Book Two: 5 Questions for Jo Grafford

I decided to be a bit bold and contact each author directly as I finish each book. In no way do I consider myself a professional interviewer. I, simply, write down the things that come to mind and narrow them down to the 5 I think that you would find the most interesting (just as I hope you are reading along with me).


Jo Grafford, author of Breaking Ties, was amazing enough to entertain my questions and here is what she had to say…

CC~ How historically accurate are the events of this book?

Jo G~Breaking Ties follows a historically accurate timeline from the day the colonists set sail to the birth of Virginia Dare on Roanoke Island. The rest is educated speculation. The port calls, the defection, the murder and the mutiny all happened. I even use real names from the ship manifests and pieced together many of their family histories from archives, church registries, and sailing journals. However, most of the conversations between the characters and many of the relationships are purely fiction. Meaning, Chief Manteo and Rose Payne truly sailed from England to the New World together. Whether or not they fell in love…

Also, I could not find any record of the ship names in the Lost Colony fleet, so I couldn’t resist naming them. The Lyon served as the main passenger ship (galleon-style by artistic license since I couldn’t find a make or model listed). The Roebuck was a flyboat that served as their cargo ship (per their sailing journals), and the Swallow was documented as a thirty-man pinnace for navigating the deadly shallows and shoals.

For a complete list of character names and descriptions, visit this link:!characters/c15ni.

CC~ There are several nationalities represented (Scottish, English, Native American). How much research was required?

Jo G~Five years of research. I dug through the original ship manifests, sailing journals, church registries, over a dozen books, and other archives. I also took a road trip to Roanoke Island and toured the reconstructed earthen Fort Raleigh. Pictures of my trip can be found at this link:!visit-to-roanoke-island/cywh.

CC~ It was interesting how equally emotional the men in the story are. How do you translate that emotion and still keep them, well, manly?

Jo G~Unlike the temporary exploration parties who sailed before them, these men travelled with their wives, children, and pets with the plan to settle in the New World and build the first permanent English colony. Most of them had invested every penny they owned in this risky overseas venture. Everything they valued most was at stake.

CC~ Rose, Agnes, or Jane… Who are you most like?

Jo G~Oo, hard question. I can related to Rose’s academic nerdiness and love of numbers but I’m far more talkative. Just ask the hubs. Haha! I think I possess some of Jane’s adventurous spirit and am deadly accurate with a handgun, but I have zero sense of direction. Without a modern GPS, I can’t track down a yard sale. I think I relate most to Agnes. Everyone knows her as a skilled hostess with a compassionate heart. Few would guess the double life she leads. After all, I DO write under a pen name. 🙂

CC~ Manteo or Christopher… Given ALL circumstances in the story, who would you have chosen?

Jo G~Love and admire Christopher all the way, but I’m a solid member of Team Manteo. Just to be fair, I was Team Jacob, too, while reading the Twilight Series. I’m debating a book four for Christopher (to follow Agnes’s story coming in book three). Would you like to hear more of his story?

Wow, I am always fascinated (and inspired) by the research that goes into writing books like this one. I am sure everything she combed over was like reading a story in and of itself!

I too, identified in small ways to each Rose (easily heartbroken), Jane (say it like it is) and Agnes (healer extraordinaire) but admittedly am probably the most like Jane. I grew up with two brothers so doing the more guyish (at least guyish in 1587) things would feel more natural to me. Love isn’t even on her radar, she’s interested in survival…period. I want her to find love though…to soften a bit…

I have to say that I am usually drawn to the quite contender. As attractive and primal as the Quilete’s were, I was drawn to Jasper (in keeping with the Twilight reference)…So, to answer Jo, I would like to hear more of Christopher’s story 😉 You could even loosely base his female interest on me ;)…lol…I’m kidding…maybe 😉 😉

It was an absolute pleasure to read Breaking Ties and to be able to talk about it with Jo Grafford herself! I am giving you all another opportunity to find the book easily, read it, and come back and chat about it with me!

Thank you so much Jo for taking the time out to be a part of my 50 in 2015! I look very forward to more of your work!
Happy Reading,



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