7 Year Tea Party Winners: Susan Craft's winner of her trilogy novels - The Chamomile, Laurel, and Cassia is: Lucy Reynolds, The winner of a copy of The Backcountry Brides is: Tammy Cordery, the winner of a silver quill charm is: Kathy Maher, Choice of one of three books by Carrie Fancett Pagels in paperback: Joy Ellis, A Bouquet of Brides Collection by Pegg Thomas winner is: Becky Smith, Janet Grunst's Selah-Award winning novel, A Heart Set Free, is: Sherry Moe.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Interview with Susan Craft

Susan Craft is the author of The Chamomile, a historic, romantic suspense, a SIBA “Okra Pick”
Published by: Ingalls Publishing Group
Date: November 2011

Susan Craft is also the author of three books: A Perfect Tempest, The Chamomile, as well as Laurel, the sequel to the Chamomile, which will be published November 2012 books.  Her website is http://www.susanfcraft.com

Susan, what got you interested in the colonial time period?
My fascination with the colonial time period, and especially the Revolutionary War, began as a child watching the Disney series about Johnny Tremaine and the Liberty Tree.  I remember responding to an advertisement for the theme song, “The Sons of Liberty,” which I played over and over on my small record player. Just about everything about the time period appeals to me.  A soft glow reflected in a pewter mug, a crisp white mobcap, delicate lace dripping from the elbow of a sleeve, a neatly tied cravat, fiery and impassioned voices arguing over the war, the smell of freshly brewed tea – all of these things stir my imagination.

What inspired your latest colonial work?
I stumbled upon the story about a Charlestown, SC woman who explains to a British officer noted for his cruelty that the chamomile is called the rebel flower “because it always flourished most when trampled upon.”  I thought that could apply to a character as well as to the flower.  Also, when attending a Francis Marion Symposium in Manning, South Carolina, I saw a presentation about the heroism of South Carolina backcountry women during the Revolutionary War. I want people to know more about the type of women living during that time -- women who should be, but are not, included in our history books

Do you have a favorite colonial place you like to visit and why?
I would have to say Williamsburg where one can be immersed in all things colonial and be assured of the effort to make things authentic.  I also enjoy Charleston, SC, including the annual visit of the tall ships and being able to step back in time aboard those vessels.

Susan, do you have a favorite colonial recipe you enjoy?  Would you care to share it with CQ readers? 
Lemon Tart
Readers, you can find Susan’s recipe for (Lemon Tart) this coming Saturday on CQ.

Where you do you live and what colonial places do you have in your state?
Susan lives in Columbia, SC.  Not many people realize that of the 118 major battles fought during the Revolutionary War, 67 were fought in South Carolina, and 22 were either led by or participated in by Francis Marion. Susan has been on a bus tour of those battlegrounds.  South Carolinians love to preserve their history, so there are many places to visit: the annual reenactment of the Battle of Camden, fought a five miles from her home; Battle of Kings Mountain in York County; the Andrew Jackson State Park and the Museum of the Waxhaws on the border of North and South Carolina; the SC Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum; and the SC State Museum; and, of course, the historical Charleston, SC. 

GIVEAWAY:  Leave a comment with your email address for a chance to win a copy of Susan's new book!


  1. I really like the Johnny Tremaine movie too! The old Disney movies are so well-done and much more wholesome than today's fair.
    Looking forward to the recipe :)

    crazi.swans at gmail dot com

  2. Charleston is my hometown AND I live not too far from where the Battle of Kings Mountain was fought! In fact, the county I reside in was where Stonewall Jackson's wife, Mary Anna, was born & raised! (I know, that's not Colonial but it's cool!) Regency, Colonial, and Historical fiction are my favorite genres to read. I love the history, the places and customs, finery and manners.

    I love being introduced to a new author! More great books to add to my TBR pile :)


  3. Love the analogy of the chamomile-such a perfect picture. I'm going to remember that one.

  4. Susan Craft said...

    Faye, we didn't watch a lot of TV growing up. We played outside until we were so worn out that we were usually ready for bed. There were bunches of kids in my neighborhood, so even on bad weather days we'd play marathon Monopoly games. But we really looked forward to the Sunday evening Disney programs. My brothers loved the Daniel Boone ones and had the hats to go with them. Oh, and Bonanza was great too! Hope you like the recipe.

  5. Susan Craft said...
    Anne, I love all kinds of history too. It seems as if in the past 10 years, though, my heart gets an extra tug from the Revolutionary War era. Impassioned times.
    It must have been nice growing up in Charleston. We live in Columbia, two hours away, but travel to Charleston as often as we can.

  6. Susan Craft said...
    Lynn, I agree, the chamomile makes a great analogy and a perfect symbol for the patriots. My character joins a group of spies and one way she passes on messages is to put the painting of a chamomile in her shop window. Her apprentice has a leather bag with a chamomile tooled into it and puts that side to the outside when he has a message. His mom, who owns a tavern, cuts the shape of a chamomile into her pie crusts when she has a message. I had a lot of fun finding new ways to use the chamomile.

  7. Oh, LOVE that imagery of the chamomile, and the ways you used it for espionage sound awesome, Susan!!

  8. Susan you really have my senses going with fresh brewed tea and mouth watering Lemon Tarts. Thanks for such an enjoyable interview. You have me very interested in reading your books.
    Thanks Ladies!

    plb1050 at gmail dot com

  9. Susan Craft said ...
    Thank you, Roseanna. The chamomile had another meaning too. Since the patriots didn't want to drink the highly taxed British tea, they were always trying to find substitutes -- boiled acorns (yuck) and wallnuts, strawberry leaves and, of course, chamomile tea. Many switched to drinking coffee. Does anyone know of another substitute recipe for tea that the patriots used?

  10. Susan Craft said ...
    Patricia, I'd love a cup of hot tea right now. Did you know that there is a wonderful tea plantation on Wadmalaw Island in the Low Country of SC near Charleston? I've never visited, but plan to do so soon.

  11. I would love to visit a tea plantation! They may have used mint or sage, maybe even raspberry leaves. There are many "weeds" in the yard that are actually usable for teas. Dandelion, for one :o)

  12. Wonderful interview, Susan! Like you, most everything about the colonial period appeals to me. I often think I was born 250 years too late but for the lack of bathing then;) Being an okra lover, I think winning a pick from them would be very fine, indeed! Looking forward to reading your book!

  13. Susan Craft said...
    Laura, I often think about belonging in another era, but then I tend to romanticize things and forget about where the hot water for my bath will come from. And for it to take 12-14 days by wagon to get from Charleton to Asheville. And that I might not have been able to read!!!!!

  14. Hi Susan, What a great way to let the one you want to know about a message to pass on. Using the shape of a chamomile to alert them was really ingenious. I love mystery and suspense and know I will love to read The Chamomile. Thanks for stopping by to chat and share with us.
    Thanks for the opportunity to enter giveaway.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

  15. Add me to the list of those who didn't realize SC was such a major battlefield for the Revolutionary War.
    twinwillowsfarm at gmail dot com

  16. My husband is from SC, and we have a lot of family there still. Several years ago I got to visit Charleston and was given an unofficial tour of the waterfront area by my cousin. Then we all took part in an archaeological dig going on at Colonial Dorchester. Oh, what fun. An "if only I had more than one life to live dream come true" moment. Here's a website for that historic site: http://www.southcarolinaparks.com/park-finder/state-park/725.aspx

    I like that chamomile quote, Susan, and had wondered where the book title came from. Very compelling.

  17. Susan Craft,

    I live in Greenwood, SC, though I am not originally from here. I am amazed by how many Revolutionary War battlefields are scattered across SC. My favorite one I always go to is Ninety Six Star fort. (I was there Tuesday) And, on November 5th, I will be going to Camden, SC.

    I am a nerd when it comes to the Revolutionary War, so I know what you mean about women's role in the Revolution being forgotten. For the signer's wives, they suffered with their husbands. They supported and encouraged them to not give up the fight for Independence. There were some women who spied in SC and paid the price by being put in prison. There were others who helped set American prisoners free. They were the hidden force behind America's independence.

    When I saw your book, I fell in love with it. I love the title and the quote behind it. The quote truly is a representation of not only the patriots back then, but also of the American Spirit, which echoes down from 1776 to today. The patriots back then were not willing to accept defeat and were willing to bear any cost to set America free.

  18. Susan Craft said...

    ARW Fanatic -- so good to hear from another person who loves the Rev War era. I will be at the Camden Rev War Field Days on Nov. 5 & 6 too! I will have an author's table, I'm told near the gift shop. Would love to meet you. I loved all of the different meanings of the chamomile too.

  19. Love this era in history! The imagery involved with the chamomile is perfect for that :)

    I'd love to be entered in the giveaway!


  20. Susan, how I wish I could join you at Camden (where my husband's family lived, once upon a time). I'm thinking of including a battle that happened there in an upcoming WIP. Need to do a bit more research into the southern campaign first, but I think Camden is the one, when it fell to the British. Do you have any good research books on the southern campaign you would recommend?

  21. Susan Craft said...
    Lori, I'll have to go through my bookshelves in my office this evening. In the meantime, go to my website www.susanfcraft.com and click on American Revolutionary War, then click on American Revolutionary War Timelines and Illustrations. Beginning on page 3 there is a list of battles.

  22. Susan Craft said..

    Beth, it's always nice to share with someone else who loves the Rev War era. Good luck on the drawing for the book. I think it's next week that I will have another drawing for a copy of The Chamomile. Check back then.

  23. Susan Craft said...

    Lori, wish you could be in Camden too. If I can find my camera that my teenage granddaughter borrowed, I plan to take pictures and post a write up of the event. I had hoped to have a costume ready to wear there, but I just got the pattern cut out last night. Sometimes it seems as if there are not enough hours in a day!

  24. Susan, so true about the skimpy daylight hours. I'll check out your sight. I'm still immersed in my current overmountain, 1787 story, but something I encountered in the research has sparked an idea for a story that takes place in SC, NC, and the overmountain country during the latter years of the war.....

  25. And pics would be grand, if you can get them!

  26. And our winner is Pat, whose comment is a great example of why writers are urged to write to the senses! Congrats, drum roll, and I will send you an email so we can get that off to you! Blessings!

  27. Susan Craft said ...

    Congratulations, Pat!!! I do hope you enjoy reading The Chamomile. Let me know.


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