Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Heaven Scent Tour is Here!

Heaven Scent by Rebecca Cornish Talley, is a poignant LDS young adult novel. It tells the story of Liza Compton, a high school basketball star with a world of opportunities before her. However, Liza is disheartened by her father’s change in attitude toward her family and it makes her question his love for her and the security of her home life. When tragedy forces Liza to face those things she most fears, we are given a sweet opportunity to learn and grow right along with her. If you love LDS young adult novels, than this book might just be the one for you!

My family has read Rebecca’s other published work Grasshopper Pie and found it to be incredibly fun and entertaining. I wasn’t sure what to expect from a writer with such a whacky and creative approach to life (which I love, but how would that translate into a YA novel?), but Heaven Scent was very different. The mother of ten children, Rebecca has a unique insight into the minds of children and their worlds—that insight is evident in this, her latest book.

Look for Heaven Scent on, or in your local LDS Bookstore. You can't miss it--it's the one with the gorgeous pink cover.
I am grateful Rebecca has taken the time to answer a few questions I thought my readers would be interested in. Thank you Rebecca!

On Writing:

With such a busy household, how do you find time to write?

I just fit it in whenever I can. I try to write every day, but that doesn’t always happen. If I write while the kids are sleeping that seems to work the best, but again, that doesn’t always happen. I’ve also given up other hobbies and interests to carve out time to write (though I’ll never give up my chocolate time).

What has been your favorite part of the writing process? And your least favorite?

I love seeing the story take shape. I love words and stringing them together to create a story that’s uniquely my own. It’s way cool when it all comes together.

My least favorite part is marketing/promoting. I’d much rather spend my time writing, but I’ve learned that marketing/promoting is a very important part of the process.

How long did it take you to write this book and then to get it published?

I’ve worked on this particular story for years. It started as a short story in high school. I then decided to expand it and worked on it between pregnancies, nursing newborns, toddlers, kids, teenagers, and caring for my ailing grandparents (who raised me).

I submitted it to Cedar Fort in November 2006. It was accepted in May 2007 and was published in February 2008.

Do you have any advice to aspiring writers?

Never give up. If your dream is to be published, keep working toward that goal. Network with other writers, attend conferences, and join critique groups. Read, Read, Read. Write, write, write. And, love what you do.

On Your Family:

One of your children is an artist and illustrated your children’s picture book Grasshopper Pie. How do you encourage your children to follow their dreams?

I try to encourage them with my words and actions to pursue what makes them happy. I’ve sat through sports, concerts, plays, talent shows, and read lots and lots of stories in an effort to help my kids find and develop their talents. I want each one to follow his or her dreams.

Do your children support you in your writing pursuits?

Absolutely. My husband is also very supportive. He’s driven me to conferences, watched the kids while I attended conferences, and bought me books and computers to help me. I could never write without my family’s support and encouragement.

On Heaven Scent:

On the Dedication page of Heaven Scent, you speak to your mother “whose fragrant visits have strengthened me and my testimony and inspired this story.” What did you mean by that?

My mother wore a very distinctive perfume. It was an oil-based scent that worked with each person’s body chemistry to produce a unique fragrance. My mom passed away when I was nine years old. Over the years, especially during trials, I have smelled her perfume and felt her so close I could almost reach out and touch her.

Do you know any Liza’s? Is she modeled after anyone you know?

I knew an amazing basketball player in high school. She could sink a shot from anywhere on the court. Liza isn’t based on anyone in particular, though.

In your book Heaven Scent, one of Liza’s challenges is that she does not have a variety of skills or talents that she can rely on. What is the message you hope readers will learn from Liza’s experience?

I hope people will realize they have many talents. Some may not be as developed as others, but we all have talents.

If you could sum up the moral of this story in one sentence, what would you say?

No matter what life brings, there is always hope.

Where can my readers get a copy of Heaven Scent?

It is available at Deseret Book, Seagull, Amazon, Barnes and Noble (online), Target (online), and independent LDS bookstores.

Any final thoughts about your book, your family, or the writing process that you would like to share?

It’s really a dream come true for me to have this book published. I’m thrilled every day I’ve been given the opportunity to share this story with others.

Thank you so much for the review and the interview, Ali. I so appreciate your time and willingness to host my book tour. Thank you!

Thank you Rebecca for allowing me the privilege to interview you and to participate in your blog tour--it was an honor!