One of the fun, unexpected upsides about writing a book is meeting other authors. I don't know exactly how it works, but there is a vibrant community of writers drifting around and whenever someone joins their ranks they come of the woodwork with kind words and congratulations. I got an email from author, Maria Hoagland and told her to hop on over to my blog to tell people about what she has written and why. You can also see her interview with me on her blog, Writing, Running and Diabetes.
She wrote a book about a Mormon mother of three who is diagnosed with childhood diabetes. Nourish and Strengthen is available at Amazon and B&N. This novel, while not based on Maria's life, is inspired by events within it. Against all odds, Maria and her husband were both diagnosed with type one diabetes after they got married. (I really didn't know that could happen) Her novel, nourish and strengthen explores the way the diagnosis changes lives and goes into specific medical detail. If you are a woman dealing with the trials of diabetes or chronic illness, or know someone else who is, I think this book would help you realize that others deal with the same trials.
My favorite sentence in her book (which is set in Texas): "My eyes were drawn to a field speckled with pump jacks, huge metal athletes doing calisthenics, tucking and pulling, magically elevating crude oil from beneath the ground's surface." I just love the rhythm and image. Poetic.
Chloe Taylor has the perfect life: a model’s figure, a husband who adores her, three healthy children. So why does she feel so much less than perfect?
After losing forty pounds, Chloe Taylor is finally happy with her body. What she doesn’t realize is that she’s not the one in control.
When Chloe is called as the Primary president, she discovers that managing the highs and lows of a chronic illness may be easier than the ups and downs associated with family, friends, and church callings. Consumed by her own challenges, Chloe fails to recognize the issues her friends are facing and is in danger of losing their friendship.
As Chloe strives to develop Christ-like love for herself and those around her, she learns that outer appearances are far less important than inner peace and spiritual strength. But is she strong enough to face her most difficult trial yet?
I asked Maria a few questions:
What was your inspiration to write this book?
I decided to write the kind of book I like to read, the kind where I feel I'm talking with a friend at book club or play group. I like stories I can relate to, feelings I can empathize with, characters like friends who remind me the blessings I have in life.
What is your biggest frustration as a writer?
My biggest frustration as a writer is how very often I feel I'm on the brink of some great idea, but it feels just out of my reach. So I have to stretch and toil to make it right. It's a process, it's work, but it's so worth the effort in the end when I am pleased with the finished product.
If you had to confess one secret thing about the life a writer, what would it be?
For me, writing is a bit like playing Dr. Frankenstein. I borrow details and bits of stories from people I know, newspapers, blogs, and then twist them to fit my purposes. Though one of my acquaintances may recognize a piece of themselves in one of my characters, they can be confident that it is not a true indication of how I see them, because the secret is, it is so much more fun to write an entirely new entity.
What do you hope people take away from your story?
I hope that after closing the pages of Nourish & Strengthen, the reader feels uplifted and empowered. Though the reader may not have to deal with diabetes day in and day out, they have their own trials, difficult and unique to them--other illnesses, rocky relationships, financial pressures--but no matter what the challenge is, they can make it through. We can't always be the perfect wife, mother, friend, or Primary president, but we need to give ourselves credit for what we are doing right and extend the same courtesy to others as they work through their challenges.