Blessings to you!
I’ve tried to explore the tough topics, for me, of secrets that family members keep from each other, of shameful pasts, forgiveness, and hurtful love. And, hatred. What I’ve read consistently in reviews (yes, I admit to reading them because at this point of time in my hopeful writing career I’m trying to learn what works for readers, as well as doesn’t work, although I understand it’s all subjective) is that through this story readers examine the subject of hatred and how any one of us can fall prey, be duped and manipulated, into hating others if we aren’t careful to stand on the foundation of love and respect for each other. I grew up in an era of much prejudice—against many faiths, beliefs, and races—as well as started off life raised in a looked-down-upon “lower class” Brooklyn tenement neighborhood. I’ve seen a lot that in ways I wished I never saw, though I’m grateful for the lessons and to have seen what others turn their heads away from. Always With You explores the ultimate hate group (at least, in my opinion) of white supremacy with a nod against Nazism … hatred has not changed much between people from Day 1 of “mankind.”
2. Since this topic is so emotional, did you cry while writing parts of the story?
This is one of the most fascinating questions I’ve ever been asked about Always With You! Before I respond I must preface my answer by saying that I cry easy, whether at Hallmark commercials, the sight of a man carrying a toddler on his shoulders, or at a teen belting out a song. So, yes, I cried while writing and rereading this story.
**Possible spoiler alert:
I grew misty eyed at the following scenes: when Isabelle leaves her dad and grandmother, the scenes leading up to when Isabelle gives birth, and when Isabelle and Tyler hash things out at the end. Yet, what still chokes me up is the scene when Patrice is watching old videos of her daughter and Isabelle runs to her, upset about her own baby and Patrice shares with her that sometimes, no matter what you do you can’t stop your child from hurting. That chisels my heart.
3. What are three elements that always appear in your writing?
If you’re referring to writing elements/style, what I like to aim for is gripping the reader with emotion, expressing feelings with a visual (when Isabelle asks Tyler what he’s willing to sacrifice he responds not with words but by placing his hand over his heart, and symbolically linking the beginning of the novel with the ending.
And, if you’re asking about themes, in addition to faith and its power, I tend to write about the importance of family (and all the detours family can take us, for better or worse), and harmony between all people.
4. When you’re not writing, what do you like to do?
Other than a serious reading addiction (my number one addiction though, is writing!), I love to take walks. I live out in the country and as a NYC born and mostly raised gal, walking along scenic roads is a great way for me to chat with God, or if my husband comes along, to catch up on life. If time and extra pocket change allows, I love to get in a car with my husband and play tourist in a nearby Berkshire or Vermont town. I also enjoy getting together with friends for lunch and badly needed woman talk, something I don’t do enough!
5. Are you working on another story and if so, can you tell us about it?
One of the themes in Always With You deals with what happens when secrets are kept from family members. My own family has a lot of missing blanks, and along that line, missing family members. With that in mind, I’ve begun a time-slip story very loosely based upon a particular mysterious long lost relative. Let’s just say that it’s taking me to very interesting places!
About the Book
Will he enjoy his present if he can’t free himself from what he left behind?
In the heart of the Adirondacks, Isabelle lives in the shadow of a dark family secret whose silent burden strips her family of emotional warmth and faith in God. Tyler belongs to the religious sect called The Faithful, which Isabelle’s father dislikes immensely. Yet, because Tyler belongs to this group, Isabelle sees only a man devoted to his family and faith.
She wants it; she gets it; they marry.
And when the truth comes out, Isabelle faces two choices:
Staying could endanger her child.
Leaving could cost her life.”
Book Trailer: YouTube
Add to TBR pile: Goodreads