I’m excited to welcome Rosslyn Elliott as my guest today! I first heard about Rosslyn through mutual friends and since meeting her online, I’ve loved getting to know her better through her blog. I’ve also heard amazing things about her writing and am excited about her new release, which sounds sooo good (more details below)!

Before we dive into the interview, here’s a little more about her…

As the child of a career military man, Rosslyn Elliott lived in four states and two foreign countries before she graduated from high school. She attended Yale University, where she earned her BA in English and Theater Studies. After five years working first in corporate New York City, then as a schoolteacher, she entered the Ph.D. program at Emory University and finished her dissertation in 2006.

Her study of American literature spurred her to pursue her lifelong dream of writing fiction. She has won awards for her writing, including the 2011 Laurel Award and the 2011 Lime Award for Fairer than Morning, which was also selected as one of Lifeway’s Ten Favorite Fiction Reads for 2011.

Rosslyn lives with her husband and daughter in the southern United States, where they enjoy working with horses and pampering their dogs.

You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and her website.


Welcome, Rosslyn! Now on to the questions…

Opener Question: What seven words best describe you?

 A light always shines in the darkness.

Either/Or Questions:

1) African safari or European tour?

European tour. Much though I love animals, I have a deep love of European history that first struck when I lived in England as a girl with my military family. I would be so excited to take my daughter back to see some of the things I saw twenty-five years ago. Plus, I never made it to Spain or Italy, and I would love to see some of the beautiful cities there.

2) Pepperoni pizza or veggie pizza?

Veggie. I like pepperoni, but I always have to order it to please the kids, and so I love a good veggie pizza if I have the chance to get one! Green pepper, black olives, mushrooms, yum.

3) Mac or PC?

PC. I think Macs are great, but in my youth I never had the money to get one, and so I developed a PC habit.

4) Shop ’til you drop or Shop only if necessary?

Shop only if necessary. I like buying new things and feeling pretty, but I’m trying to be frugal to satisfy other priorities, like my daughter’s education. Plus, I’d really like to own some land and horses one day, and there may be a chance of that in the near future. So I’m highly motivated.

5) Green light or red light?

Green light. Go for it! I saw a poster recently that featured a dog running across a field with an expression on its face of pure exuberance and joy. The poster said “Live like someone left the gate open.” I love that. We can take pleasure and joy in our lives just by appreciating the gifts we’ve been given, this beautiful world, the love of our friends and family. And we should never be afraid to explore or try something new, or make a new friend.

6) Sedan or SUV?

SUV, I suppose. I want a vehicle that can haul stuff around and work for a living. For now, the actual choice is minivan! In the future, it might be a truck.

7) Mountain cabin or beach resort?

Mountain cabin is much more my style. I love nature, and I’d like to ride a horse through the mountains more than on the beach. Plus, there’s more natural food for horses in the mountains. Can you tell I’m really preoccupied with this dream of horse ownership right now? 🙂 I can’t wait for the day when I post a picture of my first very own horse. I rode a lot as a child and teenager, but never owned—only borrowed or leased. I’m looking forward to teaching my daughter all the lessons that come with horse ownership: patience, compassion, responsibility, peace.


Wow, Rosslyn, I loved your answers, especially to the opener question and the “Green Light” question. I think you just motivated me to try something new! 🙂 And I love your passion for horses and the dream to own one or more someday. Your daughter is one lucky lady!

Thanks for being my guest today! I’ve loved having you here.


Sweeter Than Birdsong

Music offers Kate sweet refuge from her troubles…

           But real freedom is sweeter.

Westerville, Ohio, 1855: Kate Winter’s dreams are almost within reach. As the first woman to graduate from Otterbein College, she’ll be guaranteed her deepest wish: escape from the dark secret haunting her family. But with her mother determined to marry her off to a wealthy man, Kate must face reality. She has to run. Now. And she has the perfect plan. Join the upcoming musical performance–and use it to mask her flight. 

Ben Hanby, Otterbein College’s musical genius, sees Kate Winter as an enigmatic creature, notable for her beauty, yet painfully shy. Then he hears her sing—and the glory of her voice moves him as never before. He determines to cast her in his musical and uncover the mystery that is Kate. Still, he must keep his own secret to himself. Not even this intriguing woman can know that his passionate faith is driving him to aid fugitives on the Underground Railroad.

A terrifying accident brings Kate and Ben together, but threatens to shatter both their secrets and their dreams. Kate can no longer deny the need to find her courage—and her voice—if she is to sing a new song for their future.

Sweeter than Birdsong is a stirring novel of hope and faith inspired by real historical people and events.


Blog Readers: Let’s talk…What’s the most unique pet you’ve ever owned? What has pet ownership taught you about life? Any fun animal stories to share?



Meet and Greet with Author Rosslyn Elliott
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46 thoughts on “Meet and Greet with Author Rosslyn Elliott

  • January 30, 2012 at 6:09 am

    The pet itself was not unique, but I once owned a chihuahua and named him Lassie. I have taken a lot of ribbing for that over the years! 🙂

  • January 30, 2012 at 6:56 am

    Most unique pet? Turtles I suppose. They didn’t last long though.
    Thanks for the fun interview Sarah and Rosslyn!

    • January 30, 2012 at 12:31 pm

      I’m not good with the smaller more fragile pets like fish and turtles. It’s harder to forget the big ones!

  • January 30, 2012 at 7:38 am

    Ah yes, “live as though someone left the gate open” is a great way to look at living life to the fullest. I enjoyed your interview and would really like to read this new book of your’s. Please enter me in the book giveaway.

    • January 30, 2012 at 12:31 pm

      Vera, thanks so much for tweeting! Every little bit of support helps.

  • January 30, 2012 at 8:01 am

    I’d love to win Rosslyn’s new book! Fairer Than Morning was a beautiful story.

    susanjreinhardt AT gmail DOT com

  • January 30, 2012 at 8:18 am

    Thanks for the introduction!

    Nothing all that interesting here. We’re a cat and dog family, folks. I will say that my cat, Bella, is kind of like a dog. She comes when we call her. Most cats won’t do that, but mine does! 😛

    • January 30, 2012 at 12:33 pm

      We had a cat named Hootie who was very doglike in that affectionate way. Thanks for commenting, Lindsay.

  • January 30, 2012 at 8:28 am

    Thanks for a great interview, ladies! I’ve heard good things about Rosslyn’s books. Looking forward to reading them. So of course, I would love to be entered in the giveaway!

    The most unusual pets I’ve owned? I haven’t owned anything all that different but my son had a tarantula and a Pac Man Frog. 🙂

    Thanks and blessings,

    • January 30, 2012 at 12:33 pm

      Wow, a PacMan frog. What in the world? Is that it’s scientific name? LOL!

      • January 30, 2012 at 12:34 pm

        Aaaaah! I messed up it’s and its. Just string me up now..can you tell I’ve been typing too much? 🙂

  • January 30, 2012 at 8:47 am

    Rosslyn, I loved your “green light” and “red light” analogies. What food for thought! I have to admit, I’m a beach kinda gal, but I wouldn’t mind a cozy mountain hideaway occasionally if I had great books and hot chocolate by my side. 🙂

    Sarah, this was a great interview!

    • January 30, 2012 at 12:35 pm

      It was a fun interview, I agree–Sarah creates good questions. Thanks for commenting, Cynthia.

  • January 30, 2012 at 8:50 am

    Oh, and I forgot to answer the question…I suppose Bettas, though they’re not too unique. Fun to watch!

  • January 30, 2012 at 8:56 am

    Great interview. My dad got us a shetland pony one year (we lived out in the country). That little pony was mean!

    • January 30, 2012 at 12:37 pm

      Ha! Small ponies can be mean, it’s true. It’s harder to train them because full-sized adults can’t ride them. But I know one small pony who was practically raised in a man’s living room, and she is extremely sweet.

  • January 30, 2012 at 9:59 am

    I had a cat that would ring a bell when he wanted to go outside. I did not teach him this. He was a stray when we found him.

    • January 30, 2012 at 12:37 pm

      That’s really neat. Cats are quite intelligent…I always wished I had one of those cats that was trained to use the toilet. 🙂

  • January 30, 2012 at 10:05 am

    I love Rosslyn. LOVE her! The light shining in the darkness reminded me of The Lord of the Rings…the scene when Frodo is in the spider’s lair.

    I like to tell my kiddos, “The sun is always shining above the clouds.”

    Truly, Rosslyn rocks my world!
    ~ Wendy

  • January 30, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    Great interview, ladies!
    Rosslyn – I loved Fairer Than Morning and look forward to reading Sweeter Than Birdsong. I love your writing voice…just beautiful.

  • January 30, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Happy Monday, everyone! Isn’t Rosslyn the best?!

    I’m cracking up over all your pet stories. And Karen, I think you win the prize for bravest pet owner. A tarantula? Yikes! I would not let that thing near my house. *shudder* 🙂

  • January 30, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    How fun to see Rosslyn here on your blog, Sarah. Two of my favorite people in one place is doubly good. =)

    I hope you get that horse you’re hankering after, Rosslyn. I’m sure you and your daughter would have a wonderful time with it.

    My most unique pet was a little white mouse I bought when I was in my early twenties. To this day I have no idea why I got it. I don’t like rodents. Perhaps it was an uncharacteristic moment of rebellion, or perhaps it was those cute little pink eyes peering at me. I didn’t own it long. After it escaped from its cage and freaked my dad out, I found a new home for the little fellow.

  • January 30, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Hi Sarah and Rosslyn! I’m so excited for Rosslyn’s book!! I devoured Fairer Than Morning and can’t wait to get my hands on the next one!

    As a child I lived in the country so we had quite a few “farm animal” pets. Lots of chickens, turkeys, a goat, rabbits, and two horses. That’s probably why I have such a desire to have my own hobby farm someday. (My husband’s not a big fan of that one though!) The strangest “pet” we had was a mean old rooster. He would walk around our property like he owned the place and any time me or my sisters dared to venture outside, he would chase us and scare us back inside. Carrying a big stick around was necessary for survival! 🙂

    • January 30, 2012 at 3:27 pm

      Ooo- I wouldn’t want to tangle with a rooster. It was bad enough to run from a vicious duck that once lived near us! Roosters have sharper beaks.

  • January 30, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    Oh, it’s great to see Rosslyn here! She’s awesome, and I think those seven words describe her beautifully. I’m excited about the chance to win her second book {loved the first one}.

    • January 30, 2012 at 3:28 pm

      Melanie, thanks for coming by, and thanks for your kind words too.

  • January 30, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    I’m the proud owner of four hermit crabs. We’ve had them for a few years now. 🙂

    • January 30, 2012 at 3:28 pm

      Jennifer, I’m impressed that they are still alive! Good for you and your family. 🙂

  • January 30, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    Love this interview!! Sarah has the most fun questions!

    I also love the answer to the green light/red light question. I want to own that poster and I want to live like that dog!

    Okay – so most bizarre pet would have to be hermit crabs. I went through a phase in my life where I was obsessed with hermit crabs. I spent entirely WAY too much money on them. Seriously….it was ridiculous.

  • January 30, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    “Live like someone left the gate open.”

    Love that.
    Brought a smile to my face . . .

  • January 30, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    I read Rosslyn’s book “Fairer Than Morning” and really liked it. I would love to win this next book, “Sweeter Than Birdsong.”
    As for a unique pet, I’d have to say it was my son’s little hamster, Harold. I don’t really like rodents, but Harold was cute. He’d come out of hiding in his cage when I’d talk to him and call him by name.

  • January 30, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    Thank you, Pam! I appreciate your support. Hamsters are more affectionate than people realize, I think.

  • January 31, 2012 at 12:31 am

    Oh My Gosh, I have owned a ton of pets. Goats, horses, rabbits, turtles, dogs, and yes, even ducks. Lots and lots of pets!

    Great interview and I have also seen that great image of the dog running free with the accompanying quote. Love it too!

    Enter me for an opp to win Rosslyn’s next book–looks amazing and I would love to get my hands on it.

    Great job, girls! 🙂

  • January 31, 2012 at 1:57 am

    loved the “live like someone left the gate open!” i want that poster in my office. i’m going to go hunt it down after this comment…

    most interesting pet? would have to be the sea people i was sucker enough to buy as a child. yes, really. i was SO disappointed. they taught me a lot about life…question every advertisement you see.

    • February 14, 2012 at 10:43 pm

      Are they like sea monkeys? Those can be fun, but I can’t keep them alive.

  • February 3, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    can you believe that i have never owned a pet…
    thanks for the chance to read this beautiful story 🙂

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