Sunday, August 9, 2015

Character Interview with Mary Hamilton and Claire Thompson, w/Giveaway*

Sorry, folks, this giveway has ended, but DO emjoy the post.

Whispers in Purple is delighted to be hosting Author Mary Hamilton and her book SEE NO EVIL,

and an interview with one of the characters in the book.

So please join us as Mary delves into the inner workings of

what makes Claire Thompson tick.

~ ~

SeeNoEvilFrontDropCrop copy

Book Title: See No Evil, Rustic Knoll Bible Camp Book 3

Author: Mary Hamilton

Publisher: HopeSprings Books

Release Date: May, 2015

Genre: YA

Book Overview:  Steven Miller guards a dark secret.
Dad drilled into Steven that blindness should never be used as an excuse. So when Steven finds an old triathlon medallion among Dad's belongings, he's inspired to follow in his footsteps. Maybe it'll quiet the guilt he's carried since Dad's death three years ago.
While Steven continues his triathlon training during his final summer at camp, a serious illness keeps Rustic Knoll's beloved Nurse Willie from managing her clinic. When Steven teams up with his friend Claire to encourage Willie's recovery, his feelings for Claire grow beyond friendship.
But his buddy, Dillon, has started down a dangerous path that Steven knows all too well. Can he keep his friend from falling into that sin without exposing his own past?

~ ~

We’re now talking with Claire Thompson

You’ve played a supporting role in all three of the Rustic Knoll Bible Camp books. Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m from Milwaukee, WI and I live with my mom, dad and younger brother, Seth. He and I get along pretty well most of the time. I’ll be a senior in high school this fall, so I’ll be applying to a couple of the state universities. Right now, I’m planning to major in education, but that could change. I’ve also thought of kinesiology or something like that since I like being active.

You’ve been coming to camp along with Steven for many years. And even though you only see each other one week out of the year, the two of you seem to have a lasting friendship. What has kept your friendship so strong when you only see each other one week out of every year?

I like Steven because I can be real with him. By that, I mean I can say just about anything to him and not worry that he’ll take it the wrong way or think less of me. I don’t have to pretend around him, because even though he can’t see, he’s very perceptive. It’s almost like he can feel my mood without me even saying anything. We’ve had some really good talks because we both accept each other for who we are. Besides that, I’ve always thought he’s kind of cute!

In the Rustic Knoll books, we see the spiritual struggles and growth of Brady, Taylor and Steven, but we never really see your faith. What can you tell us about your faith walk, and maybe something you struggle with?

My parents taught me from a young age about God and the Bible and Jesus. I don’t really remember ever not believing in God. But I’d say my biggest struggle is knowing He’s involved in every part of my life. Sometimes, like when I heard that Steven’s dad died, it’s hard to think that God would let that happen if He honestly loves us. It’s easy to think He doesn’t care, or maybe that He’s punishing us for something we did in the past. My emotions want me to think that’s true, but it’s not. He feels every hurt we do, and wants to comfort us if we’ll run to Him rather than blaming Him and running from Him.

Besides your friendship with Steven throughout the series, we also see your kindness to Brady in Hear No Evil and your willingness to look deeper into Taylor’s personality in Speak No Evil. What attracted you to those two very different personalities?

When Steven first introduced us, I thought Brady looked like a lost puppy. His eyes had sort of a scared look in them. I didn’t know all that had happened with his mom rejecting him, but he obviously needed someone on his side. I guess in a way, he reminded me of my little brother. Maybe that’s why I accepted him so easily.

Taylor was a different story. I really did not like him at all. It was only through getting to know his sister, Marissa, that I started to see him in a different way. I realized that outer toughness and bullying was just covering up a lot of stuff going on inside.

In See No Evil, we see some conflict between you and Steven for the first time. How did that affect you?

Like I said before, I’ve always felt free to tell Steven anything. I’d watched his dad challenge him to do things he didn’t really want to do, and that was good as far as making him independent. But sometimes, especially after his dad died, it seemed like Steven would try things just to prove he was as capable as the rest of us who can see. He didn’t like it when I questioned that, and tried to persuade him not to do the triathlon. It really hurt when he got mad at me and walked away. We’d never had a fight before, so I didn’t know how this would turn out. But looking back, I can see that our foundation of friendship held us together and helped us forgive each other in the end.

What’s your favorite memory from all the years you’ve come to camp?

That’s a hard question! My first thought is Zeke’s chapel talks where he drew pictures to go with his lesson. It wouldn’t be Rustic Knoll without that, or without Janie’s cooking or Nurse Willie’s hat with the fishing lures all over it. But I guess the memory that will always be my favorite is when Steven and I first started going together. I wanted a picture of him to take home with me, but since he can’t see, he asked if he could touch my face as his way of remembering me. It felt so weird sitting on that log at the campfire site with his fingers moving all over my forehead, eyes, nose, mouth, cheeks and chin. But it was so tender that when he finished, it felt like he’d kissed me.

One last question: I’m going to jump a few years ahead now. Were you surprised when Steven proposed?

(blushing) Yes! I totally was not expecting that. And how cool that he chose that campfire site to propose. He’s the best!

~ ~

Alt. headshot Mary L. Hamilton grew up at a youth camp in southern Wisconsin, much like the setting for her Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series. While raising her own three children, she was active in her church’s youth ministry, including serving as a camp counselor for a week. Once was enough.

Mary is a graduate of Long Ridge Writer’s Group and a member of ACFW. Her writing has won recognition in both the Genesis and Selah contests.

When not writing, Mary enjoys knitting, reading and being outdoors. She and her husband make their home in Texas.

Where can we buy this book and the others in this series?

Connect with Mary:

~ ~

Peg here:
Thanks, Mary, for being with us today, and for giving us an inside glimpse of Claire. I like her name, by the way. Maybe that’s because Claire is my middle name. Smile

I loved Bible Camp when I was a child, and for two years in my late teens, I was a camp counselor. Loved that, too.

*GIVEAWAY: What about you, readers? Did you go to a Bible Camp, or any summer camp, as children or teens? Why not share some of your favorite memories? Mary, Claire, and I would love to hear about them. All commenters, whether you share a camp experience or not, will have their names entered in a random drawying to win a copy of See No Evil. Sorry, open to the Lower 48 US only. Ends Monday, Aug 17, at Midnight Central Time. Winner will be notified via email on Tuesday. Note: I require a minimum of 5 (five) entries in order to hold a fair drawing.

C’mon, don't miss a chance to win: join the conversation. 


  1. Although I haven't read any of Mary's books, I would love to win this one for my granddaughter. I, too, "fell in love" for the first time at church camp. We didn't see each other for a full year, but we kept up our "romance" the next year at camp. But, my funny (sort of) story is that I was pretty chubby before I went to camp the first time. I hated the camp food, so ate barely enough to survive. When my parents came to pick me up they drove right past me. They didn't recognize the slim girl I had become!
    Bonnie Engstrom

  2. Bonnie, I love to hear of summer camp romances. My brother met the girl who would become his wife when she worked as a counselor at our camp. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  3. Oh, that's funny, Bonnie. Thanks for stopping by.