Q&A: Tessa Stockton
Genevieve is in love with a monster. Carlos Cornella stands accused of murder, kidnapping, torture, and crimes against humanity. Yet American-born Genevieve finds herself in Buenos Aires and falling hopelessly in love with the man accused of being the greatest monster of Argentina's Dirty War. Where she sees a man - broken and shamed - her Argentine friends see the man who is responsible for bringing them nothing but misery, fear and tragedy. How do victims find peace and monsters find redemption? Can forgiveness and mercy work on such a grand scale or are some things just unforgivable?
WHAT LED YOU TO WRITE THE UNFORGIVABLE?
While working with human right groups long ago I experienced an epiphany. In fact, I happened to be touring with my dance company at the time, performing a suite dedicated to victims of Argentina’s Dirty War, when a certain change of heart came into play. The residue from that conflicted era coupled with what I perceived as Godly inspiration (read: reality), eventually came out in the form of this novel.
STARTING OUT, WHO WERE THE AUTHORS WHO INSPIRED YOU? WHO INSPIRES YOU NOW?
I’m a regular book lover and read works in just about every genre, so there are many authors who inspire. C.S. Lewis is one, as well as Meredith Ann Pierce. Also, coming from a Jewish background, I grew up digesting a slew of memoirs about war criminals, Holocaust survivors, etc. Many works of that nature have helped mold me. More recently, though, I have to place The Shack by Wm. Paul Young near the top of my inspirational list. I especially absorb books about forgiveness in the darkest of places.
HOW DOES YOUR FAITH INFLUENCE YOUR WRITING?
I’m not sure I would be writing if not for faith. I feel a great sense of purpose in it, communicating a particular message. You’ll find my faith boldly evident in what I write.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU KNOWN YOU WANTED TO BE AN AUTHOR?
Twenty years, give or take. At the beginning of that timeframe, I understood that writing novels would have to come at a later point in life because I toured and traveled extensively and just didn’t have the time. When my dance career, which was also a ministry, wound down, that’s when I began pursuing writing with more fervor. It took me about ten years of active pursuance to finally obtain that precious publishing contract.
WHAT DO YOU MOST HOPE THAT READERS GET FROM READING YOUR WORK?
A challenge based on the idea that no one is beyond redemption, and for readers to evaluate their own response to the purest take on Christ’s forgiveness.