September Dawn – Author Interview with Carole Whang Schutter

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 Have you ever wondered why you were born when you were? Could you imagine being born before 1857 in the midst of an unsettled United States and warring Indians as they battled the pioneers who were crossing the country in greater numbers each year settling the country. In the midst of all that was going on with the country was the horrific Mountain Meadows Massacre. Yet, Carole Schutter finds a romantic story behind all this horror which will keep you reading to the end of the book.

Paperback Writer is pleased to introduce historical romance author Carole Whang Schutter, as she tours on her virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion.


“I didn’t choose love, it chose me.” Emily Hudson, on September 11, 1857. Based on one of America’s most horrific, historical events, this is the story of an improbable romance between two nineteen-year-olds from starkly different worlds, Jonathan, the son of a Mormon bishop and Emily, the daughter of a Christian pastor. In a beautiful, pristine valley called Mountain Meadows, surrounded by an atmosphere of fear and hatred, Jonathan, tormented by the execution of his beautiful mother by a lecherous apostle, falls in love with beautiful, spirited Emily. Ordered to spy on the wagon train by his father, Jonathan tames a wild, magnificent black stallion and wins the heart of the girl who has captured his.

The Mountain Meadow massacre was an act so atrocious it was kept shrouded in secrecy for over a hundred years. Mormons, driven by a despotic Brigham Young who thunders chilling messages of Blood Atonement from the pulpit, commit polygamy, murder, and castration in the name of God. But unforgiveness and revenge cannot stop a love so great, it refused to die, or muzzle a story so amazing, it struggled to live. In the end, this is Jonathan’s story. In the midst of the massacre, Jonathan must choose between his brother and his faith, or Emily.

As Jonathan races to save Emily, the reader is left breathless with heart-pounding anticipation as the scope and magnitude of their love amidst the searing fire and ashes of the Mountain Meadow Massacre dramatically, and unforgettably, unfolds.

Carole, Welcome to Paperback Writer; 

Will you share with us how you came up with the idea for this book?

One day, I got this idea while driving through Colorado about a girl going to the California Gold Rush. I imagined a band of Mormons, dressed as Indians, attacking the wagon train and killing almost everyone. The girl was the daughter of a pastor who fell in love with the son of a Mormon Bishop. The idea wouldn’t leave me. I researched the Internet and found the story of the Mountain Meadow Massacre. I was astounded. I felt it was supposed to be a screenplay but I didn’t know how to write a screenplay.  In God’s plan, not knowing how to write a screenplay was a technicality. Years before I became friends with Christopher and Sharon Cain. He was a movie producer/director and screenwriter. And in a flash, the dream of being a writer that I thought was dead was restored.
Do you plan your stories first with an outline or does it come to you as write it?

The stories flow out of me as if I’m just the vessel. No outlines. I usually see the beginning of a story as if it were a movie. I start writing the beginning and it just flows. I rarely know what’s going to happen next.
Do you know the end of the story at the beginning? No, never.

Do you have a process for developing your characters?

I think about the characters and why they did what they did in my story. I research the time period, what was going on at the time, what events occurred where they were which might possibly influence them. I day dream about them, the people surrounding them, the world they live in, what they wear, what they think about and why. In movies I only use a fraction of the background I create for them. I can more fully portray them in novels. I seek to understand who they are and why they became the people that they are in my book/movie.
It is said that authors write themselves into their characters. Is there any part of you in your characters and what they would be?

The romantic, agonized part of me that falls in love at first sight. The girl/woman who wants to be strong and make a difference in life without losing her femininity. The spiritual part of me that holds strong to my faith and strives to love and forgive the way Jesus did. The idealistic side of me that wants to believe people can be better than they are. And the crusader in me that wants to right past wrongs not to condemn but to allow healing to take place in order that this world we live in continually becomes better because of the people.

What is your most favorite part about this book?

Probably the end, when Jonathan’s daughter has a vision. I won’t spoil it for you, so I won’t say anymore. I saw the end of the book (not the movie) in my mind like a motion picture only I could see. Chris opted for a different end but I kept to the end I saw.
When in the process of writing your book did you begin to look for a publisher?

Yes, but when it became clear that no one could or would put out the book by the release date, my agent and my editor suggested self-publishing. My editor, Kathi Macias, was extremely supportive; she told me the story had to be told.
What struggles have you had on the road to being published?

Lots of rejections. People told me the story was too controversial.

What has been the best part about being published?

The gratitude of ex-Mormons and the descendents of both the victims and the perpetrators stand out in my mind.

What do you want readers to remember and carry with them after reading your novel?

I want them to remember that love is transforming and we can find a kind of redemption in it. The focus of my book was not to condemn but to entertain and inform the readers of a very dark and hidden part of our American history. Most of all, I want readers to carry away with them that many of the problems of the world are due to unforgiveness, hatred, misunderstanding, and fanaticism engineered by charismatic, narcissistic men who call themselves religious and political leaders. I want the reader to understand that they have a moral duty to know what they believe in and not to blindly follow anyone. In the end, we are made to be responsible for making our own decisions. That is why I said in September Dawn that every person at the Mountain Meadow Massacre was a victim, not just the people who were murdered.

Do you have plans to write another book?

I’m redoing a historical family saga I started years ago called “The Ohana,” which means family in Hawaii. It covers three generations of three immigrant families to Hawaii. A Korean family, a Japanese family, and an Irish family. It is the story of how their lives merge against the backdrop of Hawaiian history, the Great Depression, World War II and the Vietnam War. Quite a project. Maybe someday it will become a mini-series, for now it is a novel.
Would you care to share with us how the virtual book tour experience with Pump Up Your Book Promotion has been for you?

It has been really interesting. The questions I fielded were great.

Where can readers find a copy of your book?

Amazon, Authorhouse, Barnes & Noble, Borders & Walden books book stores,, other neighborhood bookstores.

Do you have a website for readers to go to?

Thank you Carole for joining us today.

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One thought on “September Dawn – Author Interview with Carole Whang Schutter”

  1. Great interview ladies. This is truly an amazing and powerful story. I’m glad Carole didn’t listen to those who told her not to write it.


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