Please welcome my friend and author fantabulous, Alison Strobel!
Her new book is The Weight of Shadows. As always, Alison does a great job of dealing with difficult topics.
After a difficult childhood, Kim has built a successful life for herself
... but she'd leave it all if it meant being rid of the guilt she harbors over a tragic mistake she made years ago.
When she meets Rick, she finds everything she needs---including a way to pay for her sins every time he hits her. Kim and Rick's new neighbor, Joshua, knows more than Kim realizes about Rick, but Joshua has battles of his own to fight.
Soon to intersect Kim's and Rick's lives is Debbie, who has saved countless women from abuse through the shelter she runs, but Debbie might be as desperate for love as the women she serves.
Meanwhile, as Rick's wrath extends to their baby, Kim must decide if her penance is more important than protecting that innocent life---and if she should dare leave Rick when he has the power to bring her hidden crime to light.
Here's a bit about Alison in her own words.
I started writing as soon as I got the hang of spelling and what made up a sentence. I can remember slaving over word choice in first grade! (RH: Me, too!) I distinctly remember knowing there was a word out there that meant what I wanted to write, but my vocabulary was too small for me to figure it out. Writer angst started early. (RH: Me, too!)
I was forever writing stories as a kid. I'd start a novel every summer (except for the year the neighborhood kids all got together to do a newspaper--which lasted all of four issues) and write in the tree in the front yard, or on the porch, or in the backyard, typically using my dad's old portable manual typewriter. (Yes, I lugged a typewriter--and paper!--up a tree.) I never finished them, because this was before I thought to outline first. Although I did write an entire novel in seventh grade. It was about what you'd expect from a twelve-year-old--nauseating amounts of melodrama interspersed with my attempts at being deep. I don't know what ever happened to it, but I can only pray it is long, long gone. :)
Besides singing in choir, creative writing was my "thing" up until college. All the research papers in college drained me of any desire to write, however, and it wasn't until a couple years after graduation that I attempted another story. This time I decided to try making an outline, and the result was Worlds Collide, which would eventually become my first published novel.
The basic plot of The Weight of Shadows floated around my head for a few years before I ever tried to write it. The idea began to form after a friend told me about a high school senior she knew who had been involved in a fatal car vs. bicycle wreck.
She was driving, and an off-duty police office was biking. I don't remember the details now, only that she was eventually found to be not at fault. But in the days leading up to that decision she was in limbo, wondering if she'd be charged with his death. But the most amazing part of the story is that, when she met the officer's widow, the woman pulled the girl into a hug and told her the family held no grudge and that they absolved her of any guilt she might be feeling.
When I heard that, my first thought was of the enormous relief that young woman must have felt. But then I started to wonder what would have happened if she'd had a reason to hold on to her guilt--say, because she knew that she really was responsible for the wreck.
How would that affect her self-image, her faith (she was a Christian), her future? That was the kernel from which the book eventually grew, after germinating in my imagination for about six years.
RH: Wow, so The Weight of Shadows deals with this! What an amazing book. Don't we all wonder about those close-calls we've encountered. Thanks for stopping by, Alison!