We are excited to welcome as our guest today, best-selling author, Francine Rivers. Many people know Francine’s book, Redeeming Love, and her series such as: Lineage of Grace, Mark of the Lion, and Sons of Encouragement.
On a personal note, I was thrilled to meet Francine at her book signing in Southlake, TX, along with Babette Rea from Tyndale House Publishers. Today is also my mother’s birthday and 53rd wedding anniversary. Francine Rivers is one of her favorite authors. So it is only fitting that I say, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY Momma!” as I post this interview today 🙂
Grab a cup of your favorite beverage, sit back, and enjoy our visit with Francine Rivers!
Please see the end of this post for how you can enter to receive a FREE copy of Francine’s new book, HER MOTHER’S HOPE.
ABOUT THE BOOK
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.
CHAPTER ONE EXCERPT
STEFFISBURG, SWITZERLAND, 1901
Marta usually loved Sundays. It was the only day Papa closed the tailor shop and Mama had a rest. The family dressed in their finest clothes and walked to church, Papa and Mama ahead, Marta’s older brother, Hermann, behind them, and Marta and her younger sister, Elise, bringing up the rear. Usually other families joined them along the way. Marta would watch eagerly for her best friend, Rosie Gilgan, who’d run down the hill to join her and walk the rest of the way to the old Romanesque church with its arches mortared shut and the white clock tower.
Today, Marta hung her head, wishing she could run away and hide among the pines and alders while the townsfolk gathered for services. She could sit on her favorite fallen tree and ask God why Papa despised her so much and seemed so set on making her suffer. Today, she wouldn’t have complained if Papa had told her to stay home and work in the shop alone and not step foot outside the door for a week, though it would take longer than that for the bruises to fade.
Despite evidence of the beating he had given her, Papa insisted everyone attend services. She wore a knitted cap and kept her chin down, hoping no one would notice. It wasn’t the first time she had borne the marks of his anger. When people came close, Marta shifted the woolen scarf or turned her face away. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE
A FEW QUESTIONS FOR FRANCINE
Please tell us about your current work.
FRANCINE: 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 was released March 16, 2010. Her Daughter’s Dream will follow in September 2010. There are numerous family and personal details woven into both books and I plan to share those things on my blog.
Where did you get the idea for the plot of this book, Her Mother’s Hope, and the sequel, Her Daughter’s Dream?
FRANCINE: What caused the rift between my grandmother and mother? When my grandmother had a stroke, my mother raced from Oregon to the Central Valley of California to be with her. Grandma died before she arrived. My mother was heart-broken and said, “I think she willed herself to die just so we wouldn’t have to talk things out.” I have wondered since: What causes people (even Christians) to hold grudges? What might have brought resolution and restoration to these two women? Could my grandmother have loved my mother without my mother understanding it? The two books have many personal, family details woven in and I will be sharing this information in my blog.
Christian fiction continues to boom. What would you like to see happen in the field?
FRANCINE: 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?
FRANCINE: 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.
What advice would you give to a new writer?
FRANCINE: Write what you need to read. Write from your heart and. 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.
Are any of your novels going to be made into movies?
FRANCINE: 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 IMDB.com. 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.
ENTER THE BOOK GIVEAWAY
Please post your comment regarding HER MOTHER’S HOPE on this blog by midnight CT, Monday, April 26, 2010 to enter the random drawing for one FREE copy of this book (continental United States residents only, please).
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 KarenPower.com for more information about book promotion services.