Be A Part of A Book!!
So…. I have this idea.
The forthcoming book, Sing Me Home, is due out in July. At the conclusion of the previous novels, I have included an “Author Interview.” And a fellow writer has already read the book and interviewed me about it. However, doing the interview made me wonder what kinds of questions my readers would ask if they got the chance to interview me. I love my readers and care very much about what they think. So, here’s the idea. I would like to hear your questions. Since you cannot read the book yet as it is unpublished, ask me questions about its topics instead: faith and family. Send me your questions about
~ the writing process
~ any of my other works
~ questions you may have about me personally
~ Anything else!
Not only will I make every effort to answer every question but we will choose some to publish as a special Reader’s Interview segment in the forthcoming book, Sing Me Home. Plus, if your question is chosen to be part of the interview, you will receive a complimentary copy of the novel when it is released!
Conversation is the foundation to healing and the passageway to understanding. Without it, simple misunderstandings can break hearts. True conversation is a gift because it gives and receives, thus extending mutual respect to all parties of the conversation. Let’s have a conversation!
Which of my blog posts has intrigued you the most, and why? What kinds of questions did it provoke? Send me those!
Which of my past characters has affected you the most and why? What would you like to know about that character? Ask me!
Whatever question you have, nothing is out of bounds. My life is pretty much an open book and I’m not afraid of answering questions about anything that matters.
So… below is the synopsis of the new book. Read and think about its topics. Check out the some of the excerpts (such as this one, or this one, or this one or one of the many others) from the other books and think about those. Whatever comes to mind, send me a question either in the comments below, via e-mail or FaceBook. I will try to answer your questions and I will post a listing of the readers whose questions are selected to be a part of the Readers’ Interview — and winners of the free copies!!
To help you think of some, here is the synopsis from the forth coming novel (the one in which YOUR questions could be published and answered!). Enjoy!
Sing Me Home
Orphaned by a tragic act of violence, young Aria is shuffled amongst relatives before finding herself struggling to survive in a horrifyingly abusive home. The only source of comfort is music and the memory of her mother singing. When one terrifying act robs her of the ability to sing, Aria embarks on a quest for a new life. Along the way, she’ll encounter a joyful homeless man, a cowboy who works for free an others who will teach her what faith, family and song are really all about. Highlighting the Christian faith, the parables of Jesus are used to guide Aria from being a belligerent child to a thoughtful and mature adult. It is a coming of age story that asks what it will take for one girl to let go of a past riddled with abuse and tragedy in order to embrace a future of hope and promise.
What thoughts do you have?
Hi Tiffini! This is such a neat idea!! I’ve read all of your books and would love to know more about Ash. Did you know who he was when you started the book? That book changed my life. I wish I had had Ash when I was a kid.
Hi Hilary! First, thank you for commenting and especially for reading all of the books! Truly, it makes my day! “The Character” was very unique in a lot of ways. It was the first book I’d written in first person. And it was the first book I’d written without the help of an outline. I simply saw a scene in the book in my head and started writing it out. I did not know at the time who Ash was. I did not know anything about it. Frankly, I think that’s part of why the stories are so sweet to me—-because I kind of discover them as I am writing. All I know going into the books is a general plot and sometimes I am given tantalizing clues—like I might know what the last sentence of the book is before I ever get started writing (I have actually designed a book around the last sentence of it before!). I start writing and the story simply flows from then until its conclusion.
More about Ash…
Writing is sincerely a gift to me. It is a joy and something that gives me immense pleasure. When I write, nothing else seems to exist. I feel genuine peace when I am writing. It is comforting in a way nothing else is. It really is a part of who I am. And, furthermore, I truly believe writing helped save my life by literally teaching me to dream. Every day I went to bed with an incomplete book meant that I got to lay awake and dream about what was going to happen to my characters the next day. Going to bed with an incomplete story meant I got to wake up with a sense of purpose and inspiration. It taught me to hope. I didn’t really see one individual character throughout my childhood—no “special” friend in the way that Anna did. All of my characters were an Ash. I could see and hear the stories of them all—and I loved each and every one. Ash is the acknowledgment and accumulation of that because, ultimately, he is hope.
He also serves another purpose—I hope he helps readers who may be hurting know that they all have an Ash inside of them too. God has given every human being a seed that has the potential to produce hope, inspiration and peace; He’s given us all a resource, a tool, by which we are expected to harvest all of the good things He intends for us. Some people call these seeds talents—music, writing, art, sports, leadership and dozens of other specialties. I call them seeds because the only way to reap the rewards of the harvest they can produce is by attending to them—-writing every day, gaining insight from professionals, never giving up and, most of all, prayer. I hope Ash encourages all my readers to wonder about what their particular seed might be—and then to live with the intention of nourishing it until it offers them everything that writing has offered me. 🙂
Tiffini, this seems to be about letting go of the past in order to embrace a productive future. For me,this takes a conscious choice for a person. It is an act of discipline. Many live childhoods that may be difficult and even devastating. They often go on to live the life of a “victim” as adults. They never come out of the past – so to speak. It takes courage; and a true transformation and choice, for a person to decide they will create a new life in spite of the past. Laying down the past, and asking God to take over the future; then being determined to live a full and rich life. This allows one to use their experiences to “grow” them. It allows God to transform them…then finally, they can be used to minister to others. Is this your hope in these writings?
Conversations about “letting go” make me nervous because there’s a really fine line between encouraging someone who’s been through trauma to “let go and move on” and sincerely acknowledging all the myriad of ways in which that person was, and sometimes still is, hurting. It is easy to say, “that adult is living as a ‘victim'” when, really, that person just still trying to process and deal with the past. Pain is real and there is no time limit on healing. For instance, someone in Aria’s shoes may be able to live a productive, rich life after trauma… until she gets married and is expected to participate joyfully in intimacy at which time all the past truly comes back to haunt her and her daily life. So… I’m leery of saying things like, “Time will heal” or “Life goes on.” That being said, I’ve always tried to live by the motto that while I cannot necessarily control what happens TO me, I CAN control what I do ABOUT it. In my personal case, I chose to channel all the pain and hurt into surrounding myself around children who were hurting in similar ways—not to wallow in it but to try and help them. Ultimately, it ended up helping myself by giving me motivation and daily inspiration to do better and be better. It offered me hope and through volunteerism and writing, I was able to let God work. So, ultimately, I hope the writings help others see that, even though the pain never really goes completely away, it is something that can be dealt with constructively and that it does not have to be death sentence for the rest of your life. You have the choice to use it in a way that benefits others (and, thereby, ultimately, yourself as well) or you can choose to hide it and live life fearfully. Choosing to see “every day miracles” — like shapes in clouds and flying a kite — isn’t always easy but if you train yourself to do just that then God will make it come easier and easier until finally you go one full day without feeling a need to live isolated and alone.
Hope all this makes sense! 🙂