Welcome back, Tina. What are some of the spiritual themes you like to write about?
I like to write about grace, forgiveness and redemption. I think it is important to show how people can fall so far and God is still gracious in His dealings with us.
What other books of yours are coming out soon?
The fourth book in the Shadow Series, This Shadowed Land releases in January.
If you could spend an evening with one contemporary person (not a family member of yours), who would it be and why?
It might be fun to spend an evening talking with someone like Bill O'Reilly or Franklin Graham. But it might be interesting to sit down with the president of
Iran, Syria, or other
like countries, because sometimes I just wonder where their minds are at.
Perhaps I would choose Netanyahu of Israel to pick his brain and find out what
he sees for Israel's
future and whether he prays. But maybe in reality I would choose to sit down
with, Laura Bush, where I think I would feel comfortable and welcome and ask
her about how it felt to be a first lady especially during a time of such
turmoil in our country.
What historical person would you like to meet (besides Jesus) and why?
I would like to sit down with an early president like George Washington and Abraham Lincoln because the times they presided over in our nation were great, one with the revolutionary war, the other the Civil War, and they carried themselves with such strength through it and led the nation as well. But maybe it would be interesting to talk to Sacajawea. Finding out about her journey and her life from her own words be awesome. And the fact that my family lines met up with hers (although I'm still not quite sure how correct the link is) makes it all the more interesting to me.
How can you encourage authors who have been receiving only rejections from publishers?
I can say, oh hang in there, just keep plugging away and writing, but you know we all hear that over and over again. So let me say, write, but find the voice of your heart, the voice God gave you, and the trill of your own rhythm, give your words the freedom to flow like the very breath of you. The words and the desire to get them down are heightened. But if the time when you don't have the desire to write and it will. Then be gracious to yourself as a writer. Take some time to do another pursuit, and try to get down some words from time to time. But if you don't get as many as you want or any, don't be beat yourself up. Pray, read, and dream. The words usually start to flow again.
Tell us about the featured book.
I call Christmas in Shades of Gray my offbeat Dickens tale, or perhaps it's more on beat than not. It's Christmastime and the main character, David, is lying in a hospital, dying of cancer. He's been alone in life and doesn't want to be alone in death. He wishes his children would come to visit because he'd like to mend things with them. But he's certain he won't have the chance so he prays that God will send someone to reach his children.
He is then visited by a being who seems to know a lot about David and carries several secrets of his own. He asks, "What in your life merits God answering your prayer? And David has no answer. The visitor takes David on a trip through his life and the lives of his children looking for that one point that would compel God to answer David's prayer.
I wrote this story after the death of my father-in-law, and fashioned the main character after him. His life was colorful and he spent years running from God, telling everyone how he wasn't lost. He knew where he was going and what did he need to be saved from? But as he lay dying in his hospital bed, he wanted to get his life back in order. And just wondered how he felt when he asked and the story arose from there.
Please give us the first page of the book.
It's Christmas time, but I'm not feeling altogether festive. Given the strands of tubing attached to me and all the off sounding carols played by the machines keeping track of my body rhythms, and the packages of blood and saline tied up neatly on stands, I could be the Christmas tree. The wrong kind of Christmas tree. All I need is the Santa Express circling my bed to finish the scene.
Listen to me. Christmas is worlds away in my lonely old mind. And yet right outside my door people are celebrating. I'm not in the mood to celebrate. I'd rather talk to someone. Anyone. Someone like you.
Hello. Yes, you … I see you at the edge of my words. Will you venture into my story?
You are hesitant to move. Does the antiseptic smell of sickness hold you at bay? Or do you fear opening your heart and sharing Christmas with a stranger?
I can do nothing about the stench surrounding me, but perhaps an introduction will soothe the latter. My name is David, David Pareman, and I'm dying.
You may find that blunt, but there is no easy way to tell this truth. Nor is there much time. You see, I don't have much longer. I had hoped to live to one hundred and twenty out of pure stubbornness, but at seventy my body is riddled with cancer. The doctors have tried every procedure and pumped this feeble shell with all kinds of poison. But my body is not responding to the treatments they provide.
Perhaps my body is too old to form a defense, but the black plague of cancer is no respecter of age. It steals children away just as readily as it does the old.
My diagnosis is death.
Death. A word no one wants to hear on the best of days, but at Christmas time, when it's supposed to be joyous and happy … not at all.
It is an all-consuming word.
The doctors say the word with ease. Sometimes callously.
Maybe that's why I long to share this tale. I am resigned to my fate, resigned to the fact that the hourglass that measures my life and holds my moments is running out of sand. I know deep within me that, when the final grain of sand counting off the days of my life slips past the upper glass and slides to the pile below, this insignificant little corner of the hospital will be my tomb. And I will be gone.
Will you take a moment and listen to my story?
Listen to the last words of a soul not long for this world?
I see you on the edge of my story. Will you venture in? Or are you really there? Please be there. Someone. Anyone. It's Christmas. I don't want to be alone.
Strangely, as my body wastes away, as my thoughts falter, my room has come to life.
Do you see it?
The walls are breathing. Breathing ... In. Out. Slowly ... In. Out. It's rather astounding.
It sounds foolish even to me to say that, but out of the dim glow cast from the light above my hospital bed, I can see the walls expand and contract. Over the whirr of machines, I'm certain I can hear the hiss of an inhale, and the heavy sigh of a released breath that is not my own.
Interesting. How can readers find you on the Internet?
Facebook-- https://www.facebook.com/TinaEPinsonAuthorPinterest http://pinterest.com/tinapinson/
Thank you, Tina, for sharing this new book with us.
Readers, here’s a link to the book.
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