Monday, April 4, 2011

"Orphaned Hearts" from Shawna Williams & Clash of the Titles

Clash of The Titles


Meet Former Clash of the Titles Competitor Shawna K. Williams, guest post by Jennifer Slattery


Shawna K. Williams Shawna K. Williams is an inspirational novelist who loves telling a story through flawed characters – the only kind she can relate to. God's Grace serves as a the major theme for all of her stories, but she also likes a good dose of nostalgia, which is why many of her stories are set in rural America during the first half of the 20th Century. When not writing, Shawna spends time with her husband and three children enjoying life on their ranch. She's also an avid reader, editor, book reviewer, blogger, homeschooling mom and jewelry designer.

She competed in our most touching Christmas scene. Her wonderfully written excerpt, taken from Orphaned Hearts, brought a sense of nostalgia to our readers.

In Orphaned Hearts, 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.

Shawna, our readers loved your excerpt. Can you tell us more about the book it was taken from? Where did you get the story idea?

Orphaned Heart is my latest release. It's a wonderful little story set in Northwestern Arkansas, during 1932.

The story is about a minister, David Langley, and his search for a home for Caleb, an orphaned child with a missing arm. David is especially concerned with Caleb's situation because David knows that Caleb's disability will affect how people see him. David, who also grew up orphaned, was severely burned in the fire that killed his family. As an adult he is able to hide these scars beneath his clothes, but he always felt that his disfigurement was the reason he was never taken in by a family when he was a child. For these same reasons, he believes he'll never have one of his own as a man. So, in a way, finding a home for Caleb proves there's still hope for him.

Sadie, the town spinster, has been in love with David for years, but she doesn't think he can see past her label. Circumstances bring Caleb into her home on a temporary basis and her love for the boy blossoms, healing his pain and hers. But things become desperate when they learn of danger at the orphanage and that Caleb must soon return. David and Sadie team up, both working to find a permanent, loving home where Caleb will be safe, but while searching they discover a family instead.

The story was inspired by my grandparents. My grandfather grew up in the orphanage I based the one in the story upon. It was hard to find much information about it beyond a former address. Most of what I knew was told to me by my grandparents. My grandmother's father had been hired to work the orphanage's dairy and my grandmother helped him. That's how my grandparents met. Their memories of the orphanage had a profound impact on them and for years they took in foster children because of it.

Where and when do you like to write?

I sit on the sofa and write after everyone has gone to sleep. I'm usually up until 4 a.m. when I'm working on a new project.

What do you enjoy most about being an author?

I really love it when the characters in the story start coming to life for me. When I start a story, there's a lot I don't know about them, and as I write I learn. Most of my revision work is done on the first half of a book, because it's usually not until the second half that I have a firm grasp on my characters' personalities, and then I go back and rewrite to add depth and fix inconsistencies.

I, of course, love being able to share my work. It's the best feeling to hear someone say they were moved by a story I wrote. The best!

How does your faith play into your writing?

More like, how does it not? The moment I decided to write I knew that my stories would be Christian Fiction. It wasn't really a conscience choice though, it's just who I am. I don't think I can write a story without some kind of spiritual message. My thoughts always gravitate toward what God's purpose might be in pretty much everything and I can't turn it off, nor do I want to. When I'm writing I think about my characters, what they'd learn from their experiences in the story and how it would affect them spiritually. I often think about important lessons I've learned in my life, usually the hard way, and try to convey the small measures of wisdom God has granted me through my stories.

Thank you so much for chatting with us today. We enjoyed having you on Clash of the Titles and look forward to reading more of your work in the future.

Visit http://shawnakwilliams.com/ and http://shawnawilliams-oldsmobile.blogspot.com/  to find out more about Shawna and her writing, or connect with her on twitter and facebook: http://twitter.com/#!/shawnakwilliams

http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Shawna-K-Williams/236629884245

29 comments:

  1. I wouldn't mind reading this one, looks like a good read! Great giveaway by the way, count me in!

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  2. excited to read some more Christian fiction!! Woo!!

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  3. I like that you write about "flawed" characters and God's grace! Can't we all relate? This weekend I took my grandkids to see a local play, "One Hundred Dresses", about the effects of teasing or bullying on all involved. It was set in a small town, 1938, so we learned a bit about the history & economy of that time in America. So I would love to read your book with a setting in the 1930's and learn a bit more!

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  4. Thanks for the interview and chance to win this book, Dawn and Shawna. Love the plot! mitzi_wanham[at]yahoo[dot]com
    from arizona

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  5. Would love to win the book. Am afollower thorugh GFC and am a email subscriber.
    I posted this to my blog:
    http://dancealertreads.blogspot.com/2011/04/k-dawn-byrd-author-register-to-win.html

    dancealert at aol dot com

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  6. Sounds like a great story. Please enter me in the contest.

    ryssmiles[at]yah oo[dot]com

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  7. I've heard about this story before and it sounds like a good read. Thanks for entering me.

    twinwillowsfarm at gmail dot com

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  8. I love what you said "My thoughts always gravitate toward what God's purpose might be in pretty much everything..." Isn't that what being a Christian is all about? Keep up the great work, Girl! Ranch girls rule!

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  9. I would love to read this! Thanks for offering it!
    Blessings.....Joy
    ibjoy1953{at]yahoo[dot]com
    http://splashesofjoy.wordpress.com/

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  10. Hi Guys! Thanks for your interest. My granddad passed away eight years, but I felt like writing this brought me closer to him in many ways. None of the characters are representations of him, but I did incorporate some of his memories into the story. Just having characters in a similar circumstance to him made me ponder a lot about what he must have felt, especially when he became a father and finally did have a family of his own.

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  11. omg that story is placed in a area I know pretty well as we have ridden our motorcycle all over in that area as its a nice ride from Oklahoma. I love reading about orphans and the people who adopt them. They all have so much to overcome just to be a family and those with a disability even moreso!
    Jan Brown

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  12. Jan Brown wildabouthorses{at}atlasok[dot]com

    for post above

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  13. I'd love to win this! Sounds good :)

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  14. I enjoyed reading this interview and love your comment about why you write Christian fiction and it being 'just who you are'. That really resonates with me and why I do the things I do also--it's just who I am. I love reading and reviewing Christian fiction and would love to win a copy of ORPHANED HEARTS. The plot sounds really, really good! christianbookreviewer (at) gmail (dot) com

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  15. This is another "must read" for me! I haven't read anything by Shawna yet and this book sounds like a great one to begin with!!! margie at mijares dot net

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  16. We will love to win.

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  17. I loved that Shawna talked about the main theme of her writing being about grace because that is the main theme of my life- God's grace.

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  18. i'm very interested in reading this novel...thanks for the opportunity :)

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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  19. I throughly enjoyed reading NO OTHER by Shawna Williams and would love to read ORPHANED HEARTS.
    Thanks!
    Rebecca
    rbooth43(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  20. I haven't read any of Shawna's books, but would love to be entered for this one.

    homesteading[at]charter[dot]net

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  21. I loved this interview...labels! Would love to read this!


    alekee02[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  22. This sounds like quite a interesting book and one that I would love to read. Please enter me in the giveaway.

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

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  23. Thanks for the opportunity to win! This sounds like an excellent read :)

    stephanloves2write at gmail dot com

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  24. You guys are great! Thanks for all the kind comments.

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  25. Thanks Shawna for the great interview. I love your books....and this one sounds wonderful
    Blessings.....Joy
    ibjoy1953{at]yahoo[dot]com

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  26. please enter me thanks

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

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  27. This sounds like a wonderful book! Thanks for the chance!

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

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  28. Oops! I forgot to include that I'm an email subscriber.

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

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  29. I also write out of nostalgia. As I recal past events in my life, and realize how God has woven all these events into making me who I am today, the words flow. Everyone has a story and some are meant to put it into written words. I would love to read these books and read how others write how God is weaving Himself in and out of their lives.

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