Hello, Whispers in Purple readers! Author Georgiana Daniels has graciously consented to answer some interview questions and share with us some insights into her life and her book, Shadows of Hope. AND ... a giveaway.
Welcome, Georgiana! We’re spotlighting your book Shadows of Hope. Please give us the back-cover story.
Thank you so much for having me on your blog today, Peggy! I’m excited to visit with you. Shadows of Hope delves into a marriage that’s disintegrating and what it looks like from three very different points of view.
Crisis pregnancy worker Marissa Moreau suspects her husband is cheating, but little does she know how close to home her husband’s infidelity hits. College student Kaitlyn Farrows is floundering after a relationship with her professor leaves her pregnant. Soon she lands a job and a support system at the local pregnancy resource center and things seem to be turning around.
But when Marissa and Kaitlyn become friends, neither one knows they share a connection—Colin, Marissa’s husband and Kaitlyn’s former professor. When their private lives collide, the two women must face the ultimate test of their faith and choose how to move forward as they live in the shadows of hope.
Oh, my! Reminds me of the line from Tale of Flodden Field by Sir Walter Scott: "O, what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive!"
What inspired you to write Shadows of Hope?
Examining the way people’s faith is affected when they face the worst thing they can imagine intrigued me. Every Christian will, at some point, be confronted by tragedy or heartbreak. The question is, will their faith be strengthened or lost?
How did you come up with this story?
Nugget of truth: I’m a slow, slow writer. I started Shadows of Hope so long ago that I don’t remember the precise spark that came to me. I do know that trying to come up with the worst situation I could fathom eventually evolved into this story. Because my marriage and family are a treasure, I can’t imagine a more heartbreaking scenario.
While I haven’t personally experienced what my main character, Marissa, does, I have experienced those emotions at other points in life. I was able to draw on betrayal and profound disappointment, and hopefully convey the full range of emotions that way.
What surprised you the most during the writing of this book?
I was surprised by how easy it was at times to write the POV of the antagonist. He’s someone I don’t identify with at all—nor would I want to—but some of the things that went through his mind just rolled off my fingers. And I was like, I can’t believe he just thought that!
For example, he doesn’t believe he’s really been unfaithful to his wife in the ways that really matter. Seriously? Dude, you’re having a baby with someone else! But there are people who will justify their bad behavior and make it everyone else’s fault. That’s real life.
What kind of research did you have to do, if any?
Some authors love research and taking little detours while they dive into different topics. I want to be one of them, but I’m not—at least not yet. Once I hit that phase, though, I have a feeling I’ll be spinning off in all kinds of directions.
This wasn’t a research-heavy book, thankfully, but there were a few bits I didn’t have a clue about, like how professors achieve tenure and how academia works in general. It wasn’t a huge part of the story, but I wanted to get it right. Also, I needed to know a bit about ultrasounds and what kind of training someone would have in order to do that type of work.
What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
My prayer is that readers will come away realizing that no matter what they’re going through, no matter how big the tragedy, they can trust God. Their faith might look differently than it did before, but that’s okay.
Through reading about a character who faces a horrible situation and comes out with a stronger faith, I hope readers will say, “I can do that too!”
God will use every trial we face to make us more like Christ if we’ll let Him.
Amen! If you had a choice, what would be your ideal writing place?
So many possibilities! I’d like to be in a cozy nook, filled with books and the smell of books, curled away with pen and paper while lightning flashes across the sky. Thunder crackles and rain beats against the window while I delve into my story.
Oh, I like the image of that. Sounds like my kind of place. I love thunderstorms.
So, what is your actual writing place like?
Well, I live in sunny Arizona and my laptop is surround by the kids’ school books. I’m pretty much praying the coffee doesn’t spill because there’s just enough space on the table to keep it next to me. How’s that for living the dream?
What ministries are you involved in … and why?
Since we just moved…none! At our last church, our family’s favorite ministry was helping out at the food center—that was an incredible blessing! Our church also contributed to Knitted Knockers, so I spent quite a bit of time knitting. After we settle in next month, I’d love to get back into the food center/feeding the hungry because that’s an area of need that keeps tugging our hearts.
What talents do you have, aside from storytelling, that is?
Knitting—I adore playing with yarn! Did you ever see the commercial where the kid is covered head-to-toe in a giant piece of knitwear because they’d just received a package from Nana? That’s probably how my family feels.
Perhaps once our two younger girls are on their own I’ll have more time to develop other talents since there are so many things I’m interested in trying.
One area where I’m not skilled: cooking. There, I said it. The secret is out!
Did you have/do you have a day job? How did it influence what, or how, you write?
I haven’t had a regular day job in 13 or so years, but I never know what tomorrow holds. Prior to homeschooling the kids, I had some great careers that I enjoyed. I was a stock broker, and before that I was in retail management. (It’s rumored I could occasionally be heard crooning out a tune over the intercom before the store opened.)
Those careers were so long ago that I’m not sure they can be said to have influenced much of my writing. But I’ll tell you this: part of being a new broker was going door-to-door to build the business. I learned a ton about how to handle rejection—a handy skill to have as a writer!
Definitely! Finally, tell us about your next project.
I wish I knew, Peggy! I have a project I’ve been working on, but I’m a bit stuck at the moment. It’s research intensive, and as I mentioned previously, that’s not my forte. It’ll be a while before another book actually hits the shelves.
The thing is, I’ve made peace with that. Maybe someday I’ll enter a season of life that allows me to shift priorities, but right now homeschooling the kids as they finish middle school/enter high school tops the list.
Thanks, Georgiana. It’s been a pleasure visiting with you.
I’ve enjoyed our visit! Thank you so much for having me here. I do hope to meet you in person one day!
Here's a little bit more from the back cover:
A story of hope in the aftermath of inconceivable betrayal and broken dreams What if. . .. . .you struggled with infertility but unknowingly befriended your husband’s pregnant mistress?
What if. . .. . .the woman you were seeing behind your wife’s back gets pregnant, threatening your job and marriage?
What if. . .. . .your boyfriend never told you he was married and you discover you’re pregnant?
Georgiana Daniels resides in the beautiful mountains of Arizona with her super-generous husband and three talented daughters. She graduated from Northern Arizona University with a bachelor's degree in public relations and now has the privilege of homeschooling by day and wrestling with the keyboard by night.
She enjoys sharing God's love through fiction and is exceedingly thankful for her own happily ever after.
About the Giveaway:
Georgiana is offering a free print copy (US Only) of Shadows of Hope to one of this blog's readers. To enter, simply leave a comment below with your name and contact information (in case you're the winner) and tell us why you'd like to win this book. You'll get a second entry if you become one of my follower (see sidebar) and mention it in your comment.
Giveaway ends one week from today, Wednesday, April 18, at Midnight CDT.
We hope to hear from you!
Georgiana, thank you so much for being my guest this week. It's been a pleasure learning about your book, and something about you, too.