Interview with D.L. Bogan + Giveaway of The Sumerton Women

Please welcome author D.L. Bogdan, who is here at Passages to the Past today to answer a few questions and give away a copy of her latest novel, THE SUMERTON WOMEN, in honor of her virtual book tour!

For more information and to see a schedule of the tour stops, please click HERE.

Can you please tell us a bit about The Sumerton Women and the inspiration behind writing it?

The Sumerton Women is the story of three women whose lives are intertwined against the backdrop of the British Reformation, and how each woman deals with the consequences of their choices—some  of them good, some extremely destructive.  I have always been fascinated with human psychology and motivation, and am drawn to any era, event, or historical figure I can use to illustrate that in the most emotionally charged, fast paced, and relatable way I can.  I feel the human condition is timeless, and finding ways to keep it fresh, moving, and interesting is one of the reasons historical fiction can be so compelling.  I also have had a long standing interest in the Reformation and wanted to touch upon the elements I found would provide the most conflict for the human spirit.  

Have you always wanted to be a writer?  And did you always want to write historical fiction?

I have always wanted to be a writer.  No matter what other career I was entertaining notions of at any given time in my life, writing was always there.  It is my coping mechanism, my escape, and my passion.  No matter if I continue to be fortunate enough to keep being published or not, writing will always be an extremely important element of my life.  I have always enjoyed reading historical fiction and writing it was a very important goal to reach.  I love bringing events and historical figures to life and endeavor to give original interpretations of them that I hope readers find captivating and entertaining.  However, I do not want to limit myself to one particular genre.   I hope to experiment with a few different styles and genres to keep challenging myself and hopefully show my readers that I can be eclectic and grow as a writer.  

What is your favorite part of the writing process?  What do you find the most difficult?

My favorite part is the escape to another world, getting lost in an era, and falling in love with my characters, whether they are of my own creation or are historical figures.  I love being hot on the trail of good, fun research (which is a double edged sword, because at times it is extremely challenging cross-referencing and trying to figure out which source is the most reliable), and discovering the paths it takes me on, which often inspires much different—and better—plot twists than what was in my original vision for the novel.  Difficult aspects of writing for me are finding the time to do it where I can focus wholly on the project, second guessing myself after publication and realizing I could have done something better, knowing all I can do is note it, learn from it, and apply that lesson to my next work.  Then of course there is the fear of it not being well-received.  During the creation phase itself there are times I get stuck on a scene, which stops the process for a time until I figure out what went wrong and how to fix it, and other times where an idea needs to be totally reworked, which can be discouraging when I’m more than half-way through a novel!  Despite those pitfalls, however, it’s a compulsion I can’t deny myself.  I may curse at my computer and lament at never finishing the work at hand (“I’ll never be able to write again!” is something my husband hears quite frequently).  But at the end of the day, there I am again, plodding away, starry eyed and wrapped up in my favorite world.  And that makes all those headaches worth it.     

What advice do you have for aspiring authors?

Never, never give up!  If you are writing expecting great financial gains you should pick a different career.  Write for the sheer love and joy of it; write because it’s your passion.  It is too difficult a career to do for any other reason than love of your characters, your story, and your readers.  Discern between a “hater” and a constructive critic—disregard the former and learn from the latter (the former will make you stronger, the latter will make you better).  Grow a thick skin and keep your mind open to learning new things—learn from your mistakes, don’t be ashamed of them, and keep plugging along.  Submit, submit, submit to every agent receptive to your genre and follow their guidelines.  Once the publication process begins, network with other authors and find a good mentor to guide you (you can of course start that before you are picked up by anyone)—that part of the ride can be rocky and it is made much easier when you have the compassionate ear of someone who knows what you are going through as it can be an isolating, at times lonely, career.  Most of all, however, always believe in yourself and your work!  

Can you tell us about your next project?

I can’t yet disclose the exact nature of my next work, but I can say it is another historical about a very fascinating person and I absolutely cannot wait to unveil her to the world. 

If you could read any book again for the first time, what would it be and why?

Probably East of Eden.  I love John Steinbeck; his writing and character development is hard to match.  The emotion he evokes is priceless.  His ironic humor mingled with the extreme poignancy of his work is a remarkable talent.  I try to read that book (and a few other favorites) every 10 years or so, because at different stages of my life I gain new perspectives from it.  So in a way, it is like reading it for the first time all over again.

What books have you currently read and enjoyed?

I have been so mired in research that I haven’t had as much time for pleasure-reading as I like.  However one work that moved me tremendously was Alan Brennert’s MOLOKA’I.  I cannot say enough about how powerful that book was, how touching and brave its heroine, and how beautiful the writing.  It really is a treasure.   I am trying to get in touch with the classics again and am reading Charles Dickens’ GREAT EXPECTATIONS after seeing the 1946 version of the movie as an adult and falling in love with it again, and my brother just lent me THE HUNGER GAMES so I’m eager to check that out as well.   That and a long, long to-read list that keep growing!

What authors have inspired you?

The aforementioned John Steinbeck, Colleen McCullough, Margaret Mitchell, and Boris Pasternak to name a few. Their diverse styles and talents never fail to awe and motivate me.   And several of my peers who are too many to mention but are all inspiring and great examples to learn from as well.  I still believe the adage that the best way to learn to write is to keep reading!  

About The Sumerton Women

Publication Date: April 24, 2012 | Kensington Publishing | 384p


Orphaned at age eight, Lady Cecily Burkhart becomes the ward of Harold Pierce, Earl of Sumerton. Lord Hal and his wife, Lady Grace, welcome sweet-natured Cecily as one of their own. With Brey, their young son, Cecily develops an easy friendship. But their daughter, Mirabella, is consumed by her religious vocation - and by her devotion to Father Alec Cahill, the family priest and tutor. As Henry VIII's obsession with Anne Boleyn leads to violent religious upheaval, Mirabella is robbed of her calling and the future Cecily dreamed of is ripped away in turn. Cecily struggles to hold together the fractured household while she and Father Alec grapple with a dangerous mutual attraction. Plagued with jealousy, Mirabella unleashes a tumultuous chain of events that threatens to destroy everyone around her, even as the kingdom is torn apart...

About D.L. Bogdan

D.L. Bogdan is an ongoing student of history, musician, and avid reader who enjoys travel, the outdoors, and time with her family and friends. She is a proud wife and mother who makes her home in central Wisconsin. She is the author of Secrets of the Tudor Court, Rivals in the Tudor Court and The Sumerton Women.
For more information on D.L. Bogdan and her novels, please visit her WEBSITE.  You can also find her on FACEBOOK and TWITTER.
Giveaway Information

- To enter, please leave a comment below and include your email address (only comments with email addresses will be entered in the giveaway).
- Giveaway is open to INTERNATIONALLY.
- +5 additional entries become a follower of Passages to the Past. If you are already a follower you will automatically receive the bonus entries. 
- +3 additional entries join the Passages to the Past FB Page.
- +3 additional entries follow me on Twitter.
- +1 additional entry each, please help spread the word by blogging, posting on sidebar, tweeting or posting this giveaway on Facebook or Google+.  You can use the SHARE buttons below.
- Giveaway ends on May 4th.



  1. Interesting post. The book sounds so interesting, and I love the cover. Noted with interest the author's comment about Moloka'i -- it is one of my favorites also.

    +5 - Google follower


  2. This book has been recommended to me!

    alibraryofourown at gmail dot com

  3. new twitter follower.

    alibraryofourown at gmail dot com

  4. New google follower with email address this time.

    alibraryofourown at gmail dot com

  5. I loved DL's Rivals in the Tudor Court. She is able to create real and believable drama that drips from the pages!
    I'd love to win. I follow you and I posted the giveaway on my sidebar.

  6. Despite popular appeal of Henry VIII times I think we often forget what a tyrant he was. How he utterly destroyed lives. This novel seems a unique microcosm of one family's suffering. I would love to win it, if I may. I am a longtime follower of your blog. Please enter me!


  7. Please include me in the giveaway... I'm a follower through GFC.
    I loved her answer about re-reading for the first time. I remember reading East of Eden for the first time...amazing!

  8. Sounds like a great story, in a deliciously dark way.

    I'm a follower.

    nanze55 at hotmail dot com

  9. Enter me please! I'd love to read more historical fiction!
    I'm a GFC follower, joined the FB page a long time ago and follow you on twitter.

  10. Sorry, forgot to include my email.
    simonastefanuca at yahoo dot com

  11. I follow on:

    I shared on:

    kaiminani at gmail dot com

  12. Ooohhhh, please enter me in the giveaway! I really enjoyed the first two Tudor Court books. Thanks so much for the awesome chance to win this book!

    Blog and FB Follower :-)

    tiger_fan_1997 AT yahoo DOT com

  13. This book looks very interesting...please enter me in the drawing : ) Thanks ! Lynda


  14. Can't wait to read this book!!

    Blog (+5) and FaceBook (+3) follower

    lafra86 at gmail dot com

  15. Thank you for the chance to win this book. I can't wait to read it.

    +5 - faithful follower (griperang)
    +3 - FB follower (Angela (Angela Newcomb) Holland)
    +3 - twitter follower (@griperang)
    +1 - shared on google + (Angela Holland)
    +1 - shared on twitter
    +1 - shared on facebook
    +1 - shared on blog (

    griperang at embarqmail dot com

  16. This book looks really good!

    +5 for GFC follower
    +3 for twitter follower (@so_many_books)
    +1 facebook follower (Denise Kunze Farmer)

  17. I'm a follower- thanks for the giveaway!

  18. Sounds great, looks great, please count me in!

    sidhekist at gmail dot com

  19. This sounds like an interesting book to read.

    I follow on Google Reader.


  20. Please enter me in the giveaway. I am a follower. Thanks!
    Rexmoy at gmail dot com

  21. TheSumertonWomen sounds like a book i would enjoy!!!!

    thank you for the giveaway!!

    +5 follower of Passages to the Past = Cyn209
    +3 joined the Passages to the Past FB Page = Cyn209
    +1 shared on FB:

    cyn209 at juno dot com

  22. Looks like a great book, I loved her first.

    I am a follower and also a follower on FB (with a different email address though, mrs dot cook @ gmail dot com)


  23. another great giveaway - and i really enjoy this author!



    blog and FB follower

  24. I would love to read THE SUMERTON WOMEN thank you. It looks amazing.

    GFC: Mary Preston

    FB: Mary Preston

    Email Subscriber:


  25. I've been hearing a lot about this one! Sounds like a good book.

    +5 blog follower
    +3 joined fb group
    +3 follow on twitter
    +1 tweeted, shared on fb and google+


  26. I've been wanting to read this one, and I'm a follower!


  27. Always enjoy a good historical novel.

  28. Please enter me for the giveaway! I liked her previous book and would love to read this one too.

    Blog follower (Elysium)
    facebook follower (Elysium Bookramblings)
    twitter follower (Elysianfield)


  29. sounds great!
    * follower *

  30. I would love to win this book


    shared on Facebook

  31. Sounds fascinating! aitmama {{at}} gmail {{tod}} com

  32. +5 additional entries follower

  33. +3 additional entries FB page

  34. +3 additional entries Twitter follower JustAnotNewBlog



  37. Please count me in!

    +5: GFC follower
    +3: Follow the Passages to the Past FB Page.
    +3: Follow on Twitter (@bookofsecrets)
    +1: FB post:

  38. I would love to read this awesome book. Thank you for the giveaway.
    :)Jeanne B. T.

  39. +5 entries
    GFC follower @Jeanne
    :) Jeanne B. T.

  40. +3 Passages to the Past Facebook follower @Jeanne Bates Tennant
    :)Jeanne B. T.

  41. +3 Twitter @momma8385
    :)Jeanne B. T.

  42. +1 - shared giveaway on twitter @momma8385 -!/momma8385/status/198250494286757889
    :)Jeanne B. T.

  43. +1 - shared on g+1 @Jeanne Bates Tennant -
    :)Jeanne B. T.

  44. The favorite part of your writing process happens to be a favorite reason for me to read. I love getting lost n a book and even different era.

    GFC: Na
    Twitter: @fieryna



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