Q&A: Joanne Bischof (Though My Heart is Torn)
How would you feel if your husband had a second wife that you didn't know about? What if HE didn't even know? This is the situation that Lonnie and Gideon O'Riley find themselves facing in Though My Heart Is Torn (Multnomah Books), the new novel by Joanne Bischof.
Q: WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION DRIVING THE STORY IN THOUGH MY HEART IS TORN?
The idea behind this story, is that nothing is for naught. As Be Still My Soul ended, I realized that the hero of the story, Gideon, still had some lessons to learn. He still had some growing up to do and in order to do that, he’s going to face a greater trial than he’s ever known.
I think trials come into our lives so that we might come out on the other end a little bit stronger and a little bit wiser. Not because God is unkind, but because He is gracious to give us that time of growth—when we need it the most. Gideon needed that time to realize what he truly had in his precious wife, Lonnie, and their son. Sometimes in life it takes for our hands to be empty before we truly realized all that we had been given.
Q: WHAT ARE SOME EXAMPLES FROM THE STORY WHERE YOU DREW ELEMENTS FROM REAL LIFE?
A lot of what comes to mind is the lifestyle of 1900 Appalachia. Whether its woodworking or soap making, or even the recipes in the story, I like to draw from my own life and experiences whenever possible. Thanks to my husband and his ax, our wood crib is always filled in time for winter and we heat our home with a little woodburning stove. I love to bake and make crafts, so I’m always trying ideas or recipes that could go into my stories and whether it’s making soap or homemade bread, it’s such a joy to get to infuse the things that I love—the simple things in life—into the Cadence of Grace series.
Q: IN THOUGH MY HEART IS TORN, WHO IS THE CHARACTER IN THIS STORY WHO SURPRISED YOU MOST?
The character that surprised me the most was Cassie. She starts off as the bad girl, the character that can make a reader just want to throw the book across the room. But as the story goes on, she begins to grow and mature. Many readers shared with me that they came to care for her. She surprised me, though, when she went from being almost the villain, to the character who stepped out in faith and did an act of grace that cost her dearly. She sacrificed her own desires for those she loved.
Q: WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU WORKING ON NOW?
Right now I’m working on the edits for the third book in the series, My Hope Is Found. I am so excited to get this final book in the series out for readers. They’ve been so enthusiastic in following Lonnie and Gideon’s story through Be Still My Soul and Though My Heart is Torn, that I hope this will be a triumphant end for this series.
Q: WHAT DO YOU HOPE READERS GET OUT OF YOUR WORK?
I love to write about redemption. I love to take people who are unlikely heroes and show their growth throughout the story. I hope readers will be reminded that hope is never lost, change can always happen and that happy endings aren’t just for fairy tales.
People have shared with me that Though My Heart is Torn and a box of Kleenex pretty much go hand in hand. Not because it makes them sad, necessarily, but because it takes them on an emotional journey. I think often times, the happily-ever-after is all the more richer—purer, sweeter—if we had found ourselves looking out from the darkness and wondering how sweet the light might taste and if one day we might see it again. Though all hope may seem lost and though weeping may endure for a night, joy comes in the morning.