Thursday, March 29, 2012

Interview with Author Maria Hoagland

Maria Hoagland graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in English. She is a long distance runner, eighth grade algebra tutor, and type 1 diabetic. She and her husband reside in Texas with their three children. She loves soft green grass, a breeze in the trees, and a good book. Nourish & Strengthen is her debut novel and she is currently editing a second. You can connect with Maria Hoagland on her Blog, Twitter, and Facebook.

I really like Maria's writing. There are many sweet as well as hilarious moments with Chloe's kids, giving a good balance to the more serious struggles that she and her friends are dealing with. I learned so much about diabetes and the daily challenge it is. It is a great book for any woman. Very uplifting.” --Jenny Moore, The Write Stuff

Hello Maria! I understand this story is about a woman who is trying to deal with the challenges in life. Please tell us about your novel, Nourish and Strengthen.

Hello, Linda. Thank you so much for allowing me to visit with you on your blog! I’m so excited to talk about my book. Have you ever noticed that people—especially women—can be pretty hard on themselves sometimes?

Chloe Taylor has the perfect life: a model’s figure, a husband who adores her, three healthy children. So why does she feel so much less than perfect? After losing forty pounds, Chloe Taylor is finally happy with her body. What she doesn’t realize is that she’s not the one in control. When Chloe is called as the Primary president, she discovers that managing the highs and lows of a chronic illness may be easier than the ups and downs associated with family, friends, and church callings. Consumed by her own challenges, Chloe fails to recognize the issues her friends are facing and is in danger of losing their friendship. As Chloe strives to develop Christ-like love for herself and those around her, she learns that outer appearances are far less important than inner peace and spiritual strength. But is she strong enough to face her most difficult trial yet?

Your book sounds very interesting. Where did you get your inspiration for it?

Although Nourish and Strengthen is most definitively fiction, many of the medical experiences are based on personal experience. My husband and I are both type 1 diabetic, as are two of our three children, and people are always asking about the disease and our experience with it. I wanted people to realize that although it’s a constant challenge, it’s only a part of daily life.

Chloe’s major challenge is living with a chronic illness, but we all have trials in our lives just as difficult to us as Chloe’s are to her. I hope readers will come away uplifted and ready to overcome their challenges and learn a little about diabetes along the way. But most importantly, I hope readers find themselves more willing to accept other people’s best efforts, including their own, and not always expect perfection. 

So true. We're our own worse critics. What kind of research did you have to do for this novel?

Because we’ve been living with diabetes for quite some time in our household, there wasn’t a lot of initial research to do; however, I made sure to fact check with medical personnel, law enforcement, and rescue workers so I wouldn’t pass on misleading or false information.

I bet that was so interesting to interview them. What does your family think about your writing?

My husband, family, and friends have been very encouraging over the many years that I talked about and worked on my novel. And now that it’s out, they are even more so. But one of the best things to come from this experience has been watching my oldest child become interested in writing. The past two years, while finishing high school, he has written two dystopian novels, one of which is being reviewed by national agents. I can’t tell you how excited I would be to have his novel sitting next to mine on a shelf—and to know that my example might have been a small part of that achievement.

How wonderful! I can almost hear the “pride” in your voice as you speak about your son. Now it’s time to tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.

I’m an endorphin junkie—that’s why I run. And I have found that running is a lot like writing. Mentally, I know I want to run because ultimately I enjoy it, but sometimes it’s difficult to make myself start. Those first twenty minutes are pure work, trying to get into the groove, find my pace. I get tired and worry I can’t go any further. But once I push through that wall and continue on, I get into a rhythm and start to enjoy it. Near the end, I push myself, running faster, working harder to meet that goal and improve each time. The real pleasure, however, comes when I finish and I have exerted my all. I may be sweaty and out of breath, but seeing my book on a shelf, hearing positive comments from readers, makes it worth all the work, and I know I will do it again.

I love your attitude about exercise. I’ve heard so much about endorphins and how they can make you very happy. I, also, learned that they are only released in your body through exercise. I guess I should do more walking, huh? Thanks so much for this wonderful interview, Maria. 


taterbug78 said...

Thank you for the interview, i always enjoy getting a taste of who an author really is! The book sounds great, i'm glad to have read your interview on this hop

taterbug78 at gmail dot com

Marianne said...

Thanks, Linda and Maria. i love learning through novels, and since i have a cousin (mother of an 18 month old) who has just been diagnosed with Type 1.5 diabetes, i would love to read this. Another cousin was just diagnosed with Lyme Disease, and i found Brandilyn Collins Over the Edge very helpful. Thank you for sharing your life with us, both through the interview and novel.

marianne dot wanham at gmail dot com

Maria Hoagland said...

Thanks, Linda, for interviewing me, even if it makes me nervous to talk about myself :)

Marianne--your cousin's story may be quite similar to Chloe's since hers, too, is technically type 1.5. I hope you (and she) enjoy the book!

Good luck to all who enter. I'd love to hear your thoughts!

cc said...

Thank you for the interview! I have known Maria since she was a baby, but I learned some things from this interview - so, yes, she does not like to talk about herself. I have not read her novel YET, but hope to do so soon. I'll be watching your site from now on, Linda.

Cathy said...

What a wonderful interview. Not only to learn about the book, but about Maria as well. It sounds like a story that's as informative as it is entertaining.

Mary L Walling said...

Hi Maria,
Thank you for your interview. I am also a diabetic, type 2. I fight every day to get and keep it under control. I fight with my weight as well as with HBP, high cholesterol and depression. Things I know are factors contributed due to being diabetic. I look forward to reading your book. Thank you so much for writing it.

Lexie@BookBug said...

I can't wait to read this book! I think it will hit very close to home for a lot of women whether they are diabetic or not. Thanks for the giveaway!
lexie.bookbug at gmail dot com

misskallie2000 said...

I enjoyed the interview ladies. I am not a diabetic but do have other health issues which I have to overcome every day. Maria, I believe your book will be helpful to all women and I do hope they will read. I have added Nourish & Strengthen to my wish list. Thanks for the opportunity to enter giveaway.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Irene E. Jensen said...

This interview was great. Informative and interesting. This is the kind of blog posts I like.


Deborah H. Bateman said...

Thanks for sharing your interview. I wish I was as dedicated to exercising as I am to writing. Blessings, Deborah H. Bateman-Author

Lisa And Randy said...

Thanks so much for the interview and give away. I'm looking forward to ready Maria's book.

Linda Kish said...

I would love to win/read this book. It sounds terrific.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Jane Maritz said...

Sounds like an interesting book!

Kat said...

I know very little about diabetes. I would love to read this book!

katsaddress AT gmail. DOT com

gail said...

thanks for this interview and giveaway!

AmandaSue said...

Sounds like a book i'd enjoy!

holls said...

It's so nice to see a book that shows exercise makes you happy emotionally. Thanks!


Reviewing Shelf said...

Sounds like a good book.

ruthhill74 said...

Sounds like an interesting read, and I love that we got to the topic of exercise!

Linda Weaver Clarke said...

Congratulations, Mary L. Walling. You are the winner of this special book. I know you will enjoy it since you have struggled with this same issue. Happy ready!