Stephanie Wells Mason

Romance Author

An interview with Auburn Seal, author of Roanoke Vanishing


1474866_10202744169350425_1935913923_nWhen Avery Lane sets out to discover what really happened to the 117 settlers at Roanoke for her masters thesis she gets far more than she bargained for.  For years historians have blamed their disappearance on the American Indians, but Avery is determined to prove that their vanishing was part of a treasonous plot perpetrated by the Spaniards.  But what she finds, could cost her her life.  Full of unexpected twists and turns, this exciting novel keeps you on the edge as it jumps back in time and gives you the unfolding story of the 117 settlers that left their homeland for a new beginning as well as the mystery that surrounds their disappearance.  A great read for anyone and everyone!

This past June, I had the privilege of meeting Auburn Seal during my travels.  We had tons of fun eating and talking books over fantastic Mexican fare in Vancouver, Washington.  Not only is Auburn spunky and full of life, but she’s a real go-getter, turning her dreams of becoming an author into reality by launching her first novel, Roanoke Vanishing, just two months ago.

After reading her book I was filled with questions for Auburn.  Here’s what she had to say…

Me: First, tell me a little about yourself; background, family, etc.

Auburn:  I live in Vancouver, Washington with my husband and three kids. My husband and I were married in 1998 and will celebrate our 16th anniversary in just a few months. My kids are 15, 8 and 7. I have a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State in Justice Studies. I worked in juvenile detention out of college and really loved working with the kids. I homeschool my younger kids, which is great and terrible at the same time.

Me: The main character of your novel is headstrong and moves with her instincts.  Would you say she is like you?

Auburn: That’s a good question, Stephanie. I’m definitely determined and focused on mygoals. I tend to act first and think second. I asked some of my friends what they thought and most of them said that yes, I am headstrong and yet also a peacemaker.   So, go figure.

Me: What five words would you use to describe yourself?

Auburn: Fun, silly, headstrong, alluring and passionate.  For five words, I took a poll of my writing group and they came up with a small list.  Some of the folks in my local writing group did a personality test based on the Meyers-Briggs test and some of the words that come from that description of my personality and mine is ENFP. You can see a full description of what that is here:   In a nutshell, it says that I don’t like doing laundry.

Me: After meeting you, Auburn, I think those words are perfect!    What first got you interested in writing about Roanoke.

Auburn: I first learned about the lost colony in junior high and have always loved history. In2011, after I finished my first National Novel Writing Month, I started thinking about what I wanted to write the next year and I began doing some in-depth research on prevailing theories for what had happened to the colonists. I have experienced a lotof death in my life, friends and family, and so because of that I have a particular fascination with the paranormal. I seem to mix a lot of historical and paranormal. But also, adventure and mystery. I sort of broke a bunch of rules writing Roanoke Vanishing. I crossed several genres. Makes it a little difficult to categorize it, but I suppose part of that is the rebel in me coming out.

Me: How long did you research?  What were your sources?

Auburn:I researched on and off throughout the next couple of months and just saved all the info in my Scrivener file. When I actually decided to write Roanoke Vanishing, I justpulled up all the information and started writing. I think my sub-conscious worked onthe story in the background of my life for a year!

Roanoke by Lee Miller was one of the main sources that I used for factual information as well as actual writings from John White. The internet makes it very easy to find primary sources for research. And I prefer primary to secondary whenever I can get them. (Maybe you can overlook the nerd in me that just said that out loud!)

Me: You’re obviously a fan of historical fiction.  What time periods interest you most and why?

Auburn: I LOVE historical fiction. Little House on the Prairie was probably my first lasting exposure to the genre and of course I love reading Gerald Lund. I don’t have any favorite time periods, necessarily, because I love all history, but I’m drawn to early American all the way up to the industrial revolution. I think my love of history goes hand in hand with my love of doing genealogy, which I’ve been passionate about sinceI was a teenager. Who knows which came first. The chicken or the egg, you know?

Me: Any sneak peeks at your next novel?

Auburn: I can tell you that things get worse for Avery. She will find out a little more about the Descendants,which helps satisfy her but that comes at a price. It also brings up more questions. Avery’s love life tends to be a mess and it takes some interesting twists and turns. We also meet some new characters in book two who will greatly impact Avery.

Me: Wow, thanks Auburn!  I can’t wait to read it!  Good luck!

You can find out more by visiting Auburn’s website at

You can purchase Roanoke Vanishing at




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