Natural disasters are life-changing events, but is there hope that
arrives at the same time as despair? This is the question explored in Lauraine
Snelling’s new novel
Wake the Dawn (FaithWords). Lauraine answered our
questions about her characters, inspiration, and what challenged her the most
about writing this novel.
THIS NOVEL IS ABOUT A
NATURAL DISASTER THAT DEVASTATES A SMALL TOWN. WHAT TYPE OF RESEARCH DID YOU DO
IN ORDER TO WRITE ABOUT SUCH A HUGE EVENT?
After reading and
viewing so often the accounts of natural disasters in the last few years, the
book had pretty much researched itself. I asked questions of border patrol
members and staff and had some of them read the manuscript to make sure I was
accurate with language and procedures. I have visited northern Minnesota and
have friends there, who again answered my seemingly unending questions.
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT
YOUR MAIN CHARACTER, ESTHER?
Actually there are
two main characters. Ben James, a border patrol officer, and former football
star in the small fictional town of Pineville, MN and Esther Hanson, a physician’s
assistant, who has staffed the local, antiquated clinic for several years.
Ben’s wife died in a car accident two years earlier, sending him to self-medicating
with booze. Esther is fighting demons of her own with Post Traumatic Stress
Disorder. Both are emotionally wounded. Both have never sought after dreams.
Many of their dreams center on this little town, his hometown and her adopted
town. Can their dreams and lives possibly come together, in spite of their
WHAT DO YOU THINK
READERS WILL ENJOY ABOUT THIS BOOK?
The story of a
gallant little town and of the oh-so-typical citizens, who become heroic in
spite of themselves. They band together when the need is greatest, putting
aside petty differences, at least for the moment.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST
PART ABOUT WRITING THIS NOVEL?
Not lack of action,
that’s for sure. I guess making certain each character was drawn to the best of
my ability to make them real, without turning Wake the Dawn into a novel twice its size.
WHAT ARE SOME THEMES
READERS WILL FIND IN THIS BOOK?
Themes of courage,
forgiveness, serving beyond one’s strength and being forced to depend on each
other and on God, our Father. Also how tragedy can bring out the best in
people, at least for the duration needed. I think my love of small towns comes
out too and my admiration and appreciation for those first responders who lay
their lives down so often for the rest of us.
WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR
What a question!
The easy answer is
anywhere and everywhere. I never know when a good idea will sneak up on me, but
I grab it quickly and write it down. Sometimes finding the notes again is
difficult so I am working harder at carrying a notebook with me all the time.
Corralling slips of paper can be next to impossible. I read, listen to people,
work in my garden, brainstorm, both with myself and other writers and friends,
keep my ears and eyes open for ideas and ask, ask, ask questions.