Heroine Interview for The Columns of Cottonwood by Sandra Robbins

» Posted on Sep 7, 2010 in Blog | Comments Off on Heroine Interview for The Columns of Cottonwood by Sandra Robbins

This week I’m hosting Sandra Robbins with The Columns of Cottonwood, Trish Perry with The Perfect Blend and Sarah Sundin with A Memory Between Us. If you want to enter the drawings, please leave a comment on one of the post during the week with your email address. I will not enter you without an email address (my way to contact you if you win). If you don’t want to leave an email address, another way you can enter is to email me at margaretdaley@gmail.com. The drawings end Sunday (September 12th) evening.

Interview with the heroine from The Columns of Cottonwood by Sandra Robbins:

• Savannah Carmichael, tell me the most interesting thing about you.
I was born in 1851 at Cottonwood, a grand plantation in the Black Belt of central Alabama. We were fortunate during the war between the North and South that we never had soldiers come to our home. After the war, we weren’t so lucky, though. My father couldn’t restore the land to what it was before the war, and the county took the land for back taxes. Then the big house burned one night, and my parents died in the fire. I’ve never lost faith, though, that one day God is going to restore my home to me.

• What do you do for fun?
Before the war, there were lots of parties. Now everybody is trying to rebuild their lives, and it seems no one has time for fun. I live with my elderly aunt, and I take care of her and our house. I also try to visit my parents’ graves at Cottonwood several times a week. In my spare time, I like to read and sew.

• What do you put off doing because you dread it?
There is a task that I put off because of what it makes me recall. Before I retire for the night, it’s my responsibility to make sure none of the oil lamps are left burning. After I’ve turned the wick down and the flame is out, wisps of smoke still curl up through the lamp’s chimney. The smell reminds me of the night I awoke to find our house in flames. The fire crawled across the bedroom floor toward me. As I escaped to the balcony outside my bedroom, the flames licked at my feet like giant tongues. The memory of sliding down one of the hot columns of the house still haunts me. I don’t know if I’ll be able to overcome the horror I experienced that night.

• What are you afraid of most in life?
I’m afraid that I will never get Cottonwood back. I grew up there, and it was supposed to be mine. Now I’m afraid it’s lost to me forever.

• What do you want out of life?
When I was a child, I thought life would go on forever in the South like it was then. The war changed that idea. Now I want to survive the aftermath of what has happened to me and the people I love. I’ve prayed for God to show me a way out of the existence that’s claimed my aunt and me since the war, but so far nothing’s changed. I know He has a plan, but I don’t know what it is.

• What is the most important thing to you?
At the moment the most important thing in my life is regaining the land that should belong to me. A stranger arrived from Mobile and bought Cottonwood Plantation for the back taxes on it. I’ve tried to think of him as my enemy, but I have to admit there’s something about the handsome Italian that stirs my heart. I’ve told myself I can’t be distracted, though. I have to find a way to get my land back.

• Do you read? If so, what is your favorite type of book to read?
Reading is one of favorite past times. All my books burned in the fire that destroyed the big house at Cottonwood. Now I live with my aunt, and she has quite a few books that she and her late husband collected over the years. The ones by Jane Austen are my favorite. I get swept away by the romance in her stories. I’ve always wanted to fall in love like that, but now I’m afraid it will never happen.

• If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
When the Confederacy fired the first shots on Fort Sumter in April of 1861, I was a carefree ten year old girl living a pampered life on a grand plantation in Alabama. Now ten years later I am struggling to survive in a world that at times is overwhelming. I’ve lost my home, my parents, and the way of life I loved. I wish I could regain some of the childish innocence I once had, but I fear it is too late.

• Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet?
No, I don’t have a pet. I loved all the animals at Cottonwood. Now the animals in my life help me survive. We have a cow and some chickens. Selling butter and eggs has helped me put a little bit of money back. We also have a horse that pulls the buggy I drive.

• If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?
I would travel back to the 1400s and talk with Joan of Arc. I admire the courage she displayed during war time, and I would like to talk to her about it. It’s been written that she believed God was leading her, and I know He’s leading me in my attempt to regain my plantation.