Hello Tierney James. Tell us about you. Give us a glimpse into Tierney James.
Okay, well, I once lived on a Native American Indian Reservation, in mining communities in Northern California and Missouri. I followed a friend to China to help her adopt a baby girl, as well as slept in a tent near the Kalahari Desert in Africa where elephants and hippos sometimes wandered into camp. While I was in college, I sang in a Christian band, performing twice at Great Lakes Naval Base. To this date, I cringe at the cover of the album we made so long ago.
You lived in a mining community for 25 years. Tell us something that might surprise your readers about living near lead mines.
Every day around 3:00 pm, underground charges were set for explosives. If you stood quietly you could hear the pop, pop, pop deep in the earth. There is a huge difference between mining coal and mining lead. Hard rock mining is much safer for working. You aren't dealing with dangerous methane gas like you might find in coal mines. Lead mines are huge and cavernous with a year round temperature of 65 degrees.
Did anyone in particular influence your characters when you started writing The Rescued Heart?
No. Garrett Horton and Fawn Turnbough were combinations of many wonderful people who live in this small Ozark town. Since I lived in the area, I used names that would sound familiar and be authentic to the culture. Some of the places are slices of the real thing. My town of Westfork is large and thriving town. The real Westfork you might not notice if you drove through. Rocky Fork Mine was actually named after a creek on my farm.
In a couple of sentences give just a glimpse of The Rescued Heart.
After returning home to put her life back together, Fawn finds her ruthless father is still trying to outwit her former fiancée, Garrett, the man who drove her away ten years earlier. Garrett seems bent on picking up where he left off with Fawn, the woman he could never forget, Garrett finds himself torn between her hardened heart and the mines who could kill him. Discovering a plot to destroy him and all he holds dear begins to unravel a heart that is in need of one last rescue. Trapped 1000 feet underground, with water rising, means he might never get the chance to make things right with Fawn.
How were you able to write about a mine collapsing in on itself?
Those kind of accidents have happened. It’s not that hard to research and find out about them. It actually happened to another company in the area not long after we moved to Viburnum. Fortunately nothing like that ever happened where my husband worked. Because he was a mine engineer he was able to teach me about explosives, reclaiming pillars safely and the routines of miners. He gave me geology and mining books to read, which honestly were like chewing cardboard. Ha. But I did it anyway. I also took a week long mining workshop sponsored by The Doe Run Company which taught me a great deal.
What would you like readers to know about mining?
“If it can’t be grown it has to be mined.” We were very proud of that saying. The men and women connected to the mine industry learn early on not to take life for granted nor do they worry about tomorrow. Miners are strong, smart and resilient. Mining is very important to our economy and we should support it for a free America.
Was there anything in The Rescued Heart that readers might actually visit in the Ozarks?
One of the events in the book is Old Miner’s Day. The first Saturday of October in Viburnum, Missouri celebrates mining and the people who make it possible. There are mine tours, crafts, a parade, terrific entertainment and of course, wonderful food. Check it out! Beautiful people and a great day of fun.
How can readers get in touch with you?
Coming this summer:
Thank you, Tierney James and best of luck to you on your release this summer! It's been a pleasure having you here.