First up, my point of view:
Reading, for me, has always been a great love. You can travel to places I would never get to any other way, you can find humor and literally laugh out loud when no other person is around you. You can learn about history, sports, maybe science….the world is at your fingertips when you love to read!
Every now and then you may come across a book that simply grabs your heart strings and carries you along for a ride. Recovering Hope is such a book. It has happy moments, joyful celebrations, beautiful characters….and heartbreaking despair. Yes, I said despair.
Recovering Hope is a book that gives you all of these things and more…it also gives you HOPE. Hope for a future when your whole world is crashing down around you. Hope that someday, no matter what has happened, there will be light in your life again. Hope that resonates throughout your soul that there IS a God, and that He does love us.
I always say that God has a plan and a reason for everything, even if we cannot see it at the time, one day we will have something so wonderful happen in our lives and realize that we would never be in this exact moment if that crushing situation had not taken place.
Recovering Hope is that story….please read and be ready to cry….and rejoice!
Thanks for sitting down with me today, Marion! I must tell you, Recovering Hope truly knocked me off kilter, in a good way though! This is one book that really packs a lot of emotions into it, and addresses a serious issue in today’s day and age – depression. I can only imagine how many people will benefit from reading this amazing story!
Thank you for having me, Paula. It’s great to be back on your blog. It is my prayer that Recovering Hope will help to bring healing to some readers out there. Already, I’ve seen it impacting lives in a positive way, so that’s encouraging.
Can you tell our readers what first inspired you to write Hope and Tyler’s story of heartbreak and subsequent depression?
Yes. When The Potter’s House books wanted stories in the series with flawed characters in desperate need of hope, redemption, and second chances, I knew that a heroine struggling with depression was one of the stories I needed to write. Several women in my family suffer from / or have suffered from depression—some closer to home than others. So in some ways, Recovering Hope is their story.
That is amazing, and so heart felt for you to write this with them in mind! I loved reading about Hope’s vocation with Marine life, and Tyler’s underwater robots! I honestly do not think I have ever read another story with those types of careers and frankly, found it quite interesting! I can only imagine the research you must have gone through to write such details, care to tell us more about that?
How I came to choose their careers was truly interesting and I believe a God-encounter. Shortly before I started to write Recovering Hope, I visited my son and daughter-in-law in Stellenbosch, in the beautiful Western Cape (South Africa). One day we stopped by our favorite wine farm to do a chocolate and wine tasting. As we got out of the car, two women and a guy had parked just two cars up from us. Turns out it was a young woman who works with the youth in our church (some 1700 kilometres away) and another young woman who was in the youth when my son was several years ago. They’d been friends. We chatted and it turned out this young lady had moved to the Cape as she was getting married the next month, plus she was studying marine biology.
When it came to choosing careers for Hope and Tyler, I knew they had to have careers involving the ocean because Hope was from Hawaii and she and Tyler now lived in Florida beside the sea. I remembered my encounter a few weeks before, and began investigating marine biology and other oceanic careers. I decided to go with marine vet (no not the military kind…that brought up some interesting internet searches) for Hope. I wanted a different career for Tyler though. My son has been busy building a small underwater robot for a few years, and so when I saw Ocean Engineer as a career, I knew that Tyler would work with underwater robots.
Wow! I must tell you, when I first read what Tyler did, I thought of Titanic the movie…but to know your son has actually been making one, that is fantastic! I grew up watching Flipper, so I love dolphins! I even once went to Florida Keys and was able to pet a dolphin! May I ask what quirky things you learned about dolphins that took you by surprise?
Oh, some made me blush, like the whole reproduction aspect (although it was interesting and fascinating). What took me by surprise was that dolphins are very amorous creatures, mating not only for reproduction but for pleasure too—either with the opposite sex, or the same (males).
Another theory that was fascinating to read about was dolphin suicide and whether they can actually plan an intentional death. I do refer to one of those intentional deaths (actually, one of the dolphins who played Flipper) in Recovering Hope.
Yes, i was so sad when I read that part of the story, they are amazing creatures! So many writers are afraid to tackle hard hitting issues, and this must have been very difficult for you…not just the heartbreak that Hope and Tyler suffer in their loss, but the way in which they each suffer in the days ahead.
Doubt was one of the hardest things to deal with while writing Recovering Hope—would readers want to read a book about a depressed woman? It was also a very research intensive book—from depression (and how it affects both the sufferer and the one living with the sufferer) to suicide, medicines, pregnancy and births, oceanic careers, Hawaiian language and culture, and hurricanes to mention the bulk of my research. And because the subject matter hit home personally, Recovering Hope was difficult to write. But I knew it needed to be done.
I, for one am so glad you did. I know this book will be very emotional and a blessing to many people. I was impressed with so much medical knowledge you imparted in this story! Did you google all of that, or were you able to talk to medical professionals about it as well?
LOL, whenever I have a character that involves a medical issue, I take them to my doctor. Seriously, I do, but as a tag on to an appointment I have for myself. My doctor loves it, and we chat for ages about different scenarios for my character/s. I’m also fortunate that treating depression is one of my doctor’s passions.
Then of course, there was a lot of online research after my doctor’s visit.
I also have a close friend who was a midwife and has personally experienced some of what Hope had. She was a wealth of knowledge which she freely shared with me. I thank her from the bottom of my heart for being so open and honest with me so that I could write the best book possible.
Please tell her thank you from me as well for sharing. That must have been difficult for her, but will be such a blessing to others. The epilogue…honestly, had me seriously crying, to see how this couple not only comes full circle in their lives, but how what they went through can help others…in ways they never dreamed of! How amazing is it that God has truly used your ability to reach so many others in such a compelling way!
The amazing thing about the epilogue is that I had envisaged some of it quite differently. I’d planned to finish writing the book one Friday night, but the last chapter’s last scene took much longer to write. As such, I had to put off writing the epilogue to the Saturday. That night as I tried to fall asleep, the idea I used for the epilogue which gave Tyler the platform he had, drifted into my mind, and I knew why writing that epilogue had been delayed.
That is absolute GOD timing! Finally, is there anything I did not address that you would like for everyone to know about Hope and Tyler’s journey?
Yes. For those suffering from depression, there is hope. It is treatable. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. So don’t try to face this terrible illness alone. Get the help that you need.
The same goes for any difficult situation you might be going through—lean on God, and those around you who want to help.
I pray that you will be blessed through Recovering Hope.
Marion has generously offered to do an ebook GIVEAWAY of Recovering Hope to one of our amazing readers! Simply comment on this post and let us know what your dream vocation would be to enter to win! Contest will remain open for one week from today!