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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Interview with Joan of Arc

My friend and fellow Michigander Rohn Federbush has brought someone special, an historic figure and main character in her book, St. Joan's Architect.

Let's get started. 
Please introduce yourself for those who haven’t met you in your author’s other books.
You mean you haven’t heard of me, Joan of Arc? I was made a saint in 1920, but the French hardly recognize my contribution to their existence. The Lord sent me on a mission to rid France of the English.

Tell us about your family.
My mother, Romee, was instrumental in garnering support for my cannonization. My father, however, wanted to drown me when I started riding horses and refused to marry the neighbor’s boy. My cousins road beside me in the war against the English but died valiantly on the battlefield.

How did your upbringing influence who you are today?
My religious zeal started early. We lived next to the village church. When I was thirteen my Voices, St. Michael, St. Catherine and St. Margaret, appeared to me as they were painted on the walls of the church. They agreed with me that the English who were pillaging the neighborhood needed to leave France.

What was your first thought when you met the hero and heroine?
I found a perfect person to haunt. Catherine Marksteiner was a young architectural student visiting Mont Saint Michel. Some people believe I hid on the Mont for four months before the English captured me. Romee’s father had the funds and contacts necessary for constructing the Dome of St. Joan on the empty western platform of St. Michael’s church.

Why did you select them?
The French were forgetting my contribution to their history. I tried haunting authors who loved me, like Mark Twain and Bernard Shaw; but my fame was dwindling. I finally decided an amazing structure added to the Mont might bring more tourists and pilgrims to a clearer understanding of my life and my infamous death.

Why did you choose your occupation?
I agree with you. I even asked my Voices how I, a poor peasant girl, could save France. But the Lord’s ways are not easily understood by humans. Sometimes you just know, you are the only one who sees the picture clearly enough to be of any help to anyone. Isn’t that why you are a writer? You know more than you can even explain to me that you can be of service if you only believe that’s why you were made to visit earth.

What are your strengths? Weaknesses?
I believe. Trusting the Lord slipped a bit when I needed to face the fire, but I regained my belief before the first flame touched my toes. Have you read my trial, where I recanted? I was the first Protestant you know.

What is the biggest hurdle you had to overcome?
Convincing others I had no other goal except to restore France to its citizens. Very few people believe I heard my Voices, do you?

If your story was made into a movie, who would you want to play you?
With all the controversy about gender identification, which I faced too all those years ago, I think a young man would do just as well as a virginal damsel. I smote the English as much as I could, telling them I would bring them down from the clouds if need be—not a feminine attribute, stuely.

Do I have any hobbies?
I like to inhabit the dreams of young girls to verify they can accomplish anything they believe in. It takes most of my free time, don’t you know.

A free day?
Probably pick a few flowers to grace the graves of my comrades in arms. Or run with my steeds in the Elysian fields of heaven.
Thank you very much for chatting with us today. Now we'd like to know more about your story.
Blurb
A fledgling architect, Catherine Marksteiner's graduation trip to Mont- Saint-Michel includes a visit from St. Joan's ghost. Catherine is not sure who is rendering the intricate drawings but she's fallen in love with the island and wants to marry the artist who sketches her. He's already engaged, but his smitten cousin Romee is ready to offer his father's shipping fortune and Vatican connections as well as his hand in marriage.

Excerpt
Catherine’s Dream
            Catherine looked closely at the gigantic pink diamond ring on her left hand. Inside its intricate facets she could see hanging gardens, festooned arches and blue butterflies floating within its boundaries. Catherine settled softly down with a few of the butterflies to the grassy floor of the dreamscape, where a young girl picked flowers for wreaths and garlands to hang on the branches of a sacred beech tree. Sweet orisons wafted through the air. Catherine recognized the gentle maid who became the champion of France.
            “Joan of Arc,” she called.

Available at Amazon: https://amzn.com/1489707751

About the Author:
Born on a farm in southern Illinois, Rohn Federbush finished her Masters of Arts in 1995 from Eastern Michigan University of Ypsilanti. She started writing full time after retiring as an administrator of the University of Michigan’s Applied Physics PhD. Program. Finishing fifteen novels without finding traditional publishers motivated Rohn to self-publish many of her award-winning books. St. Joan’s Architect was a finalist in the Heart of the West 2001 RWA Utah Contest. Presently she is editing her memoir-novel entitled Home from the Woods, which mentions her present husband, two sons, one granddaughter and one grandson.
Other books by Rohn Federbush:
St. Joan’s Architect on Mont Saint Michel
Hastings’ Dead 
The Farm Stray, Mysteries of the Macabre
In Lincoln’s Shadow




22 comments:

  1. Nice interview with Joan of Arc and "peek" into Rohn's life.

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  2. Interesting reading, Always a treat.

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  3. That's certainly a different take for an interview. Creates a nice hook, too.

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    1. Thanks, Diana. Thought it would be more fun.

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  4. Great interview. Best of luck with your book!

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    1. Thank you. Appreciate your good wishes.

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  5. Interesting topic! St. Joan is my favorite saint. I'm looking forward to reading this!

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    1. Received my first five star review today for St. Joan's Architect.

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  6. I enjoyed the interview, Joan. You led such a remarkable life. I believe Hilary Swank should play you if a film is made of your life. She stared in two films, Million Dollar Baby and Boys Don't Cry, in which she played female characters who leaned masculine. Rohn, I also enjoyed learning more about you. Congratulations on the five star review!

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  7. What a fantastic concept, Rohn. It's wonderful to see you on Diane's blog! Wishing you much success with the book.

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  8. Wow...interesting interview!
    Good luck and God's blessings.
    PamT

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    1. Thank you, Pam. You could send your address to me at rohn@comcast.net to receive a free review copy.

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  9. Congrats on the great review! I think many young people today can relate to St. Joan and the persecution she endured. Wishing you much success with the book.

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  10. This sounds like an intriguing novel.

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  11. Diane, Thank you for your dedication to fellow writers. I take your help very seriously.

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    1. You are very welcome, Rohn. Best wishes on this story.

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