I met Sharon Lavy several years ago and quickly came to love her and her sweet spirit. It's my great pleasure to introduce her debut novel.
Welcome, Sharon. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I don’t intentionally write myself into any of my characters. I may have when I first began writing but it doesn’t take long before they let me know that they have minds of their own.
However it was an incident from my own life that cause me to write Dreaming of a Father’s Love. Let me tell you about that.
We live in a world where many young people are searching to find themselves. But some know what they want to do with their life from a very early age. Our firstborn son was one of these people.
Ivan was one and a half years old when we moved to
Ohio and began our farming operation. By the time he was six he jogged behind his father, up and down the field. We didn't have cabs on the tractors yet and my husband wouldn't let Ivan ride on the tractor for fear he would fall and be hurt or killed. So I could often look out the kitchen window and see our small son racing behind the tractor hour after hour.
When he was nine, Ivan began to drive a tractor. His little head barely high enough to see over the steering wheel. By seventh grade he called home everyday at lunchtime.
His friends teased."Calling your girlfriend?"
"No," he'd say. "I'm calling my mom to see what Dad's doing on the farm."
We think that's pretty neat when a son wants to follow his daddy's footsteps. But what if this child was a girl? What encouragement would we give her?
Gary and I married at a young age. We knew nothing about the realities of life. Who does at this age? We grew up along with our children. One of our daughters was– well prissy– and the farm held no fascination for her. Another daughter was a real tomboy.
One day in those early years, my husband planned to go somewhere and take our son along. One of our daughters asked if she could go.
Her father said, "No, you better stay here with Mommy."
Later I asked
privately, "Why didn't you take her with you?"
"I can't help it she's a girl," was his reply.
"Do you want her to not like being a girl?" I asked.
We learned how to be parents in a day when boys did this and girls did that. Our own children taught us so much. But what if . . . and with that the story of Roberta Alexander was born.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
If quirky means unusual, I asked my Mother-in-Love to move in with us two years ago when she started falling and not able to get up by herself.
I totally understand that. My father-in-law suffered from senility, and we had him in our home for about three years before he went to be with the Lord. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I became a writer when I was first taught to use my little pencil. Writing is how I communicate best and how I make sense of my world.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I love mystery and suspense. I love lawyer books. I love reading about relationships. Maybe that is why I like Lewis L’Amour. I will read romance, but it is not normally what I pick up for pleasure. (Unless it is Romantic Suspense.)
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Good question. I rely on the Lord Jesus to keep me balanced.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
I know this sounds strange, but it is just like naming the children. It just happens.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Being a wife, mother, grandmother and greatgrandmother.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I’d be a big cat. They are graceful, they rule the roost, and they generally are not considered food.
What is your favorite food?
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
For me writing is not a problem. But when I decided I should write fiction that became a problem. I had to overcome the idea that writing fiction is not a respectable way to spend my time. The first time I attended an ACFW conference I learned that is not true. God gave me the desire to write, and anything that is a gift from God is respectable.
Tell us about the featured book.
A young woman of the1970's, Birdie Alexander’s first love is the family business: Her goal is to manage it one day. She hero worships her father, but he doesn't take her ideas seriously. He expects her to get married eventually, and as a good Christian wife he would expect her to quit her job.
In the novel, Dreaming of a Father's Love, three young women take different paths to find the father's love and respect they crave. Their personalities and the times in which they develop bring them to the edge of those expectations.
Sara Brubaker was two years old when a German Baptist couple adopted her. She has become a beautiful woman, and works as a secretary for Alexander's. Now she's torn between wanting to live in the normal world of fun and fashion, or joining the Dunkards to truly belong with her adoptive family.
Birdie Alexander thinks if she works at the family business hard enough and long enough she will gain her father's love. Can she learn a thing or two from the German Baptist secretary? Irene West is Birdie's lifelong Sunday school friend.
Irene misses having a father figure around, and is very boy crazy, which causes Birdie to struggle with the friendship and Irene to struggle with life.
How much will Berta risk to hold onto her own will and self-righteousness? Will losing her job wake her up? Losing a lifelong friend? A brother? Or will it take losing the very presence of God?
Please give us the first page of the book.The
She’d been called Birdie for so many years, that when the superintendent called on Roberta Mona Alexander to give the Valedictorian speech, she didn’t respond.
If a classmate hadn’t jabbed her and whispered, “That’s you,” Birdie might have missed the second call as well.
The following morning, as Birdie entered the conservatory that housed her father’s experimental plants, the rest of her life stretched before her. The lyrics of Helen Reddy’s song, “I Am Woman,” raced in her mind. And like a jolt of lightning, elation surged through her body.
How can readers find you on the Internet.
You can find me on facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorSharonALavy
On Twitter: https://twitter.com/OldOrderTweeterAnd at www.sharonalavy.com
Thank you, Sharon, for sharing your life and your new book with us.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Dreaming of a Father's Love: A Tale From the Ohio Valley - paperback
Dreaming of a Father's Love (A Tale from the Ohio Valley) - Kindle
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