Friday, March 4, 2011
Guest Author Series - Welcome Author Regina Andrews
STEPH: Tell us a little about you. Where do you live? How long have you been writing?
REGINA: Hi Stephanie, thank you for having me today on your fabulous blog! A resident of Providence, RI, now, I grew up in nearby Barrington. The Ocean State has a lot of appeal for me!
My wonderful mother read to me as far back as I can remember and I am sure that’s why I love reading so much. Loving reading, and being a natural talker, I think writing became the next logical step. It came in handy when I didn’t have an audience to tell my stories to, I could just keep going, and write everything down. That began early on, and I just never stopped. The publishing came later.
STEPH: I don't know much about "Light of the Heart." What's it about?
REGINA: “Light of the Heart” deals with the effects of a difficult childhood on the heroine, Cascade Preston, now a very successful stained-glass artist. As a child she knew her father was abusing her mother but was powerless to stop it. She was aware as a child that the town knew of the trouble in her house, yet did nothing to stop it. Her anger and resentment are so intense that she refuses to return to Sterling Lakes. However, circumstances take a turn and the project to redo the stained-glass windows in the town church becomes hers. As she is challenged to let the light of God’s love shine into her heart, she also meets the hero, Dan McQuay.
STEPH: What was the inspiration behind the story?
REGINA: That's an interesting question. I have always written pretty 'safe' Inspirationals, and I searched in my heart to hear a story that might needed to be told. Many years ago, I knew the hero and heroine of this story (in my mind) but Cascade's back story only came to me recently. I was not sure about it when I stopped and thought about the theme, it seemed so edgy...so I didn't stop, I just kept writing what was in my heart. After all, I had waited a long time for Cascade to tell me her story! I'm so glad the story incubated and now has the depth and substance her story really deserves. Sometimes, a writer has to be patient, and wait for the story to get to them. I'm not patient, at all! But I am so glad I waited!
STEPH: How important was the setting to the story?
REGINA: Oh, setting is always critical to my stories. Here, it is an absolute 'must'! Sterling Lakes, with all the problems the town has had in the past, and all the natural gifts they enjoy, typifies the dichotomy of the human experience: it's beautiful and ugly, good and evil all at the same time...just like the human soul.
STEPH: If you could cast the movie, who would you cast in the lead roles?
REGINA: OOOH! Okay, Cascade Preston: Amy Adams and Dan McQuay: Let me get back to you, Steph!!
STEPH: How long did it take you to write?
REGINA: Well, it's funny, I really ruminate...and I've been 'hatching' this one since way back when lol! The real work for me is thinking, plotting and envisioning the book. Once I sit down, it does not take too long. This was done in a few months, then delivered to a great editor who I must say really seemed to 'get it' quicker than I did, sometimes! Bless her!
STEPH: Do you have an ebook reader? If so, which one?
REGINA: Yes, I have a Kindle that I love love love!!
STEPH Do you belong to any writing groups or writing afflilations? How helpful have they been to you?
REGINA: In the past I belonged to RWA and was in the NE chap of RWA, in fact, I was the librarian for a while. I can't tell you how wonderful that was! What a great group! I am still friends with lots of the writers and count their encouragement as one reason I ever had the confidence to send my work out to publishers!
STEPH: Can you tell us a little about the state you live in?
REGINA: Shakespeare asked "What's in a name?" in Romeo and Juliette and Little Rhody is a good example of a really powerful answer to that query! Rhode Island is the smallest state in the country, but nestled into a section of ocean, mountains and forest, it has incomparable natural beauty. On top of that, we are the nucleus of several world-renowned Universities and Colleges, so our intellectual community is vibrant and ever-evolving. An outgrowth of that is the Arts community, with museums, theaters and -yay - restaurants. Plus, we are a real cultural crossroads, with folks of all nations finding their homes here and propelling the life of the entire community into ever-enriched levels of shared experiences.
STEPH: If you could visit one country, what country would be on your bucket list?
REGINA: In a heartbeat, I'd go back to Greece. I had a trip to Egypt booked for May...I will get there some day!
Thank you, Stephanie!
STEPH: Thanks for being here today, Regina! It was great to have you.