Friday, March 13, 2009

Daisy Chain By Mary E Demuth

I first heard of Mary DeMuth through agent Rachelle Gardner. I subscribed to Mary's Wanna Be Published blog where she offers practical tips, free critiques, and interviews with publishing professionals.

Daisy Chain was a wonderful, haunting read. Her crisp style and the question of Daisy's whereabouts kept me hooked throughout the book. This is an awesome story.

I hope you enjoy Mary's interview. Leave a comment to be entered in the drawing to win her novel Daisy Chain.


Where did you get the idea for the book?I had a friend who shared a difficult story with me. He grew up in a Christian home. His father was in leadership in the Christian community. From the outside, all looked perfect. But behind closed doors, life was very, very hard. I wanted to expose that kind of abuse. That’s why the idea of family secrets plays heavily into all three books of the Defiance, Texas trilogy.

What are the major themes of the book?The importance (and elusiveness) of authenticity.The devastation of maintaining and keeping family secrets.Redemption comes from surprising people.Feeling guilty doesn’t always equal reality.True friendship involves sacrifice.

With which character do you identify most and why?In high school, I was a lot like Hixon, living on the margins of life in some ways because I was so flat-out in love with Jesus. I wanted to share Him everywhere, and my speech was peppered with Jesusisms. But like Hixon, I also had another side to me, one I hid. Learning to be honest with myself and others about my own shortcomings—and, oh, they are aplenty—has made me a better Christ-follower in the long run. It’s not about appearing holy. It’s about being holy from the inside out. The only route to that kind of abundance is honest, excruciating disclosure with trusted friends and the God who sees it all.

What do you hope to accomplish with this book? I liken this book to an Oprah book, but with hope. Yes, there is darkness and meanness abounding in this world, but God’s light has a way of fully penetrating that darkness. I hope Daisy Chain cradles the reader through its deep, scary journey clear through to the end because redemption will shine brighter in the midst of darkness. That’s my own personal testimony, so it can’t help but leak out on the page.
My hope is that folks will see the need to share their family secrets in order to be set free. (A cool place to share your family secrets anonymously is http://blog.myfamilysecrets.org/). I also want people to see that the Body of Christ is probably much different looking than they first thought. Some appear holy. Others, in distressing disguises, actually are.
What would you say to someone who wants to become a published author? Here’s the analogy you need to memorize and internalize: Beginning the publishing journey is like wearing a sweatshirt and toting a sack lunch at the base of Mount Everest, thinking, Hmm, this should be a breeze!
In addition: know you are called. Know you have talent. Know you’re full of tenacity. All three things will help you succeed along the journey.
Another idea is hang out at The Writing Spa and its corresponding blog WannabePublished. I tackle nearly every question a new writer would have. I offer weekly free critiques and I have guest authors cameo there. I evaluate the saleabilty of a book idea. Hop on by at http://www.thewritingspa.com/.
Mary DeMuth is an expert in the field of Pioneer Parenting. She helps Christian parents plow fresh spiritual ground, especially those seeking to break destructive family patterns. Her message guides parents who don’t want to duplicate the home where they were raised or didn’t have positive parenting role models growing up.
An accomplished writer, Mary’s parenting books include Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture, Building the Christian Family You Never Had, and Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God. Her real-to-life novels inspire people to turn trials into triumphs: Watching the Tree Limbs (2007 Christy Award finalist, ACFW Book of the Year 2nd Place) and Wishing on Dandelions (2007 Retailer’s Choice Award finalist).
Mary is a frequent speaker at women’s retreats and parenting seminars, addressing audiences in both Europe and the United States. National media regularly seek Mary’s candid ability to connect with their listeners. Her radio appearances include FamilyLife Today, Moody Midday Connection, and U.S.A. Radio network. She also has articles published in Marriage Partnership, In Touch, and HomeLife.
As pioneer parents, Mary and her husband Patrick live in Texas with their three children. They recently returned from breaking new spiritual ground in Southern France where they planted a church.
Learn more about Mary at http://blog.myfamilysecrets.org/.
Here's the book trailer for Daisy Chain. Don't forget to leave a comment here to be entered in the drawing! :-)

Participating Blogs in this Tour:




26 comments:

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Thanks for posting this interview, Jessica!

Mary, you sound like an amazing woman and Daisy Chain sounds like it would be a true growing type of novel to read. One we can all learn from. I'm hopping on over to subscribe to your blog. Thanks for helping us non-pubbed out.

Jessica said...

Eileen, this book is really beautiful. Good luck in the drawing! :-)

Debra E Marvin said...

Jessica,
please enter me in the drawing. I've had my eyes on this one for awhile! I'm a big fan of Mary's blog too.

Mary, you sound like an incredible person, and I thank you for your honesty about your private and professional journey.

Jessica said...

Debra, I'll definitely enter you. :-)

Jody Hedlund said...

Hi Jessica,

I follow Mary's blog too. I've picked up some great tips from Wanna Be Published.

The topic of the book sounds like a "hard" read, one of those that forces the reader to face the stark reality of our sinful world. That kind of book is especially "hard" for a romance writer like myself who likes the happily-ever-after.

But I'm sure its a great story and a great way to learn from Mary's writing style!

Jessica said...

Hey Jody,
It is a hard read in some ways. Not something I usually read because, like you, I love my HEAs. But you're right, the style is good to learn from and there's a strong hook.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jess -

Great interview! I can't wait to read this book. Mary is one of my favorite authors. She's also a super-nice person. :)

Please enter me in the drawing.

Blessings,
Susan

Jessica said...

Hey Susan,
You're entered. It's a very good book!

Anonymous said...

Jessie the interview was great!! Mary sounds wonderful and your idea of encouraging others to share their secret traumas is inspiring and a gift. Good luck and may God bless your adventure. Please enter me in your drawing. Thank you, Denise Petrovich

Jessica said...

Hi mom,
You're entered! :-) Thanks for commenting.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Jessica and Mary, thank you for a great interview. I'll be checking out all the links.

Continued success on your journeys.

Mary DeMuth said...

Thanks so much for hosting Daisy at your blog. I really appreciate it.

T. Anne said...

I love Mary! What a wonderful interview, thanks Jessica. The books sounds like something I would be into so I think I'll pick it up.

BTW, love the look of your blog. I'm thinking its new but then my observational skills this past week have been shot.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jessie, you did a really good job interviewing Mary. I am proud of my big sister, put me in the drawing. I need a good book to read and this one sounds great! Love Jenni

Jessica said...

Thanks Angie, and on yours as well! :-)

Thank you for stopping by, Mary, and thank you for writing such a terrific book. I really enjoyed reading it.

Jessica said...

T. Anne, I've read that Mary writes literary, so I bet you would like this book. Don't pick it up before the drawing though! LOL YOu might win. :-) Yes, this is a new look. I'm trying to find colors to match the background. Thanks for noticing. :-)

Jessica said...

Hey Jen,
You're in the drawing. :-) I didn't really interview her, you know. :-) Somebody just asked her these questions and I posted them. But someday I would be honored to interview her. She's extremely knowledgeable and I've heard very nice.
I'm going to call you again, 'cause I don't know how you sent me a comment! LOL

Dara said...

That sounds like an amazing book!

BTW, I love your new blog layout :)

Jessica said...

Hi Dara,
Thanks! I've been going back and forth on colors, wondering what works.
The book is very good.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Jessica. I saw your invitation on FHL and thought I'd come on over! Great interview. I receive Mary's newsletter, which is always thoughtful and thought-provoking, and I'm really looking forward to reading DAISY CHAIN. Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks!

Susan
saaliasone at mac dot com

Jessica said...

Hi Susan,
Thanks for stopping by. :-) Do you receive the Wanna Be Published one? That's the one I get and it's very helpful.
You're entered! Have a great weekend.

anita said...

Sounds like a wonderful series, Mary! And your analogy for publishing is hilarious, in a painful, rib-crunching sort of way.

Jessie, great interview. :-) I LOVE your blog's new face. You put some makeup on her, didn't you?

Very pretty!!

Jessica said...

Yay, you like it? I love the borders myself. And I just realized that there's writing on the background, like a quaint letter or something. :-)
Anita, Mary's writing has been called literary. I bet you'd like her stories.

anita said...

Hey Jessie~

I'll have to get one of Mary's books and have a look, then! Thanks for the heads up. :-)

BTW, I just got your lecture email and am trying to respond but it won't go through. I keep getting this error box and I don't know why. Grrr.

Anyway, I'll keep trying. Glad you're enjoying the lectures!

kalea_kane said...

Daisy Chain sounds absolutely mesmorizing. I would love to be entered and thank you so much for the great interview. I look forward to learning more about Mary. :)

Blessings

Kelly

enroutetolife(at)gmail(dot)com

Jessica said...

Hi Kalea, thanks for stopping by. :-) It was a good book and I hope you're able to get it somewhere. :-)