Monday, April 12, 2010

My Mother's Hope & Interview Questions with Francine Rivers

I'm thrilled to share this new book and accompanying interview questions from Francine Rivers. I've enjoyed her work and felt encouraged in my own writing because of studying hers. I hope you will also enjoy what you learn today :-)

Her Mother's Hope by Francine Rivers-- Summary:
The first part of an unforgettable epic family saga about the sacrifices every mother makes for her daughter and the very nature of unconditional love. On the eve of the First World War, fiery Marta Schneider leaves Switzerland and her difficult childhood behind, determined to find a new life on her own terms. Barely out of her teens, Marta is haunted by a devastating loss that fuels her ambition to one day own a hotel. From the cramped quarters of a French housekeeping school to the portrait-lined halls of a stately English manor, Marta becomes a hard working domestic who has little time to dwell on what might have been.  Instead, she draws her strength from what could be. Then, Marta meets Niclas Waltert, a man just as determined as she to forge a better life in a new place. Niclas captures her heart and together they endure the harshness of life as tenant farmers on the vast prairies of Winnipeg, Canada, before following the promise of the American dream and migrating to the agriculturally rich Central Valley of California.  Marriage and motherhood bring both joy and heartbreak, as Marta must surrender her long-held ambitions for the sake of her husband and children, including her daughter, Hildemara, upon whose shoulders her own hopes now squarely rest. Only the strong survive and Marta is determined to raise a daughter as strong as she.  But as Hildie reaches young womanhood and another war is fast approaching, those hopes become too heavy a burden for Hildie to bear. Born with a heart to serve others, Hildie pursues her calling as a nurse, something Marta can’t understand. Marta’s years of hardnosed parenting have left Hildie still hungry for her mother’s love…and now for her mother’s respect. Amid the drama of WWII, Hildie falls in love and begins a family of her own. She wants her daughter, Carolyn, never to doubt her love—but the challenges of life conspire against her vow and the only person who can come to her aid is the person she remains so desperate to please: Marta, her mother. With hallmark touches of brilliant prose and gripping characterizations, Her Mother’s Hope is a rich, moving epic about faith and dreams, heartache and disappointment, and ultimately the resilience and tenacity of love.

Christian fiction continues to boom.  What would you like to see happen in the field?
I want to see Christian fiction speak to the hard and real issues that tear people’s lives apart.  We need writers who are willing to ask the hard questions and go through the soul-searching and agonizing to find answers – and present these stories with skill that surpasses the general market.  Some of the greatest works or art and literature were rendered by Christians.  I believe God is at work in these areas now.   I would also love to see more Christian stories make it to the big screen and into the world of television, and to have the Christian worldview presented fairly.  Much of what comes out of “Hollywood” appeals to the basest side of mankind and crushes the spirit.   Right now, with war and a failing economy, people are hungry for stories that inspire them, lift them and give them hope.  People need to know there are solutions and we can have peace and an abundant life -- even in the midst of trials.

What is your goal or mission as a Christian writer?
I want to whet the appetite for the real thing:  the Bible and a personal relationship with Jesus.  I try to weave Scripture throughout the story so people receive the Word and see what it might mean in their lives – how the Lord is present and real and passionately interested in each of us.  He is not an idea.  He is real, all-powerful, all-knowing, the embodiment of love, deeply involved in our existence, and He created each of us for a purpose.
Are any of your novels going to be made into movies?
The Last Sin Eater was produced and directed by Michael Landon, Jr. and Brian Bird (They did an outstanding job.)  The movie was released in theaters in 2007 and is now available on DVD. You can see the trailer on  Rick and I were invited to visit the set during filming in the mountains north of Salt Lake City.   We had a great time and there are pictures of our trip in the movie-edition of the novel. A film based on Redeeming Love is currently in development with Abba Productions/ Christy Lee Taylor.  She has partnered with producer Ralph Winter and they are trying to pull together funding to get the project off the ground.

Tell us about your current work. 
I have just completed the second in a set of two books about mother-daughter relationship over four generations.  This was intended to be one long novel dealing with the different ways generations have lived out their faith – but became so long it needed to be divided.  Her Mother’s Hope will be released March 16, 2010.  Her Daughter’s Dream will follow in September.  There are numerous family and personal details woven into both books and I plan to share those things on my blog.
What advice would you give to a new writer?
Write what you need to read.  Write from your heart.  Write truth.  Sometimes it hurts to peel away the layers of self-deception and see ourselves in the mirror, but it will also draw us closer to Jesus.  And your work may minister to others struggling with the same issues.  Read the Bible every day so that it will flow naturally into the story.  Study the Bible from beginning to end.  It is the most exciting reading in the world. It is also alive – and will help you recognize when you are entering into sin and need to realign yourself with the Lord.  Keep your focus on Jesus.

Tell us about your family life?
Rick and I met in the fifth grade.  We were good friends through school, and graduated together in 1965.  I went away to college and he joined the Marine Corps.  When the hometown newspaper carried the story of my brother’s capture in Hue during the Tet Offensive, Rick wrote to me from Vietnam and we began to correspond.  We married a year after he returned from Vietnam (1969).  We have three children and five grandchildren.   (Note:  My brother was seriously wounded, escaped from his captors when the Marines entered Hue, and is alive, well, happily married with two grown children and living the blissful retired life in the woods of Northern California.)

PLEASE NOTE: A complimentary copy of this book was provided to the me as a blog tour host by Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for posting this interview on my blog. Please visit Christian Speaker Services at for more information about blog tour management services.
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