INTERVIEW and GIVEAWAY
by P. R. Newton
Shattered Embrace is currently on tour with Reading Addiction Book Tours. The tour stops here today for my interview with the author and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other participating blogs as well.
Bethlehem took her first breath as her mother took her last. Left to survive in overcrowded Ethiopian orphanages, she developed survival skills rivaling a warrior - a fierce, independent fighter before she could walk or talk. As she approached her second birthday, Bethlehem lived her days guided by two rules: everyone leaves and trust no one.
A world away in Canada, Tory Witcraft is trying to adopt from Ethiopia with her husband, Matt, when her adoption agency goes bankrupt, threatening her dreams of becoming a mother. Against the advice of many, including government officials threatening to revoke the adoption, she goes to Ethiopia, and her new daughter, Bethlehem.
When they finally meet, both mother and daughter struggle to connect, each trapped by their own fears and demons. Emotions and tempers run hot. Hearts and dreams collide, shattering a family before it could fully form.
The adoption journey was difficult, but no one expected the hardest part of the journey would begin once they met.
An itty bitty little thing of a girl came running into the room. Bouncing high with each step as she flew at them and promptly threw herself into Matt’s lap. Tory’s hand clutched her face, her breath stopped in her chest as she watched Matt draw the little girl close. His body rocked as he held her, his face split into a smile of pure joy.
“Daddy!” she cried out in a squeaky voice. She grabbed Matt’s face kissing each cheek with a big, slimy, open mouth kiss.
“Bethlehem!” Matt breathed out as he hugged her and kissed the top of her head.
“Bethlehem,” Tory whispered the name, as if saying it for the first time as she took in the face of the little girl she had studied through pictures for months. Blowing up the pictures until she could examine every facet of the little girl's features. Seeing her up close, face to face, finally close enough to touch left Tory breathless. Her skin itched to touch her. With a tentative hand she stroked her back.
As an adoptive parent of a child who struggles with attachment, this story absolutely resonated for me. This could easily be my daughter. The author did a wonderful job of telling a the story in a captivating manner, keeping me constantly waiting to see what would happen next. While fictional, this story shares the heartache so many adoptive parents feel as they wait for their child. A must read for everyone!
Interview With the Author
Hi Piper, thanks for joining me today to discuss your new book, Shattered Embrace.
For what age group do you recommend your book?
Shattered Embrace is an adult contemporary fiction novel that will appeal to women readers interested in themes of motherhood and adoption.
What sparked the idea for this book?
As an adoptive mother with a background in psychology I was stunned by the lack of information both within the adoption community, and in general society, about childhood trauma. Over the years I have learned so much about adoption and childhood trauma that I wanted to write a story, but wasn’t sure how it would look. Then one day, these characters walked into my head, demanding to have their story told. I sat down and wrote the bulk of their story, now called Shattered Embrace, in about six weeks after I ‘met’ the characters.
So, which comes first? The character's story or the idea for the novel?
I wanted to write a story on the topic of childhood trauma and adoption for many years but it wasn’t until the characters introduced themselves to me that I was finally able to start writing.
What was the hardest part to write in this book?
There are a number of emotional scenes, but one of the most difficult was when Tory, the mother, questions if she can ever love her daughter.
How do you hope this book affects its readers?
I hope it takes them on a wild rollercoaster ride of emotions alongside my characters. Shattered Embrace is a heartbreaking story filled with a lot of truths and I hope readers are able to connect with that aspect. I also hope it brings about better understanding of the impact childhood trauma has on all children.
How long did it take you to write this book?
I played with the idea for about three years before I started seriously writing. Once I started writing it took about six weeks to write the bulk of the story. After that I spent almost two years editing and revising to ensure I did the topic justice.
What is your writing routine?
I have young children, both with special needs, I don’t have a routine. I write whenever I have the time around their 24/7 care.
How did you get your book published?
It was a terrifying and long process getting to the publication point. I wanted to be sure I was doing the topic justice. Thankfully I worked with an amazing editor who helped me get the story really pulled together. From that point it was really quite quick getting it out into the world.
What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
Write. And don’t stop writing. That’s the only way to be a writer.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I spend time with my family and pets.
What does your family think of your writing?
They are all very supportive. I am extremely blessed.
That's great! Please tell us a bit about your childhood.
I grew up in a very healthy, happy, stable family. In fact I did actually spend most of it in a stable. I had ponies! Nothing like growing up on the back of a horse.
Did you like reading when you were a child?
Loved it. I was, and still am, a voracious reader.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve been writing since I was a young child. It wasn’t a matter of wanting to be a writer. I wrote, so I have always been a writer.
Did your childhood experiences influence your writing?
Yes and no. My own personal childhood, as I said, was very stable and healthy, but I had friends that did not have healthy family situations and I did draw on some of my experiences with those family dynamics in my writings.
Which writers have influenced you the most?
I love contemporary writers like Neil Gaiman, Hugh Howey, and J. K. Rowling, but the greatest influences come from my childhood favorites, E. B. White, Hemingway, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Anne McCaffrey, and Tolkien.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
Yes, I love hearing from my readers! My first book was a nonfiction piece about my own life after a birth trauma left me with a permanent disability called pelvic organ prolapse. Readers often contact me to say how inspirational and helpful they find my story. It is my hope that Shattered Embrace will strike a similar chord with readers. I am already getting some beautiful emails from families that have adopted and are struggling with the effects of childhood trauma and attachment disorders. They feel so connected to the characters in Shattered Embrace and are happy to see a story highlighting some of their family truths. It is a very difficult and tough topic and it makes me happy when readers feel I have done the topic justice.
Fantastic! What can we look forward to from you in the future?
I have many projects on the go, including a middle grade fantasy series, a romance with thriller elements and more women’s fiction stories about motherhood. Demeter Press is publishing one of my women’s fiction pieces in their Motherhood – Telling Truths Anthology which will be out in just a few months.
Thank you for taking the time to visit us today, Piper. Best of luck with your future projects.
Thank you so much for having me. It’s been great stopping by!
About the Author
P. R. (Piper) Newton is a proud geek mom of two little boys, one through birth, one through adoption. She has a background in psychology and continues to take post-grad courses in childhood trauma and development. In her writings she loves to explore the human mind, putting her characters through unthinkable things, just to see how they react. She is a full-time author, who believes in the magical, creative inducing powers of arm warmers and stripy socks.
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card.