The Lady Fugitive: An Interview with Ada Brownell

Ada, thank you so much for joining me today. Tell me a bit about where you’re from.

We live Missouri now, but I’m a Colorado native and a part of me is still there. The Ozarks are especially beautiful in the spring and fall, and grass grows almost everywhere. Like Colorado, wonderful people live here. It’s the Bible Belt, but sadly the evening news is still filled with murder, mayhem, and maliciousness. We have probably two or three hundred churches here, but my burden is for youth who are being brainwashed of their faith by secularist teachers and professors.

And what a burden it is! I’m sure your journey to salvation has had an impact on such teenagers. Please tell me about it.

I met the Lord when I was 5 years old. In that day there was great excitement about the return of Jesus Christ to earth because the Jews were gathering from all over the world, and fulfilling Ezekiel’s prophecy of the Dry Bones living again–Israel became nation. One night as the pastor preached I thought I could see through the stained glass windows and Jesus was in the clouds.

I couldn’t wait until the pastor gave an altar call. I ran to the altar and accepted Jesus in my heart all by myself, weeping and asking him to forgive my sins. Joy filled me. From then on, despite wearing flower sack dresses and having holes in my shoes, from then on I had a secret. Jesus loved me and had a plan for my life.

My theology probably came from the gospel songs our church sang, a great Sunday school teacher, our pastor’s sermons, and what I heard around the house among our large family (I was the youngest of eight) who gave their lives to the Lord about the time I was born, and sang and talked about God’s grace at home as well as in church.

Wow! Your influences are multiple. As an author, I’m sure reading has also influenced you in many ways. Please tell me three of your favorite opening lines to novels. In what ways did each captivate you?

1. Bright red and orange explosions lit the dark, deep-winter evening. Grisela Cramer hugged herself to ward off the bitter chill. Her warm breath frosted the windowpane and with her fingernail she shaved a peep hole. She didn’t know what she expected to see. Maybe the Russians surging over the hill.—Daises are Forever by Liz Tolsma

2. Proposals of marriage should not cause panic. That much she knew. – Fairer than Morning by Rosslyn Elliot

3. Talking to God from an outstretched limb of a towering white oak tree had its advantages.. Next paragraph: Take those two men coming this way. — Prairie Rose by Catherine Palmer. I have read probably hundreds of historical romances, but this book tops them all. I could read it over and over again.

Where did you get the idea, as well as continued inspiration, for your novel?

The idea for The Lady Fugitive, released July 18, 2014, came from my maternal grandparents, although I never met Grandpa. In the late 19th Century, Grandpa traveled about the country with a wagon and showed one of the first Passion of the Christ moving pictures while he searched for a brother. Then his father was murdered.

Grandma sang on stage and dramatized her original poetry. She was a trained elocutionist, but an orphan who ended up with an at least potentially abusive uncle (we don’t know the details), who was a judge. She packed her suitcase and took off walking away from the large city where she lived.

Yet, my story is pure fiction about William O’Casey and Jennifer Louise Parks. Some of the things that happened to my grandparents happen to them, but they are no way accurate because I wasn’t there.

I’m always fascinated by authors who use real-life characters as their inspiration. Tell me a bit about your main characters. Who did you have the most fun creating? Why?

I like Jennifer Louise Parks’ spunk. The Lady Fugitive is determined not to spend another night under the same roof as her uncle. After he locks her in her room, she goes out the window and down the trellis. He puts her in the cellar under the house, she slips through the coal delivery slot. When she takes off on her horse, the judge and his men follow, but she outsmarts them by heading back toward the ranch, but past into a desolate area.

William a young Christian, seeks to follow Christ and be His witness, and God has helped with his temper. But when his father is murdered, he imagines revenge. He steps in to save Jenny a couple of times and keeps running into her during his travels while she’s running. He’s 23 and thinks she’s too young for him, but wonders why she’s in his mind so much and he feels like a part of himself is missing.

I had the most fun creating some of the minor characters such as the orphan, Stu, who barges into their lives needy, but so cute, especially with his humorous outbursts.

Now introduce us to your villain. Is there a flicker of good within him?

Uncle Danforth Schuster, the judge—gambler, alcoholic, womanizer, abuser of horses and people. He trains horses with a whip and takes the horse whip to Jenny’s brother, John, when he tries to interfere). The judge might have had some good in him when he offered a home to Jenny because while living with him she graduated from high school, earned her teaching certificate and becoming an elocutionist. But she grew into a woman, and that caught his lustful eye.

Then there is another villian, Grouch Anderson, whose bushy white hair stands on end. He tries to steal from Jenny, and is suspected of murdering Valerie’s husband. But Anderson is married to the sweetest woman in Yucca Blossom.

Are you planning a sequel? Please tell me a bit about it.

The sequel to The Lady Fugitive will feature John, Jenny’s brother, who takes over the peach and horse ranch but there are problems. The orchards haven’t received proper care. All the horses and animals are gone, along with expensive saddles and other horse tack. Although Polly, their black maid has been there while John wrapped up things in Minneapolis, the house has been burglarized and most of the valuable things stolen. John suspects J.T Barker, one of the judge’s men, could be involved, but he needs the man to help him restore the ranch to prosperity.

Add to that the pregnant servant girl, beside herself with fear, hiding and living in the barn; and the young widow John met at his sister’s wedding who is writing to John from Boston.

To John’s delight, Moses, Polly’s husband, is able to come home and help John run the ranch.

Will the ranch ever be restored? Will the thieves be brought to justice? Will John fall in love with one of the women?

To learn more about Ada’s characters, check out The Lady Fugitive on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.


How does a respected elocutionist become a face on a wanted poster?

Jenny Louise Parks escapes from the coal bin, and her abusive uncle offers a handsome reward for her return. Because he is a judge, he will find her or he won’t inherit her parents’ ranch.

Determination to remain free grips Jenny, especially after she meets William and there’s a hint of romance. But while peddling household goods and showing a Passion of the Christ moving picture, he discovers his father’s brutal murder.

Will Jenny avoid the bounty hunters? Can she forgive the person who turns her in? Will she find peace, joy and love?

ada brownell

Ada Brownell, a devoted Bible student, has written for Christian publications since age 15 and spent much of her life as a reporter for The Pueblo Chieftain in Colo. She also is a veteran youth Christian education teacher. After moving to Missouri in her retirement, she continues to write books, free lance for Sunday school papers, Christian magazines, write op-ed pieces for newspapers. and blogs with stick-to-your-soul encouragement. She is critique group leader of Ozarks Chapter of American Christian Writers and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.

Among her books: The Lady Fugitive, released July 18, 2014, Imagine the Future You, a youth Bible study (November 2013). Joe the Dreamer: The Castle and the Catapult, (Jan. 15, 2013); Swallowed by Life: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal, (Dec. 6, 2011); and Confessions of a Pentecostal, out of print but released in 2012 for Kindle; All the books are available in paper or for Kindle.

Imagine the Future You audiobook is available at  Free book with new Audible membership.

And for more on Ada, follow her…

on Amazon:           

…on Facebook:!/AdaBrownellWritingMinistries

…on Twitter: @adellerella

…at her blog:

…on Google

…and on Goodreads


2 thoughts on “The Lady Fugitive: An Interview with Ada Brownell

  1. Thanks for having me as your guest, Angie! Great questions. Sorry about the sloppy punctuation. I have the beginnings of macular degeneration and if the light’s not right I miss some things.

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