Sunday, May 16, 2010
My husband and I live in the beautiful Ozark Mountains with our two small dogs and two cats, where we love to fish and work in our yard.
I have been an ordained minister since August of 2007. I am called to minister to hurting women who carry the emotional scars of domestic abuse.
For as long as I can remember I have always loved to write. When I couldn't express myself verbally, one only had to hand me a pen and paper and out would flow my thoughts.
I have written poetry most of my life and now my life-long dream has come true. I have written a book.
My book, A Rose Blooms Among the Thorns, is the story of a woman's journey from domestic abuse, through healing, to forgiveness.
When did you first realize you wanted to write?
Since I was a young child I have always loved to write, of course it was a child's writing in child's words. I love writing poetry, taking emotions and feels and putting them on paper.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in writing your book(s)?
The most surprising thing I learned from writing my book was that I am an author. That has always been my dream, to write a book, to be an author. I have always wanted to be the one to take readers on adventures like some of my favorite authors had taken me.
What do you think makes a compelling story?
What makes a compelling story to me is a story that touches the heart of the reader all the way through the book. It has to grab their attention from page one and propel them all the way through to the very last page. It has to leave them wanting more, asking what next. I have read books like that and loved them.
Where did you get the idea for your story?
I got the idea for my story from my own life experiences with domestic abuse. Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior perpetrated by an intimate partner against another. It is an epidemic affecting individuals in every community, regardless of age, economic status, race, religion, nationality or educational background. Violence against women is often accompanied by emotionally abusive and controlling behavior, and thus is part of a systematic pattern of dominance and control. Domestic violence results in physical injury, psychological trauma, and sometimes death. The consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and truly last a lifetime.
What is the hardest part of writing?
The hardest part of writing for me is I can't just set down and say I'm going to write today. I have to have an idea or a thought turning, twirling, and growing inside of me that just won't let go before I can write. This is the way a poem will come to me and this is the way my book, A Rose Blooms Among the Thorns, came to me.
If you could have one wish, what would it be?
If I could have one wish, it would have to be that my book get into the hands of every woman that has ever been through any type of domestic abuse and they read it. I truly believe it will help them heal from the emotional scars left from the abuse.
What author(s) have had an impact on your writing?
I can't say that any specific author has had an impact on my writing, because I read all type of authors and genre of books. I would say the person that has had the most impact on my writing would have to be my 12th grade English teacher, Ms. Fife. She gave me great encouragement toward my writing.
What are you working on next?
I have not started another book but some idea have been going through my head for another one. I have started placing a notebook beside my bed at night because thought will wake me up at night. The ideas and thoughts are leading me toward a sequel to my first book, A Rose Blooms Among the Thorns.
Excerpts from "A Rose Blooms Among the Thorns"
LaRae's hands trembled as she slowly hung up the phone. She rose from her chair—the caller’s mysterious words still fresh in her thoughts. Gazing out her apartment window she pondered over the conversation. The familiar scenery spread out before her as the autumn colored leaves danced about in the breeze. LaRae watched as a slender woman who appeared to be in her middle twenties carefully took the hand of the young girl standing beside her. Before crossing the street below, she waited for traffic to clear and then headed for the same apartment building LaRae has lived in for the past year and three months. She recognized them as the mother and daughter who occupied the apartment below her. Though she kept her own identity concealed from others, not allowing anyone too close, she made it a point to know as much as she could about the people living around her.
Watching the mother and young child brought back memories—memories of when she first left James. Memories that left her frightened and unmistakably void of all emotions except fear. He had treated her like a small child, making her believe she didn’t even know how to cross the street by herself without written directions. In time James had totally dominated her life to the point of telling her what to do, when to do, what to wear and whom she could speak with.
She was allowed no friends and no contact with anyone outside of James.
In the beginning of the marriage he would give little excuses for why she could not visit with her family or friends. At first, her visits would always coincide with important business functions or he would claim he forgot and made dinner reservations, therefore canceling out any plans she may have had. He started demanding she be home when he called or wanted her home when he was home.
Each day he took away a little bit more of her freedom until one morning she woke up to find she had no freedom; she was a prisoner in her own home. That’s when she knew she had to escape, no matter the cost she had to get away and find her independence. She had to try and find herself.