Tag Archives: The Love of Divena

Lazy, Busy August!

You gotta love August! It’s the month of sunshine and vacations. The year’s break to kick back and slack off, to eat hot dogs and potato salad off paper plates. The month to go to the fair and eat a frozen banana on a stick, to ride the Ferris Wheel—and whatever they call all those new upside-down-make-certain-your-soul-is-in-God’s-hands rides. It’s the month to pig out on watermelon, and tomatoes still warm from the garden, and zucchini from everyone else’s.

So, what’s with all the writing business in this lazy month? The third and final book of my Blessings in India trilogy, The Love of Divena, released. I finished the sample chapters for another book. I met a great guy who’s interested in pursuing one of my movie scripts (I had to edit it). I got my India visa squared away. Oh, yes, I’m also scrambling to complete the children’s church curriculum I’m writing with a friend.

Smoky helping with my book signing at the fair

But August is also the month I’ve finally taken an important step: I’m revamping and moving my blog. (Yep, that’s why I’ve been off-line for a month. That and all the above.) Instead of my two blogs—Kay’s Words and Grace in Africa—and continually struggling to update my website info on a regular basis, I will be doing it all on in one place–on my website! (“It’s about time!” my web-building friend Michael Reynolds says.)

Stay tuned. And feel free to chip in your two cents worth.

Hey, you gotta love August~!

 

 

Merrily, merrily, shall I live now
Under the blossom that hangs on the bough.
~ William Shakespeare~

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Me and the ALA Convention

I don’t do a lot of book signings these days, but when I was invited to sign my soon-to-be-released book The Love of Divena at the American Library Association convention in Anaheim, I couldn’t say no. I mean, librarians would be there. City and county and school librarians.  Some of my very favorite people in the world!

The Love of Divena is the third and final book of my Blessings in India trilogy.  The series follows two families through 20th century India: one a family of “untouchables,” the other the high caste Christian-in-name family that owns them.

Okay, back to Anaheim (home of Disneyland, for those not in the know). The Anaheim Convention Center is huge!  So when I saw that Abingdon Press’ booth was at the far end of the hall, my spirits sank.  Books, books everywhere.  How many people would keep walking the aisles until they got to me? 

Well, as it turned out, lots of folks did. I started signing at 9:30 a.m. and didn’t stop until the last book was gone at 12:10.  And people were still in line. 

I met library folks from all across theU.S., and from many other countries, too: Ireland, England, the Virgin Islands, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Kenya, India…  People were so excited to see that the series was set in India.  And everyone asked if I had been there.  Fortunately, I have, because  many knowledgeable people wanted to engage me in discussions. 

Most frequently asked questions: 

  • How many times have you been to India?
  • Answer: Eight.  Ninth time this coming October.
  • Is this a Christian book?
  • Answer: “Yes, but not tacked on Christianity that hits readers over the head.”
  • Is it suitable for young people? 
  • Answer:  “Absolutely! Acceptable and also historically accurate.”  

Sign me up for next year!”

Me

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To Do The Right Thing~

Okay, here I am again with my all-too-familiar lament:  Book deadline looming and not enough hours in the day!  (The third and final book of my new Blessings in India trilogy—The Love of Divena—is due on the editor’s desk in one month.)  Part of the plot line involves an age old quandary:  Do what is expected?  Do what is advantageous?  Or do what is right, despite the cost?

Were I trapped in a life-or-death moral situation, I would like to say that I know exactly what I would do: the right thing.  Problem is, I don’t know.  I know what I wish I would do.  But who of us can really know unless we are thrust into that position?  Which makes this book all the harder to write.  How dare I stand in judgment on my characters?  They are, after all, only human.

Not long ago I reread the moving account of Miep Gies, who died last January, just short of her 101st birthday.  You remember Miep, don’t you?  She was one of the women who helped hide Anne Frank and her family from the Nazis.  She tucked them away in a secret annex and faithfully cared for them. After they were betrayed and deported, Miep stored Anne’s writings in a desk drawer. When Anne’s  father returned after the war, the only one in his family to survive the concentration camps, she gave all the writings to him.  Unread.

But of course, when Miep made her courageous decision, she had no idea what the ending would be.  She simply found herself thrust into that life-or-death situation:  Do what is expected?  Do what is advantageous?  Or do what is right?

Miep did what was right.  Without hesitation.

As I write out the character of Sundar Varghese, I keep seeing Miep.  Sundar, too, has much to lose.  For him, too, it would be so easy to look the other way and say, “It’s not my fault.  I didn’t know.” 

But will he?  I had better get back to work!

“Even an ordinary secretary or a housewife or a teenager can, within their own small ways, turn on a small light in a dark room.”

Miep Gies

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