We’re blog hopping our way through some great reads. For those who aren’t familiar with a blog hop . . . it’s a lot like a treasure hunt – once you find something on one blog, you hop on over to the next blog link for more treasure. In this case, the treasure is a wealth of new and exciting books. Some are still being written, some are just being released. Either way, for fiction lovers . . . it’s a treasure and I’d like to thank Joy Williams for tagging me to participate.
In this particular post, I hope I answer 10 questions and you get to learn about one of my favorite works and how 13-year-old Leslie emerged onto the scene as the main character of her own book. And, as usual, comments and questions are always welcome!
Q & A
What is the working title of your book? Keepin’ It Real: A Young Teen Talks with God
Where did the idea come from for the book? I was a discussion facilitator for our girls’ confirmation group and the girls asked some really great questions. Questions like:
How do you know that God is real in your life?
Does God really answer our prayers?
If God is a loving and caring God, why does He allow so many bad things to happen?
What genre does your book fall under? It’s labeled Teen Fiction/Christian Living and I think that’s a pretty apt description. Leslie has just turned thirteen and is having a very bad year. Not only is she stuck in a new school where she doesn’t know anyone, but she’s also stuck in a “life group” at her church where the leader of her small discussion group asks tough questions that she can’t answer.
What is a one-sentence synopsis of your book? I think my invitation to the reader is pretty apt here: “Come along and join Leslie on her faith journey as she writes letters to God and in the process begins to find answers to some of her questions.”
Is your book self-published or represented by an agency? It’s published by CSS Publishing, a Christian publisher.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? I wrote my book during my year-long journey with breast cancer and it was one of the prime motivators that kept me going during my chronic bout with the nausea and the “blahs” from the chemotherapy.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? I haven’t really read any other books in this genre which uses the diary format in quite the way I’ve used it.
Who or What inspired you to write this book? As I mentioned earlier, the girls in my confirmation group were the inspiration for my book. They asked some great questions and I wanted Leslie to ask some of the same questions in my/her book.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? I think readers respond readily to Leslie’s honesty as she works through her frustrations, her feelings of inadequacy, and her feelings of social and personal isolation without losing her innate sense of humor.
Do you have a favorite review you would like to mention? I actually have two favorites:
“Keepin’ It Real is sassy and sensitive. It’s an honest look at a young girl’s struggles—and insights—as she faces puberty and searches for faith.” Mary Lou Carney, Christian Author
“Anyone who is (or who ever has been) 13 will identify with Leslie’s struggles to make sense of her family, her faith, her own thoughts, and the world. Through her letters to God, Leslie deals with questions as big as the very nature of God and as small as why Mom gets so bent out of shape about how the bathroom towels are folded. Sandra Humphrey has done a beautiful job of not only creating a very believable character, but more importantly, of showing young readers how inextricably faith is linked to the issues of everyday life.”
Lynn Gilliam, Editor, Pockets
Do you have a new book you would like to mention? Making Bad Stuff Good is being formally launched at the 59th Annual NAGC (National Association for Gifted Children) Convention November 15-18 in Denver, Colorado.
The book is written for tweens as nonfiction in fiction format, and the premise of the book is that how we respond to what happens to us is more important than what actually happens to us. Attitude Is Everything!
List of my tagged blog hop buds for next week. Check out their blogs next Wednesday to read about their WIPs and New Releases: