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“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.
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.