Be Swept into History with the Fiction of Catherine Ulrich Brakefield!
Even though Cathy is also from Michigan, I had to go all the way to Indianapolis at an American Christian Fiction Writers conference a few years ago to meet her! She is an award-winning author who is accomplished in both fiction and non-fiction, and has years of experience behind her.
I admire her energy and her desire to keep the fire going in our ACFW Great Lakes Chapter as its newest president. I thoroughly enjoyed reading her novel, Wilted Dandelions, winner of the CSPA Award in historical fiction in 2016, and look forward to reading her latest release, Swept into Destiny. This week let’s welcome, my friend, Catherine Ulrich Brakefield to Let’s Chat.
Cathy, please tell us about your writing journey. How did it start?
I always loved to read and literature was my favorite class in school. I wrote for church papers, documents for my employer, and a few short stories. But it was not until my grandmother came to live with my husband and me that the idea of seriously sitting down to write a novel started my novel-writing journey.
What made you decide to write inspirational fiction?
I became born again accepting the altar call watching Billy Graham on television one evening. I was raised in the church, but when I gave my life to Christ Jesus, to do with as He willed, my focus in life changed drastically.
My second love in school was history and after working for the Michigan Traveler Magazine, Romeo Observer Newspaper, and Tri-City Times Newspaper, I wanted to always write happy endings. So I chose faith-based historical romance!
How has God guided you through this process?
God has guided me every step of the way through my Bible reading, which I try to faithfully do each morning. I pray, “Lord, guide my thoughts and my words. Use my imagination to do Your will with my characters and story.”
Do you have any scriptures you’d like to share that have inspired you?
Yes. Proverbs 3:5, 6 guide me in my writing-walk with Jesus. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart…” Sometimes I don’t know if I am doing God’s will. So I just have to trust that I am.
“…and do not rely on your own insight…” This rejuvenates me into believing He is by my side, giving me insight into my novels.
“In all your ways acknowledge Him…” Every time I get new insight in the pathway my novel should take, I send up a big “Thank You!” to Jesus.
“… and He will direct your paths…” There are times I don’t even know what my characters might do in a given episode in my novel. I can’t take credit for Jacob or Eli because they popped into head at just the right moment and made the story flow like a stream on a mission. Even the idea for the novel Swept into Destiny began with a story my grandmother told me about a relative begging a Union soldier not to take his little red-topped boots. This story inspired my grandmother’s memories and the novel, Swept into Destiny. Scripture and prayer did the rest!
Would you like to tell us about your latest release, Swept into Destiny?
Swept into Destiny is about the determined southern belle Maggie Gatlan who is educating Spirit Wind Manor slaves and the adjoining plantation owner’s slaves to read and write. If she is found out, this could mean jail or worse for her!
Then there is Ben McConnell, a fiercely proud Irish immigrant who is willing to risk his life to dredge out a snake-infested swampland that Spirit Wind Manor’s slaves are too valuable to do.
Maggie, believing one of her students is caught in a quagmire, makes a conscionable decision that affects the consequence of her destiny.
The story takes place during the Antebellum Era in 1857 and continues through the Civil War Era. During this time, an unexpected chain of events leads Maggie into choosing where her loyalties lie. Again, conscience and consequence, she loved her beloved South, but cared deeply for Ben who had joined the Union Army.
As the battles raged between North and South, Maggie’s heart feels as if it has been torn into shreds… and she wonders if Ben is right. She didn’t want to see the United States of America ripped down the middle like a worn-out bed sheet… Had this Irish immigrant perceived the truth of what God had predestined for America?
More about Catherine Ulrich Brakefield:
Catherine says, “My readers inspire my writing!” She is the author of three faith-based historical romances; The Wind of Destiny, Wilted Dandelions, and the first of a four book Destiny series, Swept into Destiny. She has also written two pictorial history books: Images of America: The Lapeer Area, and Images of America: Eastern Lapeer County.
Her short stories have been published in Guidepost Books True Stories of Extraordinary Answers to Prayer Unexpected Answers and Desires of Your Heart; Baker Books, Revell, The Dog Next Door and Horse of my Heart; CrossRiver Media Publishers, The Benefit Package and Abba’s Promise; Bethany House Publishers, Jesus Talked to me Today.
She enjoys swimming and horseback riding and lives in Addison Township with her husband, Edward, and their Arabian horses. Now that her children are grown and married, she and Edward are the blessed recipients of two handsome grandsons and a lovely granddaughter!
TWEET THIS: Find out how inspirational #author, @CUBrakefield follows God through every step of the #writing process.
Cathy is giving away one print or Kindle copy, reader’s choice, of Swept Into Destiny. Just leave a comment to enter. And for an extra entry sign up for Cathy’s newsletter by sending her an email at catherineulrichbrakefield@