When a series of circumstances beyond her control leave Rosalyn Bernay alone and penniless in London, she chances upon a job backstage at a theater that is presenting the most popular show in London. A talented musician and singer, she feels immediately at home and soon becomes enthralled with the idea of pursuing a career on the stage.
A hand injury during a skirmish in India has forced Nate Moran out of the army until he recovers. Filling his time at a stable of horses for hire in London, he has also spent the past two months working nights as a stagehand, filling in for his injured brother. Although he’s glad he can help his family through a tough time, he is counting the days until he can rejoin his regiment. London holds bitter memories for him that he is anxious to escape. But then he meets the beautiful woman who has found a new lease on life in the very place Nate can’t wait to leave behind.
The Story Behind The Captain’s Daughter
Tell us a bit about the story behind your latest novel. Where did you find inspiration?
The idea for the London Beginnings series was spurred by a biography I read of George Muller, who founded an orphanage in Bristol, England, in the 1830s. He never solicited donations or money; he was a man of fervent prayer and believed God would always provide. By the end of the century the orphanage was caring for over 2,000 children! Supported only by faith and prayer, they provided a tangible example of God’s faithfulness to answer prayer and care for His people. I began to wonder what a person would be like who had been raised in this atmosphere of always trusting God and looking to Him to meet every need. When they went out into the world as adults, how would they respond to life’s challenges? That’s when the idea for this series was born. It follows three sisters who were raised in Muller’s orphanage. They each end up coming to London to begin a new life, and each will find their trust in God tested and strengthened by the obstacles they must overcome.
In The Captain’s Daughter, Rosalyn Bernay comes to London and ends up working backstage at the original production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera, HMS Pinafore. In time, she finds an outlet for her musical talents as well. I’ve loved this opera for years. When I began to research the background of the show and the people who produced it, I knew it could provide a fun and interesting setting for a story.
What was the hardest part about writing your novel: Getting started? Keeping it going? Finding the perfect ending?
The hardest part is getting to The End! Although I plot my stories, it often takes several tries to bring together all the elements into a satisfying ending. The end of the book is the part I generally have to rewrite the most, and The Captain’s Daughter was no exception.
What trait do you love most about your main character?
Rosalyn is resourceful, and she is also honest and kind to others. I love that those traits do not fall by the wayside even when she is going through rough times.
When readers get to the last page, what do you hope they take away from the story?
The benefits of prayer and trusting God, and how He will meet every need. Also, mistakes or events in the past don’t have to prevent us from forging a new future. In this series, the characters find their new beginnings, but are surprised when life doesn’t take them in the direction they’d planned. I hope the readers will reflect and perhaps see how God has been at work in their own lives too—often in unique and unanticipated ways.
What are you working on next?
I’m working on book 2 of the London Beginning series, which is called The Heart’s Appeal. Julia Bernay comes to London to be trained as a physician—a career which has just recently opened up to women. Although she knew there would be many obstacles to overcome, one in particular has taken her by surprise: she saves the life of a barrister after a train wreck, only to discover he is involved in a court case that could end up shutting down the medical school she plans to attend.
Character Interview with Nate Moran
What is the most interesting thing about you?
Some people find it interesting that I am a decorated war veteran. Others, that I am an adept fiddle player. Still others are intrigued that one man can be both!
Formerly a sergeant in Her Majesty’s Army. Currently working backstage at a London theater until I have recovered from battle wounds and can re-enlist.
What three words would you use to describe yourself?
Honest, honorable, hardworking.
What do you do for fun?
Play the fiddle! I love the old Irish tunes I learned from my grandfather. I take pleasure in playing hymns as well. It’s more than just for “fun,” though. It keeps me on an even keel, lightening my heart when morose thoughts of the past try to overwhelm me.
What is your life motto or goal?
Do the right thing. No matter how much it might cost you personally.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
My siblings would tell you I should lighten up, not take life so seriously. I might take their suggestion, were it not for the depth of pain in my heart from past events, and for the many things I must prove to myself first.
What is the most important thing to you?
Living an honorable life. Finding a way to atone for previous mistakes—including an error I made while serving in the army that nearly cost the life of a good friend and fellow soldier.