Q&A: Charlene Baumbich
Thirty-eight-year-old Sasha Davis and nineteen-year-old Evelyn Burt are about as opposite as it's possible to be. Sasha is a lithe, urban, emotionally distant dancer suddenly facing the end of her career. Evelyn is a stocky, small-town, indomitable extrovert with a newly-engaged, positive outlook on life. Together they find that sometimes the best friends are nothing alike.
Q. What were your goals writing Finding Our Way Home?
My goal is always simple: to listen and watch the characters closely enough to learn what they have to teach me, which is usually why they show up. They start "living" like a movie running in my head, if I get enough out of my way. I must be absolutely true to the their core beings, let them teach ME what the Story has to give (laughter, tears, insight, shock, joy, turmoil...) so in turn I can pass it all along.
Q. What can you tell us about the protagonist in your novel?
There are actually two lead females.
Evelyn is 19, precocious, newly engaged and currently defying her parents' wishes she go to college. She wants to experience LIFE, and she is in Love (with a capital L) with a guy she doesn't want to leave--who has a reputation as the town bad boy. She's also large boned and a bit clunky, but extremely intelligent. She is a young woman of faith who believes that God's grace handles everything, as in easy-schmeazy and grace, grace, grace.
Sasha hires Evelyn to help her recover from a career-ending injury. She's mid-life, petite, moody and broken. While Evelyn is at the beginning of her career, Sasha has just lost the only life she's known: that of a professional ballet dancer.
The story is about the growth of their uncommon friendship and the power of small acts of kindness.
Q. What do you want the reader to take away after reading Finding Our Way Home?
First and foremost, I hope they are entertained and touched. I pray whatever they need to remember most about the nuances of life, as modeled by these two strong women, sticks. I hope they are ENCOURAGED!
Q. What first made you take the leap from "reader" to "author"?
I've always had more guts than brains. I didn't start writing until I was nearly 40. I did so not to become "a writer" but because there were things I wanted to say, and writing was one way to do so. I love and believe in the power of story, whether we're true to the FACTS or not--unless we're writing for the newspapers, which I've also done.
Q. Many authors have all kinds of ideas for stories jockeying for their attention -- how do you choose which story to write?
I go with the characters who bug me the most. The folks who start yammering in my ear and won't shut up, even when I ask them to GO AWAY! I get manymanymany story ideas, which I do not write down. But the ones I remember, combined with the relentless murmurers, now those are worth exploring.