Today I’m pleased to welcome author Brenda Baker to the blog. I hope you enjoy getting to meet Brenda and don’t forget to check out her book.
1. What made you decide to start writing?
Even as a kid, other kids would ask me to tell them a story. Then in high school and college, I wrote papers and stories and my teachers encouraged me. But many years later, a friend remarked, “You’re so articulate. You should write a book.” Something clicked that day.
2. Your novel, Surviving Haley, deals with serious topics like guilt and depression. How do you approach writing about these heavy topics and why do you believe it is so important to write about them?
My original plan for the book was to write about a girl with B.E.D., binge-eating disorder. Then I needed to give her a reason to turn to food for comfort. The answer was that her family suffered a tragic loss and Lauren feels she was responsible. Surviving Haley is not so much about the accident as it is about how Lauren struggles with her guilt and finally comes to believe she deserves a life, that what happened was not entirely her fault. Many people battle eating disorders, and while there are books on anorexia and bulimia, B.E.D. is hardly ever written about.
3. As a teacher do your students inspire your writing?
I teach preschool, but I would say the people in my life definitely inspire my writing.
4. What is one wish you have for your book?
That it would help people–those with eating disorders or those who are suffering from a loss and don’t feel they deserve a life.
5. If you could make everyone read one book and one book only by an author other than yourself, what book would it be and why?
That’s a tough one! There are so many great books. YA books are my favorites, although I’ve read everything by Jodi Picoult. The Book Thief was excellent. But I also loved the children’s book, Because of Winn Dixie.
6. What are your favorite ways to connect with readers?
Online, Facebook and Twitter.
7. What is the best advice you would give to young writers?
Never quit writing. The more you write, the more you will improve. Develop a thick skin, stay humble, keep learning, and join a good critique group–people who will point out what’s working in your writing as well as what isn’t.
About the Author:
Brenda Baker is a teacher who lives in Nebraska with her husband and a mixed husky. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, word games, swimming, traveling, and spending time with family.
About the Book:
Lauren Werthman struggles with guilt and depression. Even moving to another state and into a new home doesn’t help her overcome the life-altering aftermath of losing her sister. Memories of the tragic accident reverberate through her life as her family tries to cope, but Lauren’s life spirals out of control. Her mother criticizes her choices every day, her father continues to work later and later, and people at her new school seem to know the family secret. Lauren binge-eats, has nightmares, and doubts the existence of a God Who didn’t intervene to prevent the senseless tragedy. As Lauren’s family and friends work through the pain and guilt, will they find that even though the void will always remain, the power of forgiveness brings peace and hope and a bright future, or will Lauren forever be lost to the pain and guilt?
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