Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Interview with Karen Arnpriester - Author of Anessia's Quest

Genre:Christian, Drama, Suspense,Adult
Publisher: Self published
Publication Date: January 18, 2011
Purchase: Amazon

My guest today is Karen Arnpriester.  I had the privilege of reviewing her book a while back.  You can check out that review of her wonderful book hereBut if you are dying to know what her book is about, here is a quick synopsis.

Anessia’s Quest follows the life of a woman born into dysfunction and neglect. The story takes you on her journey. A journey that begins with abandonment, abuse, and physical injury. Pagne (Pain) believes she is all alone, thrown away, but soon discovers that she is protected and guided by her guardian angel. A powerful relationship develops between this lost child and her loving protector that manifests as a unique method of communication.

Pagne encounters other broken people that become her family, friends and community. Her grace and compassion alter their destructive paths. She moves through her life unaware of the impact she creates, her purpose on Earth.

Her life is filled with tears, laughter, joy and heartbreak. She faces challenges that include ultimate betrayal, loss and shame. Challenges that are only bearable due to her trust and faith in heaven’s love and value for her. Love that is reinforced by her angel. She discovers the events that led to her mother’s indifference and neglect, and must decide how much grace she
can extend to a woman she has hated for most of her life. The ultimate test of forgiveness.

When she faces her death, Pagne discovers the true value and power of forgiveness and love. She is shown how her life created ripples that spread into waves of glorious influence. She was not an accident, she was placed on Earth with divine intent.

Author Bio:
Karen Slimick Arnpriester is a creative, passionate and adventuresome woman. She raised her two children, adores her seven grandchildren and is now a foster mom of two young ladies. She has been a self-taught graphic designer for twenty five years and started her own business twenty years ago. Her faith in God is strong and she believes that we are Christ’s hands, feet, arms and wallet. This translates into her involvement in youth ministries, local women’s shelter, street ministry, the elderly, as well as many other outreaches over the years. Her home has been available to single moms and their children, allowing them to get a fresh start.

ANESSIA’S QUEST is her first novel. The desire to write began two years ago as a hobby. She had an idea for a beginning and the end. The rest of the story flowed and took Karen on a journey. She cried and laughed as she followed the twists and turns of the characters. Once friends read the book, she was strongly encouraged to share her story with others.

RAIDER’S VENDETTA is Karen’s second novel. It will be released in October 2011. It is a psychological thriller between the main characters,Charley and Raider. Charley’s faith and ability to survive is challenged by
the rage of a shattered man.

Her third book, which addresses bullying, is in the works and should be released in 2012. The tentative title is HEY! LEADBOTTOM!

This author wants to take her reader to a place where they can evaluate their beliefs and who God is in their life. When asked why she limits herself to Christian fiction, she simply explains that it is where her heart is. If she commits her precious time to writing, it needs to be of value and have God’s ultimate purpose in mind. Bringing his children home to him. Karen welcomes God’s influence in her writing and prays that she is fulfilling His destiny for her life.

1. Tell us why you wrote a novel at this point in your life.

Writing was never a lifelong desire. Two years ago I participated in a devotional our women’s group did as a fund-raiser. It triggered a love of writing that I believe God planted. The book started out as my entertainment until friends insisted on reading it. The encouragement allowed me to consider taking my book seriously.

2. How did you create your characters?

The first two characters were sketchy at best, and they developed as the story unfolded. The remaining characters entered as needed. I did not start with any of them specifically defined. It was similar to friendships that grow and develop with time. You think you know them, and then they surprise you.

3. What was the process you used to develop the story line.

I had a beginning and end in mind. A “What If” question that I always entertained. The rest of the story was a journey that I traveled along with the characters. I did not know what was going to happen next until I got there.

4. Were you comfortable sharing circumstances from your own life?

There is some of my life included in the book. It was difficult at times, I would be crying while I typed. These experiences brought a realness to the story and it was worth the emotional upheaval. These are some of the events that readers connect with the most.
Once complete, I also saw threads that ran through the story that I could relate to. My circumstances were not nearly as dramatic, but we all have similar emotional struggles.

5. Now as a foster parent, do you believe the story represents the experience as a foster parent accurately?

Yes and no. The emotions, the devastation, the blessings and the need for God’s healing touch for these children was well expressed. The need for patience, the frustration, learning to adapt to new personalities and changes in your home is something I am still learning to deal with.

6. Share your experiences as a foster parent.

We were just going to try it out, see if we could be “Those Kind of People”. Sharing our home with abandoned kids until we were too old or too tired. Love happened, and we have increased our family by two. They love us back and it is powerful. My husband and I laugh when friends call us crazy. They cannot fathom the joy our decision has brought.

7. Your main characters are very service-oriented. Does this reflect your own life?

Yes, I have participated in many service ministries, which include the elderly, youth, and homeless shelters. My husband is a loving man who agreed to open our home to single mothers who needed a chance to get back on their feet. I believe we represent Christ while on Earth, to display his love and compassion.

8. Do you believe you are fulfilling your quest in life?

Yes, now. I squandered many years ignoring what God’s desires were. I focused on my needs and wants. I have a very different relationship with the Lord now, and my priorities have changed drastically.

9. Have angels played a role in your own life?

Absolutely, there have been several occasions that I felt their presence or heard their warning. It is very comforting to know that we are looked after.

10. What type of reactions have you gotten from the readers?

It has been incredible. Many people, women and men, have shared how much they connected with the characters. One mother was close to tears when she explained the transformation her teen daughter was making as she read the book. Several readers were amazed at how real the characters felt. One woman found herself thinking about them after finishing the book, wondering how they were, and then would remember that they weren’t real people. Another said she found herself praying for the main character while reading the book.

11. Any advice for novice writers?

Just do it. Don’t worry about what you’re going to do with it once done, just wallow in the experience of it. When my book was done, I asked key people to read it, people who loved me enough to be honest. It you are going to try and publish your book, you have to know that it is good.

12. What do you want readers to take away from your book?

I want them to know that there is a meaningful purpose for every life and it can be joyful. That it doesn’t have to be what their parents showed them. Also, love is mighty and can bring healing into broken hearts and lives.

13. Tell us about your next book.

My next book is titled Raider’s Vendetta. The book is about an older Christian woman who becomes a hostage in a bank robbery gone very bad. The criminal, Raider, blames God for his life and all it’s tragedies. The story throws these two opposing people together in a situation that forces them to deal with each other. When Raider realizes that Charley is a Christian, she becomes the target for all of his built up rage. She must rely on her faith and God’s grace to get her through his attacks, physical and psychological. This bitter man has a story, like so many broken people, and God helps her to see him through His eyes. Raider’s anger and aggression put Charley at great risk, as well as, her own pride and will. God uses the nightmare to profoundly touch both of their lives. The twists and turns keep you guessing and pulling for both of them.

14. Which authors do you enjoy reading and possibly influenced your writing?

One of the most impacting authors is William Paul Young who wrote The Shack. I know it is controversial, but it showed me that you can write about our flaws, the moments we lose faith and how God is always waiting for us to find him again.

15. Please explain the significance of the dandelion used for your author bio?

I feel that I started writing late in life compared to many authors. The dandelion appears to be dried up and spent, but the seeds are scattered and germinate new, strong plants. I know that I can still instigate creative thinking and challenges for the reader to consider.  I am withering but not done – never too old to instigate.

Connect With Karen:  Website
The Next Stop:
November 2-Interview@Tribute Books Reviews


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