Monday, April 20, 2015

Author Interview: Shirley Krayden author of Throwaway Wife

Shirley Krayden, author of Throwaway Wife, stopped by for an interview.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Like Sarah in my book Throwaway Wife, I am a single mother and I used my experiences to flesh out her story. I have two wonderful children who are creative and supportive of my writing. They are always happy to proofread and offer suggestions and encouragement. They both love to write too.

I am an identical twin, and my twin also loves to write and be creative. When we were little some people found it hard to tell us apart. I was confused by that because I could ALWAYS tell us apart. We are very similar and yet very different people. Having a twin is a lot of fun, and I am planning on writing a future book that follows the adventures of a pair of identical twins.

I started Throwaway Wife years ago and had written about a third of the book when my computer unexpectedly crashed. I had not made a back-up copy of the story and the computer techs could not retrieve my story. I was devastated and shelved the book for a number of years, too discouraged to even try again; but the story would not die. Finally I could not keep the story inside any longer and I tried again. To my surprise, the new version was a huge improvement over the original as I changed the story and the characters.

What do you do when you're not writing?

I work as an occasional teacher teaching grades Kindergarten to eight, but for fun I paint landscapes, listen to music, read and walk in the woods. I also spend a lot of time restoring my house, and learning how to do all kinds of home repairs. As a single parent, my children also keep me busy and bring a lot of joy to my life. My sister and I have a lawn sign business where we rent out tacky signs for Birthdays and other occasions, so I have a fondness for pink flamingos. I also lead tours at a marsh and teach groups of children about all the wonderful creatures that live in marshes. I don’t mind getting dirty and I love creepy crawly critters like snakes and toads.

When did you first start writing?

I recall being a toddler, and making marks on a piece of paper, then running to my mom to see if I had made any words. When she said one mark looked like an i and another looked like an l, I was thrilled and filled the page with them. When I started school I came home after the first day and announced that I wasn’t going back there because I was furious that they hadn’t taught me to read or write! So, it is pretty hard for me to pin-point exactly when the writing began. I started very young.

I have always loved stories and story-telling and was eager to learn to read and write. I think I got my story telling abilities from my dad, because he told the most amazing bed time stories ever! Even my mother would stop what she was doing and come and listen. I wrote for a school creative writing paper in elementary school and was an eager member of the Writing Club in high school. I even wrote a perfectly awful book full of teenaged angst, drama and cliches while in high school (that I wisely burned). I took creative writing courses in college and university as well, but then got very busy and had to stop for a time…but the ideas just wouldn’t go away.

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

As a child every Saturday was the day my sister and I would make the trek to the library. The librarian knew us well, and granted us the privilege of being allowed to take out as many books as we desired. We would carry our books home and spend the afternoon exploring our treasures. Favorite writers in those days were Richard Scarry with his charming illustrations and stories, Eve Titus with her Anatole series, and Marguerite Henry with her Misty of Chincoteague series. As I grew older I treasured reading books by Janette Oke, Grace Livingstone Hill and Debbie McComber for their heartwarming stories of love and faith.

What inspired you to write this particular book?

The main character in Throwaway Wife was abandoned by her husband. I drew on my own feelings of abandonment and despair that I experienced when my own marriage failed, to give realism and depth to Sarah. Like Sarah, I leaned on my faith and friendships to get me through the hard times, but unlike Sarah, I haven’t got my ‘happy ever after’…yet. When my marriage failed I needed to believe in true love and writing this book helped me heal and believe in love again. I want this book to bring hope and faith to other women who have faced similar heartache.

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

My favorite part of the book is when Sarah and Daniel must set aside their differences and work together to try to save Emma. I like how the tension builds and you end up holding your breath, waiting to see what will happen next. The characters experience raw emotions and their own fear and distress cause them to lash out at one another, but in the end they realize they are stronger when they lean on each other and on their faith. I’d tell you more, but that would only ruin the story for you. While I was writing that particular portion of the book I got so immersed that I had to get up several times and walk around and work the knots out of my shoulders and neck so I would stop clenching my teeth and tensing my muscles.

What is best writing advice you can give?

Write about situations you can relate to and draw on things that have happened to you and to people you know to make your stories believable. Don’t be afraid to throw away whole chapters and try again. I learned the hard way that revision can be your best friend.

Is there anything else you'd like your readers to know about the book?

I think that Nate’s story needs to be told. He is a very interesting character and I fell in love with him as I wrote about him. I think there is a sequel in the works.

About the book:

Throwaway Wife is a contemporary Christian romance filled with suspense, love, joy and faith, that will keep you reading until the end!

Betrayed and rejected by the man who vowed to love her forever, Sarah pregnant and alone flees to find comfort and a safe haven in the small town of Smyth’s Falls. It is a friendly little town where everyone knows each other, but Sarah is a stranger. What can she do? It is not like a lot of people are going to give a job to a pregnant stranger and how can she find a place to live with almost no money?

But then a miracle happens and Sarah finds Nate, a kind restaurant owner, who not only gives her a job, but hope for the future as well. After giving birth to a wonderful daughter Emma, Sarah starts to feel that with God’s help she can finally put her past behind her and create a good life for she and her daughter and maybe Nate as well, but then her worst fear happens…

Josh, her estranged husband shows up looking for her and he knows nothing about Emma. She had never told him she was pregnant! She knows that if Josh finds out about Emma, he will try to take away the one thing she loves most and that can’t happen.

What can she do? She is torn between two men, her daughter and what God is telling her to do. Can she trust God to help her find her way and heal her heart?

About the author:

Shirley Krayden is an author, illustrator and fine artist who lives in Ontario, Canada. She is an elementary school teacher, with a degree in fine art and a love of nature and animals. A dedicated Christian, she uses her writing to reflect the hope and joy she has found in faith.


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