On life's journey, whether traveling around the world or walking around your block, there's lots to learn about life, love, and the pursuit of happiness, so lets dive into a new ocean together!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Day after Christmas

One of my favorite pastimes ... laughing! Big and loud, like my Mama used to do.

Ahh, the day after Christmas.  After a grand time with family on Christmas Eve and Day, a calm silence has fallen throughout the house. So I will take this time, upon request, to post an interview about a simple southern belle ... ME!  I'm part of a blog tour, similar to the old fashion chain letters we used to send.  So pour a cup of coffee while I indulge myself for a few moments.

Where did the idea come from for Lady and the Sea?
I was a volunteer on the WWII ship, MS Restoration, for fourteen months back in 1994. Upon returning home from sailing the seven seas, when I told stories about the miracle ship, people insisted, "You must write a book about your adventures!" They are right, I must write! I told myself.  And so Lady and the Sea was born.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition of Lady and the Sea?   Who should play Rosie, the main character?  Oh, that gorgeous, classy, talented brunette ... ugh,  what's her name? Can't remember.  Oh well.  Then my second choice would be Sandra Bullock.  Now, for Rosie's prince charming, Jesse?  Without a doubt, Tim McGraw.  Hmm, now that I think about it, didn't Sandra and Tim star in a movie together?
On board the MS Restoration in Stockholm, Sweden 1994
Give us a synopsis of Lady and the Sea? After two failed marriages, forty-eight-year-old Rosie Atkisson struggles through the process of rebuilding her life with her husband, Jesse. But the settled rhythm of her new found comfort is interrupted by a tug in her heart when she encounters a photo of another aging lady, the World War II ship, MS Restoration. A special mission to transport Russian Jews from Sochi, Russia, to Haifa, Israel, means an adventure of a lifetime; does she dare pass up this dangerous assignment that will take her thousands of miles from her family and her comfortable life? In spite of her fear of water and the unknown condition of the ship, Rosie says farewell to her safe shore, and dives into this new ocean. After fourteen months on board the old ship--from hurricanes to a heart attack, from miracles to menopause, and being held at gunpoint in the Haifa Harbor--Rosie wonders if she will ever return to her own safe harbor.

Is your book self-published or traditional published? After much prayer and research, I decided to self-publish. The best investment I made was to hire a professional editor. It's worth the money to make your book shine! I'm proud of Lady and the Sea, thanks to its fine editing.

Crossing the Atlantic in 1994
How long did it take to write the first draft of your manuscript? Two years. Then after much prayer and research (as you can see, I do a lot of both), I changed the story from a non-fiction to a novel, based on a true story.  Another two years. Yes, I'm slow, but sure.

Who or What inspired you to write Lady and the Sea? The history of the WWII ship, then sailing the seven seas with her, inspired me to share our story with the world. Her past and my past had many parallels (when I heard that the government put her in mothballs after the war, I immediately identified with her--I put myself in mothballs after my second divorce!). It was actually fun to tell the tale of two aging, lovely ladies.  Together, we prove that it is never too late for dreams to come true.

Russian Jews arriving in Haifa, Israel 1995

What else about Lady and the Sea might pique the reader's interest? The ship's sole purpose was to transport Russian Jews from the Black Sea to Israel. Hundreds donated gifts, and their time; miracles showed up daily on the deck.  If you love to travel and are looking for true adventure with sprays with romance and sprinkles of humor, and if you desire to find faith for your forgotten dreams, then Lady and the Sea is the book for you.

Thanks for reading! Next Wednesday, please visit the following fantastic author, Rosemary Hines, to read about her new books and her works-in-progress at www.rosemaryhines.com

You cannot discover new oceans until you are willing to lose sight of the shore