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/