Thursday, June 12, 2008

"Heaven Scent" Book Tour Stop


By Nichole Giles

She should have considered herself the luckiest girl in the world, or at least in her high school. From the outside, it looked like Liza had it all. A wonderful family, a promising basketball record, and halfway through her senior year, scholarships were already beginning to pour in. She had everything a young woman could ever want—except the love and attention of the father she had once adored.

When a terrible tragedy takes away everything that matters to Liza, she must find it in her heart to forgive the broken promise that caused the loss and embrace the last thing she has left—who also happens to be the last person in the world she wants. Her father. The road to forgiveness is long and hard, but along the way, Liza is introduced to a religion that gives her hope and fills her with the peace she longs for.

Heaven Scent is a touching story of a young woman’s journey toward forgiveness, and her search for the one thing she never knew was missing in her life…religion. This book is a must read for adults and young women alike—just be sure to start the journey with a handy box of tissues!

Rebecca Cornish Talley, author of Heaven Scent, has kindly agreed to answer a few questions about the writing process and how Heaven Scent went from manuscript to published book.

First of all, Rebecca, thanks for joining me today. I know you must be so busy, being not only a wife, but also the mother of ten children and several animals. (By the way, you do NOT look like you have ten kids—amazing.)

1. Where did your initial inspiration for “Heaven Scent” come from?

My mom used to wear a distinctive and unique perfume. She passed away when
I was a young girl and during different times of my life, especially difficult ones,
I’ve been able to smell her perfume.


2. How did you know where to start writing?

I wanted to start with an exciting scene, a hook, that not only showed Liza’s talent in basketball, but also showed her frustration with her dad. Since her basketball game is a turning point in her life, it seemed like the natural place to start.


3. How long did it take you to write “Heaven Scent” from rough draft to polished copy?

About a thousand years—at least it felt that way. It started as a short story in high school. I decided I wanted to expand the story into a novel and started working on it on and off for years between pregnancies, nursing newborns, toddlers, kids, teenagers, and caring for my ailing grandparents. It was a long process and I sometimes wondered if I’d ever finish it.

4. What were your strongest influences as you went through this process?

My family kept encouraging me to finish it. I also joined some online groups and members of those groups (David Woolley, Patricia Wiles, Terry Montague) kept encouraging me and helping me understand the mechanics of writing. Latterdayauthors.com was a valuable resource for me. I also had the internal drive to complete this story because it was so important to me.

5. What made you decide to write for the young adult audience?

This particular story is a YA story. I’ve worked with young women over the years and have three teenage daughters at the moment and wanted to write something that would be interesting, and maybe even inspiring, to this age group.

6. With so many kids—and animals, and a husband, and household—how in the world do you find time to write?


I just squeeze it in whenever I can. I usually have a notebook with me to jot down ideas or things I want to change on a work in progress. I “write” in my head while in the shower, doing dishes, ironing, or driving kids to activities. It’s hard to find time to write, but I’ve given up hobbies and other interests to pursue writing.

7. I understand that you played high school basketball. Did you find that you had to further research the game as you were writing, or is this one of your personal areas of expertise?

Unfortunately, I didn’t ever play well enough to be offered a place on a college team so I had to research that. The rest of it I remembered from playing for so long. I also watch basketball games here and there. In fact, I was watching the NBA playoffs on TV one year when I was pregnant and my water broke during a game (I had the baby 2 hours later).

8. What advice would you give to fellow fiction writers who are targeting the young adult audience?

Read as many books in that genre as you can. Listen to how teenagers speak and to what concerns them. No matter what, though, write that story that’s in your heart.

Rebecca, thank you so much for your time! I so appreciate being able to visit with you. I’m especially grateful for your efforts to create this wonderful, inspiring book. As I read, I put myself in Liza’s footsteps and felt her pain. It takes a talented author to be able to do that.

Thank you, Nichole, for hosting my book. I so appreciate your help and your kind review.


Heaven Scent is available for purchase at:

Deseret Book, Seagull, Independent LDS Bookstores, Amazon.com, BarnesandNobel.com, Target.com, and CedarFort.com.

2 comments:

Randall McNeely said...

Great interview. I've ordered the book, but I'm living overseas and it's taking forever to get here! I can't wait to read it! Thanks for taking the time to interview Rebecca and share it with us!

Nichole Giles said...

No problem, Randall! I'm so glad you enjoyed the interview.

You'll love the book...when it finally arrives. You're a patient guy to wait so long.

Nichole