Monday, January 3, 2011

Shawna Williams' "Orphaned Hearts"

We're happy to have Shawna K. Williams  with us today talking about her book, Orphaned Hearts.

Title: Orphaned Hearts
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing

Cover blurb: Pastor David Langley understands six-year old Caleb Holsheyer -- what it feels like to be damaged and alone. His family killed in a fire, and his body severely burned, David grew up in an orphanage, ridiculed and shunned. He couldn’t let that be Caleb’s fate.
When adoption plans fall through, David is desperate to find Caleb a new home. But in the midst of the Great Depression, most families are barely getting by. No one seems willing to take on the responsibility of an extra mouth, especially one belonging to a crippled child.
Except for Sadie Miller, the town spinster. In Sadie, David sees the answer to Caleb's needs. But Child Welfare doesn't agree, and demands other arrangements be found, or the boy be returned to the orphanage.
David and Sadie team up, determined to find a home for an orphaned child, but while searching, might they find a family instead.

1) How did this story come to you?
My granddad was an orphan. I have pondered a lot about his feelings when he became a father and finally had his own family. I've also thought a lot about other ways his experiences molded him. My grandmother worked with her dad at the orphanage's dairy, so she was also influenced by what she saw at the orphanage. One day the idea struck about an adult orphan searching for a home for an orphaned child, and how finding one might also fulfill a deep yearning within himself.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
This story had initially been a ten thousand word short story called The Orphan's Home. I started it with the intention to submit to a literary journal, but it ended up being a little long. I then decided to lengthen it a little more and submit it as a novelette. The EIC of the first press I sent it to contacted me and said she liked the characters and plot but thought it needed more romance. She asked me to revise and resubmit, which I did, only this time the acquisitions editor it ended up with had a problem with a 'lie by omission' that David does at the beginning of the story. His inaction has bad consequences, but because he is a preacher I was told that he should show a higher standard. The problem was that without this inaction in the beginning, there was no story. His reasons were motivated by a deep hurt, and the story is about his journey to resolve that. This rejection turned out to be a good thing because the next place I wanted to submit only accepted longer stories. At this point I was pretty attached to the characters and even more possibilities with the story were bouncing around in my brain, and the end result is Orphaned Hearts.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
I used to work at a radio station. My writing career started because of a vivid dream. When I was 18 I performed a dance routine on a late night talk show in Hong Kong.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I'm currently working on "The Good Fight". It's a spin-off from my first two books, "No Other" and "In All Things". It's about Roger, the district attorney of Port Delamar, as he goes after Niles Parker (Meri's evil father in the other books) for his involvement in illegal gambling establishments. Of course, there's also a romance with a new character, Ralph's sister, Pennye. If any of you guys have read In All Things you can probably guess why this is a complicated relationship. "The Good Fight" releases in November 2011.

5) Parting comments?
It hasn't been that long since I visited K. Dawn's blog, so my parting comments really haven't changed. I just want to encourage writers to write what's on their heart. Your sincerity will shine through your words, and nothing reaches deeper into the soul than a sincere heart.

6) Where can fans find you on the internet? My Website: http://shawnakwilliams.com/
My blog: http://shawnawilliams-oldsmobile.blogspot.com/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/shawnakwilliams
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Shawna-K-Williams/236629884245



27 comments:

  1. Good Interview!! I'd love to read this new book by Shawna. It sounds inviting.

    Thanks for putting my name in the hat.

    Nora St.Laurnt
    norafindinghopr (at) gmail.com

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  2. I do subscribe to your blog. I forgot to say that in the last post. Grin!

    Nora St.Laurent
    norafindinghope (at) gmail.com

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  3. I enjoyed reading about how you became interested in writing about "orphans" Sounds like a good book to read.
    :\Please place my name in the drawing:
    Annette Bosman
    dakbos@frontier.net

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  4. I guess I never thought about what orphans went through during the depression. Sounds like something I would really enjoy.

    Sandra Stiles
    skstiles612@yahoo.com

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  5. I've been reading wonderful reviews about this story, plus an excerpt that was very intriguing, and since I recently got a Kindle, I have to put my name in the hat for this drawing!

    Donna Winters
    bigwaterub [at] gmail [dot] com
    http://www.greatlakesromances.com

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  6. Sounds like my kind of fiction. I would love a chance to win!!

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  7. Great interview. This book sounds like a very intersting premise and would love to read it.

    Blessings,
    Jo
    ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

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  8. I do subscribe to the blog and would love to read the book

    Blessings,
    Jo
    ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

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  9. I would be overjoyed to win Shawna's latest book:)
    Thanks for the opportunity!
    chakasa58 at gmail dot com

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  10. I would love to win a copy of your book!

    dancealert at aol dot com

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  11. Enjoyed your interview Shawna. Looking forward to reading your new book.

    I am a subscriber

    Please add my name to this drawing. Thanks

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

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  12. hi...i love to read anything about orphans, orphanages, etc. I'd love to win this book. i do subscribe to you blog. Thanks.

    mitzi_wanham@yahoo.com

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  13. This sounds like a very emotional and moving story. I enjoyed the interview and would love to read Shawna's new book. Please add my name to the drawing. Thanks for this giveaway.

    janmarien[at]embarqmail[dot]com

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  14. This sounds interesting...the depression was a hard time for people. I would love to read this.


    alekee02[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  15. Orphans are dear to my heart. Having adopted from China, I've seen a little of what they have to endure. I would love to read your story. Thanks for the opportunity, and thanks for sharing your journey!
    -Emily

    hendrickson_emily(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  16. Sounds like an interesting book about an orphan and the family he is longing for.

    I am a subscriber. seizethebookblog(at)gmail(dot)com

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  17. That was cool about your having a dream that started you writing. I'd love to win your book. :)
    Ann_Lee_Miller@msn.com
    AnnLeeMiller.com

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  18. Thank you guys so much for your interest in my story. this story is incredibly dear to my heart. I feel as though I'm sharing a bit of my grandparents. Sadie and David aren't fictional versions of them, but they have the same love burden for children in need, and many of the details of the orphanage came from my grandparents' memories.

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  19. will love to win
    nakiassgeorge@yahoo.com

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  20. a story that sounds close to my heart for many reasons, I look forward to reading it! Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy!

    Rebecca
    RMTBatty@gmail.com

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  21. Love the idea behind this story, I'm a sap for any tough luck kid stories where love conquers in the end. Thanks for entering me.

    twinwillowsfarm at gmail dot com

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  22. would enjoy reading this novel...thanks for the chance :)

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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  23. I'm a subscriber. thanks for the chance to win

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

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  24. Shawna, looking forward to reading a spin-off from "No Other" and "In All Things". I also want to read Orphaned Hearts. I have seen what Child Wellfare does to some children, due to bad foster parents. Thank the foster parents that help the children become great adults. A Case of one child's death in NC has everyone in an uproar which is very understandable after what happen to that child. May she rest in peace.
    Thanks!
    Rebecca
    rbooth43 at yahoo dot com

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  25. This sounds like a great book! Thanks for the chance. I'm an e-mail subscriber.

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

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  26. Thank you for writing inspirational books. I wish others would join and put out family literature.

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