Welcome to our blog, Sara DuBose, the author of A Promise for Tomorrow.
If you see me in my characters don’t be too surprised. It’s hard to hide a lifetime somewhere between a dash or a semicolon. Supposedly, we know ourselves best of all so, whether I realize it or not, my worldview and attitudes are bound to show up in my stories.
Frankly, I like to think of myself as an amateur psychologist, a people watcher. I like to eavesdrop on conversations. Expression, mannerism and voice inflections are all important. I also find myself weighing motives, predicting reactions and speculating regarding the outcomes.
My characters are composites of people I know. A pessimistic acquaintance may take up a frustrated sigh from a busy department store clerk A bossy neighbor inherits the raised eyebrow or staccato speech of an overworked teacher.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
When I shared this question with my husband he said, “The quirkiest thing you’ve ever done is to marry me.”
We laughed but, in reality, my husband is the best thing to ever happen to me. He is the quirky one. I’ll give one example. After our first child was born I had an unexpected, and extended, hospital stay. To add some levity to the situation, Bill put my beloved cat in a laundry bag and sneaked up the back stairs to my floor. Soon Aras (my name spelled backwards) lay perched on my stomach emitting a soft purr.
Minutes later, a nurse walked in and erupted. “You can’t have a cat in here.”
My husband simply put his long index finger to his lips and gave her his best smile. To our surprise, she slowly returned the smile, said, “oh,” turned and left.
That man really sounds like a keeper to me. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
My seventh grade teacher told me I was a writer so I believed her. Never underestimate the power of a teacher! Mrs. English (yes, the name is correct) also told me I’d need to work on my grammar and punctuation and she was right there, too. I also remember an essay assignment from Mrs. English. My subject: Determination. Eventually, her encouragement and my determination paid off.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I enjoy theology and fiction but not at the same time. Theology teaches us about God, and fiction can open wide doors into the study of human behavior.
What other books have you written, whether published or not.
My first book, Conquering Anxiety, is a devotional Bible study written on assignment for my denomination, the Presbyterian Church in America. Since then I’ve written four novels. The first three, Where Hearts Live, Where Love Grows and Where Memories Linger form a trilogy. This fourth novel addresses a new theme and is called A Promise for Tomorrow.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run, world?
When I first wake up I thank God for His protection during the night and then I commit the new day to Him. My best intention is to then have a quiet time but, I confess, the “to do” list often jumps in and, before I know it, stress takes it toll. When this happen it’s like my car. If I don’t give my Honda proper maintenance it needs repair. The same is true for this ole believer’s soul.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
Sometimes a name comes right away. It just fits. On other occasions I need time to get to know the person before selecting an appropriate name. One thing is for sure. When the character is likeable and optimistic he or she is baptized with a name I admire. Naturally, the opposite is true for unsavory individuals. Of course, there are limits. I wouldn’t name a villain Derange Satana.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
No single event or recognition on my end. My greatest discovery, however, is the surprise and wonder of God’s forgiveness and grace to this sinner.
And we spend a lifetime learning the depths of those two things, don't we? If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I love animals so I must choose two. Right now my dog is going through a serious health problem with almost daily trips to the vet for injections and treatments. Through it all, and with her limited understanding of what is going on, she is demonstrating tremendous trust in me and seems to know we are doing all we can to help her survive.
My second choice would be a lamb because even a cursory reading of Scripture explains why He calls us sheep.
What is your favorite food?
I’m a southern girl so I like fried chicken and potato salad. In fact, I enjoy any southern meal, even turnip greens and cornbread.
I often serve turnip greens and cornbread in our home. I've even worked out my own recipe for cornbread. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
It took me awhile to grasp the importance of structure in a novel. It’s still not easy, but I find it challenging. And, as I have already alluded, I still struggle a bit with the mechanics of grammar and usage. However, I think all writers can benefit from a good line edit.
Oh yes, editors are our friends. They make our books shine. What advice would you give to an author just starting out?
For the beginning writer, I would say start small. Try a 250-500 word filler or a brief piece for the local newspaper. If this proves interesting, consider taking a class with a university, a correspondence course, or a study online. I’ve taken courses with the Christian Writers Institute and Writer’s Digest School.
What would you like to tell us about the featured book?
A Promise for Tomorrow is a 50’s journey with a little girl who longs for adventure but soon finds herself in a life-threatening situation. What seems like a harmless trespass on Mr. Boyd’s property turns into a grip around her waist, a knife to her throat and Boyd’s breath, a smell like spoiled cabbage laced with tobacco and licorice.
Soon Flea unearths secrets regarding other Sugar Hill residents. She discovers the mystery behind Boyd’s locked upstairs room and, eventually, places herself in danger to rescue someone else.
Throughout the story I want readers to realize that nothing is beyond hope. Broken lives can be redeemed.
Sounds like a wonderful read. How can readers find you on the Internet?
I invite readers to visit my website: www.saradubose.com. Here they can read more about the novels and contact me with any questions concerning speaking engagements or workshops for writers.
Thank you, Sara, for spending this time with us.
Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of her book. Then go check out her web site.