Monday, May 24, 2010

Author Interview with Laurie Lewis

So we’re chatting with Laurie Lewis, author of “AWAKENING AVERY” today. Readers may know her best as L.C. Lewis, the author of the historical fiction series Free Men and Dreamers. Laurie, why did you switch genres and write “AWAKENING AVERY?” It’s not historical is it?

No, ”AWAKENING AVERY” is current, so it’s a nice diversion from my historical work.

What is the message behind the title, “AWAKENING AVERY?”

Our lead character is an LDS author/wife and mother who gets catapulted from her comfortable support role in the family to the lead after the untimely death of her wonderful husband. Although her husband, Paul, had been slowing fading for a long time, Avery had closed her eyes to the toll his illness and death had taken on her and her family. Her oldest son tells her he needs to get away to deal with his grief, and she is forced to face some hard truths—things are falling apart in her once perfect family, and instead of preparing for the eventuality of Paul’s death, she has been shriveling away. Avery needs to step up and take action, a daring thing that requires her to grow and stretch in ways she never imagined.

So is this story primarily about handling grief?

The Thompson family’s grief is the vehicle we use to address the major theme of the book, which is family vigilance. Their grief opens cracks in their spiritual veneer that weakens them, and makes them vulnerable, but hopefully readers will recognize that all of our families are vulnerable if we lower our vigilance for whatever reason. But another lesson from the book is the power available to us as we draw upon our families and friends for strength. The book is very hopeful.

The themes are serious, but you call "AWAKENING AVERY" a chuckle-out-loud and grab-a-hankie read. Why?

Avery is grieving, but she goes through a summer of self-discovery where she opens her narrow world up to receive a host of quirky new friends. They all have life experience and strength she can draw from, and she discovers she has a few things to teach them as well. So it’s not a sad book. Parts are very tender—happy tender and sad tender— and parts are a riot. We’ve got some fun, crazy characters in here.

Avery is an author. Was that meant to be a biographical element?

No . . . I needed Avery to have a career that made her mobile enough to take this journey, and to provide her with a tool with which she could measure her personal growth. Writing her as an author fit that bill, and I already understood that industry. For Avery, her writing and the writings of another author—Axel Hunter—provide an outlet for expression . . . of her grief, her fears, her hopes. I think we all need an outlet. Hopefully one of our outlets is good friends.

So what other projects are you working on?

I’m still promoting my Free Men and Dreamers series. Volume three, “Dawn’s Early Light,” debuted in December, and I’m hoping we’ll see book four on the shelves by late summer.

Thanks for the interview, Laurie Lewis. “Awakening Avery” sounds like a great gift for mothers and wives.

Laurie Lewis is sponsoring a book giveaway. To enter, answer this question in the comment box below.

What event prompts Avery to seek out a ‘healing place” for herself and her family along Florida’s beautiful Gulf Coast?
The answer can be found by reading chapter one of the book. The winner will be drawn on May 31st. Good luck!


Donna Hatch said...

I've heard a lot about this author and I look forward to reading this. It sounds like a great book!.

Rachel Andersen said...

This book has an interesting topic and sounds like it's presented in a fun way.

Laurie LC Lewis said...

Thanks for the interview, Rachel! Your blog is beautiful! And I loved "The Feather kiss." You're a wonderful romantic!