broke off, uncertain of how
much to say.
"Since she swore to the bishop, and her parents, and the entire town that I was her
intended husband, and then ran off minutes before the wedding, never to be seen or heard
from again until today? You can say it, Jos, I remember all too well." Hiram tipped his head
back, and drained the bottle of beer in two big gulps.
Sophia Randall had no intention on returning to her home in the polygamist community she grew up when she left Hiram Jefferson just hours before their wedding. Though she cared deeply for Hiram and his family, she was young and impulsive.
Ten years, two children, and one monogamous marriage later, returning to Green Valley after the death of her husband is the only option left.
Hiram was devastated when Sophia left him at the alter. With everything already on his plate-- between his job as the district superintendent, his large family, and one sick wife, the last thing he needs is the headache of Sophia being back in town.
When his wives go behind his back and form an alliance with Sophia, what is left for him to do but show them the error of their ways with a little old fashioned discipline. But what will happen when he finds out the true reason Sophia left him in the first place?
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