Friday, April 10, 2009
SAVE MY CHILDREN, by Emily Wierenga
Christian Mystery Writers is pleased to include the following interview with Emily Wierenga, author of SAVE MY CHILDREN. This has been one really interesting read. I have to tell you, I would not have chosen to read this book on my own, however after having read it, I am so glad that I did. Please take the short time it takes to read this story. Let it get into your heart and mind and challenge you to greater heights in Christ Jesus. Now for the interview:
CMW - Could you tell us something about yourself, your family, what you are doing now?
EW - I am an author, a journalist, a painter, a songwriter, a follower of Jesus, a wife to a math teacher, a daughter to a pastor-father and a beautiful mother who has brain cancer, a older sister to three outstanding siblings, a mentor for teenagers, an art teacher, and a soon to be mother. Currently I am freelancing, and finishing a book commissioned by a family wanting to commemorate their daughter who died of Leukemia
CMW -Wow! That's quite a mouthful, and painfully descriptive answer. When did you first come in contact with Bethany House for Children?
EW - I first came in contact with Bethany Homes for Children while editing Living Light News (www.livinglightnews.org); they were advertising, and I became interested as my husband and I were working with youth and saw this as a great solution. I ended up on the board of directors, initially with the hopes of starting a teen home. Then, they asked me if I would consider writing a book about their organization, to commemorate their 60th anniversary. I agreed. My husband and I moved to Korea for a year, but following that I worked for 6 months writing the book. I wrote it in novel-format, as I wanted to protect the children of Bethany and to make it a story which would appeal to everyone.
CMW - What do remember most about Bethany House?
EW - I remember their heart: Bethany is an integrous organization which does what it professes. It loves children because of Jesus. No ulterior motive.
CMW - SAVE MY CHILDREN seems to be all non-fiction, but you state that it is a fictionalized account. Can you tell us what is fiction and what is not? or would that spoil things?
EW - Fiction is anything which isn't pure fact. Every story is based on fact, no matter how fictionalized it is, and similarly, this book is also based on fact. I have altered the details of the story, making up conversations which never happened, creating characters which never existed (based on the children who actually attended) and imagining up a story, based on the bare bones of what actually happened. The only names I didn't change were Harvey and Elsie's, but their characters and personalities, words and actions are all invented
CMW - I'd have to say you achieved your goal to the point where it's unknown which is which, and I suppose that's a very good thing. Which is your favorite chapter in SAVE MY CHILDREN?
EW - My favourite chapter is the one about Stormie. I really felt for her character. It was entirely fictionalized, as were all the characters, but I know the Jespersens helped girls like her, and that broke my heart
CMW - Which is your least favorite chapter.
EW -I don't like the one where Elsie dies. A part of me dies in it, as well.
CMW - You did that so well, I felt as if part of me died as well. If you had Harvey die as well I may have thrown the book away. It would have been just too painful. Do you wish you could have made this a longer, more in depth book?
EW - In many ways I wish I could have taken more creative license with this, and made it longer and more in-depth. But, because Bethany could only afford to pay me for six months, and all proceeds are going towards Bethany, in order to keep my career progressing I had to move on.
CMW - Did you really know the Jespersen's? What were they like? Did they inspire you in your walk with the Lord?
EW - I have met Harvey a few times; I never met Elsie (who has long passed away). Harvey is an unforgettable character; strong of stature and faith. His heart easily melts when he talks about children past; he recalls every name of every girl and boy that were ever in his care (over 800). I obviously based the fictional character on the real him, but I had to imagine how he'd respond to every situation, and carry himself in general. He has inspired me in my prayer life; despite being 91, and living in a retirement home, Harvey spends every day praying for missionaries around the world, for the children who've passed through Bethany, as well as the future of Bethany.
CMW - You were truly blessed to know the Jespersons. I can think of some people in my own life that have altered it to God's glory in much the same way. If you could ask one thing of God for Bethany House, what would it be?
EW - If I could ask one thing of God for Bethany Homes, it would be that He'd continue to give the directors faith. Harvey inspired thousands with his George-Mueller attitude: Don't ask; pray. He would pray, and receive. Such faith is hard to pass on. I pray God might give them the strength to believe.
CMW - That's an excellet motive. I think many people either have forgotten what faith is, or simply do not have living examples in their lives. It's good that you would have more Christians become those examples. Do you plan on staying with fiction or going into non-fiction?
EW - I have written both fiction and non; I've written a fiction based on a girl who had an eating disorder, and a non-fiction memoir on my mother entitled Mum's Dance. The book I'm currently writing is a novel inspired by the story of a girl's life, entitled The Girl Who Became A Butterfly. I am open to whatever the Lord has in store.
CMW - Thank you Emily. These are some really great answers. I pray that God continues to rain down His blessings on you and your household as you continue to serve Him. It has been a real pleasure touring SAVE MY CHILDREN, and getting to know you.
You can find additional information, reviews and so forth by visiting the following sites:
Emily Wierenga, in additon to being a freelance writer, was once deeply involved in Bethany House for Children.
Learn more about Emily Wierenga by visiting her own website.
You can find informaton on purchasing her book at the following locations:
Castle Quay Books
Emily also has a links to Bethany House and Castle Quay Books on her homepage.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Marilynn Griffith is wife to a deacon, mom to a tribe and proof that God gives second chances. Her novels include Made of Honor (Steeple Hill, Jan. 2006), Pink (Revell, Feb. 2006), Jade (Revell, June 2006), and If the Shoe Fits (Revell, 2007). Her other credits include Chicken Soup for the Christian Woman’s Soul, Cup of Comfort Devotionals and her Shades of Style series (Revell, 2006). She lives in Florida with her husband and children. To book speaking engagements or just say hello, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tangerine is the third book in the Shades of Style Novels.
Fans of Pink and Jade will eat up Tangerine, the third book in the cutting-edge Shades of Style series. Jean Guerra, a designer at Garments of Praise design firm, doesn't like surprises. These days though, the unexpected meets her everywhere. Since Jean's return to the church a year ago, her God-encounters occur with increasing frequency, along with thoughts of her husband-the one she vowed to divorce and gave up on long ago. The one nobody at work knows about, not even her best friend, Lily, or her boss, Chenille. But when the designer assigned to work with Jean on a line of men's suits shows up, her heart flips. It's her husband, Nigel Salvador. Jean is finally rendered speechless. Can her bruised heart become whole enough to love again? Or will she remain in the trenches of loneliness forever?
The book link: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0800730429
Marilynn's website link: http://marilynngriffith.typepad.com/rhythmsofgrace/
THE 3RD COVENANT - a Comparison
times per month
Judge and Jury
The 3rd Covenant
The Camel Club
Web of Lies
The 12th Card
Words of Silk
Above and Beyond
No Second Chance