Readers, here's another debut novelist. Welcome, Lorna. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
This first book seemed to be a purging of sorts and a surprise God-type of healing for me from an abusive father when I was younger. I remember being stunned one day sitting at the computer asking God “Why am I writing about all this horrible abuse?” I heard these words so strong in my spirit: This is My way of healing you and in turn I will use this book to heal others. So in Answering Annaveta, when I write about Annaveta’s insecurities, fears, and rejection from people, it’s all been rooted out from a murky corner inside of me.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I’ve had lots of laughable, quirky moments in my life. A few that stand out are, riding the calves on our farm with my best friend Skippy when I was 9 years old and then going to her house to sing and dance together in the kitchen to old records of the Beatles. Other weird moments include traveling with a singing group in
and singing (in the back of the van) with my friend Holly at the top of our
lungs, songs like “The Conehead song” and “Ain’t it great to be Crazy?” Most of
the group laughed at our craziness and to my surprise a few even joined in! Fun
times. Bible College
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
Since I was very young, I’ve always had an active imagination. I used to play outside in the dirt, surrounded by my animals imagining different characters and far away places. Then I started playing dress up at home and when my friends came over we would act out impromptu skits. I started reading Anne of Green Gables stories and loved them. Later in high school I sang and acted in musical theatre for awhile. However it was listening to stories my dad told of coming over to
and my own adventures of growing up as the youngest of eleven children in a
pioneering family that really drew my interest to writing. That spark was
ignited about ten years ago and at long last has resulted in Book #1 of my Russia
to Canada Trilogy.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I enjoy reading a variety of books. I love reading biographies, thrillers, suspense, Science Fiction, mystery, and of course romance. When I was younger I devoured The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew series. I love all of Jane Austen’s books and many other Historical Romance books.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Honestly some days I feel like I have more sanity than others! I teach Piano and Voice lessons, blog, write books and songs as well as take care of our four teenagers and my dear husband. So that’s one area I’ve been working on. I recently read a book that has helped me tons called, Manage Your Day-To-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind. I’ve been more productive with song/writing and writing lately because of creating in the mornings and leaving the emails until later. However, I would say the single biggest thing I do that helps me focus is my God-time every morning. It helps to lay everything at Jesus’s feet, worship Him, and ask Him what He wants me to do for the day.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
Some of the main character’s names, just came to me as I was writing. Like the name Annaveta just popped into my head. However when I researched the name Anna, I discovered that the name means gracious or gift of God’s favor. That really fit well for all the trauma she survives in her young life. However, many of the supporting characters names came from History books or a search for Russian baby names.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Other than marrying my best friend 25 years ago and being blessed with four teenagers, I would say I’m most proud of creating and producing my 1st music CD a few years ago and this year, publishing my first book. It’s an incredible feeling to hold something in your hands that you’ve spent years dreaming and working towards.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I think I would be a Cockatiel Parrot. They are birds that love to whistle and make up their own songs to sing to other birds. When I hear birds singing, I always imagine them creating their own stories that they are telling others to inspire and give hope to others.
What is your favorite food?
I’m a vegan, so some of my food groups are limited. However, when I do indulge, I love cheesecake and of course chocolate is always a big hit!
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
It took me at least five years before I started this book and when I had finally finished the first three chapters, three years later, it was like I was paralyzed. Fear of failure and believing I wasn’t a real writer, had me constantly editing, researching, and doing almost anything else to procrastinate. It wasn’t until I read Jeff Goin’s book You Are A Writer, that I had an aha moment. He said: You are a writer because you say you are. You don’t need to wait for someone else to pick you. Pick yourself. He wrote that the world needs to hear what you have to say so don’t deprive the world of what you were put on earth to do. That really spoke to me, and that’s when I started seriously writing. Even if it was only 300 words, I wrote everyday. I still do.
Tell us about the featured book.
Annaveta Travotsky, a young girl in 1913
poised at the dawn of womanhood.
In the span of a few short weeks, Annaveta finds her world turned upside down. Prevailing over trauma, tragedy, and loss, she moves on, but the guilt and rejection she carries from past abusive relationships cause her to struggle with feelings of unworthiness.
Following instructions she receives from an angel in her dream one night, she goes to the German Lutheran colony her papa considered the enemy. As she lives and works with the Wagner family, she learns of God’s love and grace.
But, because of fear, her heart holds her back from receiving the love of the man who longs to protect her. As her past catches up to her, Annaveta flees to
Petersburg, a place where she seeks safety. However,
unrest in Russia
makes the country ripe for an uprising, where terrorist groups like the Black
Hand are flourishing. In the middle of this city filled with turmoil and
rebellion, Annaveta and Alex discover a murderous plot devised by members of
the Black Hand.
When terrorists threaten their lives, she faces a choice: Hold onto the lies of her past or believe in the power of love.
Please give us the first page of the book.
Shremetev Estate, near the village of Noltava,
April 1913. Russia
ANNAVETA TOOK A DEEP BREATH of the brisk early morning air as her eyes searched heavenward. “Is someone up there?”
Her dirt-covered hand quivered as she gripped the wooden hoe tighter, looking at the gray sky for some sign from above. None was given. She let out the breath she had been holding and winced as the motion sent a rush of pain to her bruised ribs. Her eyes squeezed shut, forcing a single tear to trail down her cheek. The flash of lightning with its echoing thunder caused her emotions to erupt. She slammed the hoe as hard as she could against the weeds, attacking them with a vengeance. Maybe I have been doomed to a life of cruelty and misery. I must not be good enough. Papa has told me often enough that I’m stupid, worthless, and ugly, so why would I think that help could come from anywhere else? Maybe Mama’s God isn’t really up there listening like she believes he is.
She bent down and pulled on the deep-rooted weed that seemed stuck. She tugged with all her strength, but nothing worked. Tears pricked her eyes at the pain of the blisters that had formed on her hands, from the stubborn weeds she’d been tackling this morning.
“Here, let me help.” Pavla, her tall and much stronger friend, moved to the row Annaveta tended in the large garden. “This kind only comes out when two or more people pull on it at the same time.”
They gripped the tall, thick plant and pulled with all their might. The weed shifted. Digging their feet in the soft earth, they tugged again using their combined body weight as an anchor. Annaveta’s knees buckled, and she stumbled against Pavla, causing them to fall to the freshly dug earth, removing the cruel enemy from the soil so that their newly planted seeds could grow without hindrance. They looked at each other and laughed at being tangled up together, the sound breaking the stillness of the gloomy morning air.
Without warning, something hard struck Annaveta’s leg. She scrambled to move out of harm’s way. Tripping over her long skirt, she managed to stand to her feet. Her eyes followed the length of a sculpted wooden cane that tapped a steady rhythm on the rich garden soil. Her gaze stopped, and she stared at the pale pudgy hand that bunched white as it gripped the handle tighter. The tapping stopped.
“Look at me, you clumsy wench.” The threatening words behind her caused her to look up. She stared into the cold gray eyes of the estate overseer.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Twitter: @lornafaith https://twitter.com/lornafaith
Linked In http://linkd.in/19bMhN2
Thanks so much for having me on your blog today,Here’s where you can find Answering Annaveta on Amazon: http://amzn.to/13WQEdU
Lena. I had so much fun!
Thank you, Lorna, for sharing your life and your new book with us.
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