Friday, July 16, 2010

Interview with Haley Hatch Freeman, author of A Future for Tomorrow

Haley Hatch Freeman

Haley Hatch Freeman was raised on a cattle ranch in a small Utah town. She always has had a passion for the written word, but it wasn’t until after she’d survived a near-fatal battle with anorexia that she began writing seriously, feeling a need to share her story.

Her newly released memoir, A Future for Tomorrow, depicts her fight and triumph against anorexia and the spiritual journey she went on to reclaim her life.

Her book has received outstanding reviews and high ratings, especially by medical professionals and fellow writers.

Haley has been interviewed on television and radio discussing her book and experience. She spends much of her time as a public speaker, presenting to youth and women groups, hoping to touch and save lives.

Haley is a wife, mother of three, and American Sign Language interpreter for the deaf.

The following pictures were taken after gaining nearly 30 lbs. No photos exist of Haley’s lowest weight.

A Future for Tomorrow
Surviving Anorexia—My Spiritual Journey

A Future for Tomorrow is the extraordinary account of Haley Hatch Freeman’s battle against anorexia nervosa and her spiritual triumph against evil.
Readers are brought into the anorexic mind, shown the fierce war sufferers face against depression and self-depreciative thoughts and actions, and witness the destruction this disease can create.
Journey with the author to the eternal world, where angels confirm such truths as the intensity of Christ’s love and the sacred, holy nature of our Father’s plan for His children here on Earth.

I had the pleasure of reading Haley's book and felt privileged to share in the account of her journey as she battled an eating disorder that nearly took her life. Haley exposes her deepest emotions and experiences during this ordeal and allows the reader to gain a startling insight into the mental, emotional and physical changes that occur in a person who is suffering from this disease. I was unprepared for the places in her heart and mind that Haley was willing to allow the reader to witness.

Haley was wonderful enough to let me interview her.

M.B.: When did you realize you wanted to write a book?

Haley: When I knew I had a story to tell and was basically commanded to write it.

M.B.: What makes you passionate about writing?

Haley: The passion for my non-fiction works is fueled by the desire to help others avoid the heartbreak my family and I endured and to touch other’s lives. I’m playing around with a fiction series for young adults now because I fell in love with the entire writing to publishing process.

M.B.: I'm so excited to hear that you are going to continue writing. Were you ever discouraged along the way? If so, how did you deal with it?

Haley: Getting a true story published is extremely difficult. When I was turned down at first I was very discouraged because I knew my book could change and even save lives.
I dealt with it by having faith and being patient.
Luckily, the Lord did provide away for my book to be.

M.B.: What is your writing schedule like?

Haley: While writing A Future for Tomorrow, the prompting to complete it was relentless. I couldn’t sit idle knowing it needed to be done. I have small children so I would mostly write tucked away in our office after my husband returned home from work so he could tend to the children.
On my new writing endeavors I now have a laptop and neo so I can write while being in the same room as my children, which works out great—even if it is more segmented with interruptions.

M.B.: What do you hope readers will get from this book?

Haley: I hope to bring awareness and understanding about eating disorders allowing people into the mind of a person with anorexia. I want to help those who are suffering know there is hope to leave this illness behind forever as well as know they are not alone.

M.B.: Do you need absolute quiet to write? Do you listen to music when you are writing?

Haley: I usually listen to music or have ambient noise of my children and their activities surrounding me.

M.B.: Do you use a critique group during the writing process? Why or why not?

Haley: I don’t have an official group but there are several people I always run my work by. I think the more people that can get their hands on your manuscript the better, even if at the end it is just helping with typos.

M.B.: What is something about yourself people don’t know?

Haley: My kids and I have an all-out dance party during every song on American Idol. My three year old daughter really knows how to rock out!

M.B.: What words of advice do you have for other writers who desire to have their manuscripts become books in print?

Haley: Pay for an editor to go over your manuscript before submitting to publishers and don’t give up, after each rejection submit again and again.

M.B.: What are you working on now?

Haley: I am super excited about my new project. I have written a picture book for children but it is meant to be read along with their parents. It provokes discussion about social pressures and media messages about weight and food. I’m thrilled that my illustrator is the very talented Lori Nawyn. I can’t wait for this book to see the shelves!

M.B: Has being an author opened any doors for other opportunities?

Haley: One of the neatest experiences I now participate in is public speaking. I speak to church groups, firesides for both youth and Relief Society, conventions, schools, and my favorite are Girl’s Camps! (Go to and read under “public speaking” to learn more about the specific details of my presentations or to book me for your event.)

M.B.: Any final words you would like to share

Haley: One of the main messages I speak about whether it is on my blog, interviews, or a public speaking event is the importance of knowing your divine worth. I believe many of life’s trails, especially addictions, can be prevented if one knows their value and loves themselves. So I would like to end the interview with one of my favorite quotes.

“All of you need to drink in the gospel truths about the eternal nature of your individual identify and the uniqueness of your personality. You need, more and more, to feel the perfect love which our Father in Heaven has for you and to sense the value he places upon you as an individual. Ponder upon these great truths, especially in those moments when you might otherwise wonder and be perplexed” President Spencer W. Kimball

M.B.: Where can our readers go to find your book and order it?

Haley: my site is offering free shipping and your order includes a signed book. It is also available in Deseret Book ( also) at, and now is ready to download for kindle at (link for kindle: )

Extra Links:

Here are the links to my book’s trailers
(you might want to pick your favorite)

Here is the most recent radio interview I did a few weeks ago:

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Quicksilver Project, by J. A. Lightender - BOOK GIVEAWAY WINNERS ANNOUNCED

Renny is your average teenager. He's tall, lanky, and an easy target for the neighborhood bully. But things quickly change when his parents buy him a not-so-average dog. Entering “Ernie's Pet Shack” was an experience Renny would not soon forget, nor could he guess the adventure that awaited him once he took his dog, Lou home. The two were about to embark on a quest that would change the world as Renny knew it.

J Adams is known for her vivid imagination and emotional connection with readers. In this book, The Quicksilver Project, Adams weaves her signature style in a new genre written specifically for kids. It's fun, exciting, and filled with adventure and a perfect way to spend a summer afternoon.

The Quicksilver Project is an e-book for kids. Check out her website or blog for more information about her other books.

****************WINNERS ANNOUNCED****************

The winner of Janette Rallison's book, "My Double Life" is . . .
The Golfing Librarian

The winner of Michael Young's book, "The Canticle Kingdom" is . . .

The winner of Shawna William's book, "No Other" is . . .

If you are a winner, email Michele at and identify yourself and I will provide the information for you to receive your book. CONGRATULATIONS!!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Interview with Joan Sowards, author of "Chocolate Roses"

Joan Sowards lives in Arizona and earned a BS from Arizona State University. Besides writing, she loves to do family history research and composes music. Walnut Springs Press published Haunts Haven, and LDS Ghost Story in 2009, and Chocolate Roses, a Jane Eyre Parody in 2010. She and her husband have five children, three adorable grandchildren—and have an aging Springer Spaniel, three hens, and two eligible YA bachelor sons at home.

Janie Rose Whitaker's world revolved around her chocolate shop until Roger Wentworth and his young daughter moved into the apartment across from Janie's. Anyone would think Roger fit the mold of the "perfect" guy, but soon Janie discovers secrets that could keep them apart forever. Though she resists getting involved in Roger's complicated life, they are drawn further into a bittersweet relationship.

You will laugh, cry, and crave chocolate as you read this LDS paraody of the classic novel Jane Eyre.

When Callie Wilford inherits a century-old inn in southern Arizona, locals tell her of a ghost who "guards" the inn. But Callie doesn't believe in ghosts, and she plans to turn the inn into a bed and breakfast. Then things start to happen - strange, spooky things - and she begins to wonder if there is some truth to the ghost stories. If that weren't bad enough, Callie discovers a mysterious grave in the cellar. As she confronts the inn's tragic secrets, she also faces her lonely past and learns to embrace her heritage. But it takes a handsome cowboy and a charming rancher to prove that Callie's long-guarded heart can love again.

Let's find out a little bit more about Joan and her books:

M.B.: When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

Joan: I wrote a Nancy Drew type story in fifth grade. A substitute teacher made a derogatory remark about writers and after that, I didn’t keep my story. Can you believe that? I started taking writing seriously about 17 years ago.

M.B.: What makes you passionate about writing?

Joan: Story development, subplots, character development—it is all challenging and fun.

M.B.: What was the pathway like for you to get your first book published?

Joan: I have written fiction for many years and have a few completed novels. I had a Book of Mormon time period novel at Walnut Springs Press, waiting for acceptance. After contacting Linda Prince and asking about the novel, she asked if I had an LDS romance. I sent Haunts Haven and she accepted it. Walnut Springs Press published Chocolate Roses six months after Haunts Haven.

M.B.: Were you ever discouraged along the way? If so, how did you deal with it?

Joan: You bet, I became discouraged! I still kept writing and attending workshops and trying to learn all I could. I love writing, so I wasn’t going to quit.

M.B.: What is your writing schedule like?

Joan: A schedule is a luxury I haven’t got control of yet. I take every chance I get to write. After grandbabies go home is my best time to write. Sound familiar to anyone? My best time to write is when no one else is in the house.

M.B.: Where do your ideas come from? How do you know the idea is
good enough to write a book about it?

Joan: The idea for Haunts Haven came to me during an ANWA writers’ conference. Jeni Grossman handed out newspapers with large photos and feature articles. The one she handed me had an article about haunted inns of southern Arizona. Then she told us to ask, “What if?” So I asked, “What if a young woman inherited an inn, not knowing it was haunted?” The story evolved from there.

M.B.: When did the idea for Chocolate Roses first come to you?

Joan: I wanted to write a modern, LDS version of Jane Eyre. After seeing the Pride and Prejudice movie set in Utah, I decided to go for it.

M.B.: What do you hope readers will get from Chocolate Rose?

Joan: Pure enjoyment. I hope they laugh, cry, and sympathize with the characters.

M.B.: What is your process of brainstorming a story? Do you just sit
down and write, waiting to see what happens next? Or do you outline

Joan: I outline first. If there is something I feel strongly about—a scene I know I want to be in the story, I’ll start writing there, then outline the rest. My husband is my greatest brainstorming partner. He’s good. My daughters are second.

M.B.: Do you ever experience a snag in a story, a form of writer's
block? If so, how do you deal with it?

Joan: With Chocolate Roses, I came to a block and had to put it aside for a few months and worked on other things. I pulled it out again at a writers’ retreat last summer. The mountain country of Arizona is a great place to think—surrounded by other serious writers.

M.B.: Do you need absolute quiet to write? Do you listen to music when
you are writing?

Joan: Music is too much a part of me and is a terrible distracter. I usually have a tune going through my head and have to tune it out. So NO music.

M.B.: What kinds of inspiration do you use during your story creation periods?

Joan: Researching, tuning into my characters, brainstorming with hubby.

M.B.: Who has made the greatest difference for you as a writer?

Joan: Kerry Blair. She has mentored so many writers, but I claim to be the first. I started writing a novel, and knowing she was a good editor, I’d give her my chapters and she’d mark them up. I guess I inspired her, because she wrote her own novel, submitted and was excepted before I finished mine.

M.B.: What’s your secret to making the character’s in your books come to life?

Joan: Getting into their heads, finding out their past, their motives and desires. I try to give each supporting character their own story too, told in the subplots.

M.B.: Do you use a critique group during the writing process? Why or why not?

Joan: I attend a critique group of women writers once a month. They are open to discussing and making suggestions. Our members are grammar gurus, plot particular-ettes, and avid readers.

M.B.: Which of your books is your favorite, and why?

Joan: I cringe when people ask me that question. I love Chocolate Roses and Haunts Haven. I hope that when you read one, then you’ll want to read the other. They are completely different though, besides being romance.

M.B.: What is something about yourself people don’t know?

Joan: I also have a website where visitors can print (with no charge) the songs I’ve written for Christmas, Relief Society and Young Women.

M.B.: What is your favorite snack to have while you are writing?

Joan: I usually don’t snack at the computer, but use it to force myself to get up and move. I love almonds, and of course chocolate. Chocolate covered almonds—yum!

M.B.: What words of advice do you have for other writers who desire to
have their manuscripts become books in print?

Joan: Don’t give up and be ready for when you are in the right place at the right time—like I was. Learn all you can about the craft of writing.

M.B.: What are you working on now?

Joan: A story about a recent college graduate who takes a summer job working for a newspaper in a seaside village in Oregon. She becomes involved in the lives of the people there. It’s an LDS romance.

M.B.: Any final words you would like to share

Joan; So many would-be novelists tell me that they want to write a book. I tell them to sit down and start. Start anywhere in your story that you feel the strongest about, and go from there. I love the saying on Valerie Ipson’s blog, “While you were watching TV, I wrote a book.” So true. TV robs us of creative time.

M.B.: Where can our readers go to find your books and order them?

Joan: LDS bookstores and Amazon.

You can find Joan at: music

Read the first chapter of Chocolate Roses

The winners of the Janette Rallison, Michael Young and Shawna Williams giveaways will be announced next week. Last chance to enter!