ABOUT TANYA EAVENSON
Tanya Eavenson and her husband have been in the ministry for fifteen years teaching youth, adults, and counseling. Tanya enjoys spending time with her husband, and their three children. Her favorite pastime is grabbing a cup of coffee and reading a good book. Tanya is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and writes for Christ to the World Ministries sharing the Gospel around the world. You can find her on Twitter at @Tan_eave and contact her at her website www.tanyaeavenson.com Want to learn more about writing? Stop by her blog http://guidedgirls.blogspot.com
TIME FOR Q & A
1. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I’m not sure when it happened really, but it took longer than most. See, I never intended to be a writer, it just happened when my husband left for a mission trip. Then in 2011 Unconditional semi-finaled in the ACFW Genesis contest. I still didn’t believe I was really a writer but I keep plugging away, learning the craft. It wasn’t even when I signed my first contract. It happened when my husband told me he was proud of me and that I trusted God and never looked back. That’s when I became a writer and an author at the same time.
2. Describe how you write a book – with your other responsibilities, does it tend to be something you work into your every day, or do you have to “set apart” time to write with open, undesignated blocks of time?
As a writer, I heard time and time again that I needed to write every day to be successful. I used to beat myself up when I couldn’t meet that goal. It took two years fighting with this idea when I finally gave up. So I decided to do something different, I set a word count goal each week, and it’s worked. Some weeks I write 3,000 words and others 7,000 depending on what’s going on during the week. Flexibility is the key for my writing success.
3. Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I love to read non-fiction that dives into God’s word. Next would be historical fiction.
4. How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I’m still learning. =)
5. How do you choose your characters’ names?
I choose names that I’ve always liked. I remember being in middle school and picking out the names my children would have one day. And yes, I did actually name my youngest child one of those names, and that name is my heroine in my novel Unconditional.
6. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
My greatest roadblock, and one I still face today, is being afraid of making mistakes for people to see. Most of the time I overcome it by praying, but it runs deep, so it’s a struggle.
7. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I’d have to say that every character has a piece of me within them whether it’s something the character likes, a physical attribute, or even a journey of spiritual growth. There’s a scene in the novel where Elizabeth and Chris head out to the lake. Elizabeth tries to hold onto the dock, but is unable and the boat floats away. When I thought to add that scene, I could only laugh. It was the first time I’d ever tried to use a trolling motor.
8. Tell us about Unconditional and what inspired you to write the story?
What inspired me? Brokenness I guess you could say. Brokenness for families, children, and what happens when couples divorce.
I grew up in a family were divorce is common, like most people today, with the idea once you “fall” out of love, and you can’t get along anymore, it’s time to get a divorce. It was almost engraved in me witnessing everyone in my family get divorced one time or many times. I, too, almost went down that route with divorce papers in hand. I told myself many things at the time, but the truth. I was focused on our failures, not the hope that with God, all things are possible. The question was, were we willing to save our marriage at all costs? Would we fight for each other, whether we felt like it or not?
It is my hope through this story, that no matter the circumstances the reader is facing, a loss of a child, anger, emotional hurt, infidelity, abandonment, etc., they will know there is hope in Christ.
He will fight for her at any cost…
Elizabeth Roberts can't remember her past, and the present is too painful. She turns to nightclubs and drinking to forget her infant daughter's death, her husband's affair.
When his wife's coma wiped out the memory of their marriage, Chris Roberts found comfort elsewhere. He can't erase his betrayal, but with God's help he’s determined to fight for Elizabeth at any cost.
She wants to forget. He wants to save his marriage. Can they trust God with their future and find a love that’s unconditional?
Excerpt from Unconditional
Elizabeth pushed herself up from the bed. Her gaze swept the dark room and fixed on the hall nightlight. Her hand grazed over her husband’s shoulder when a thought gripped her. Katherine. The baby monitor stood silent. Darkness shrouded the red and green lights that indicated movement.
Her chest tightened. She hurled the covers away and leapt to the floor. Panic made her clumsy as she rushed to her daughter’s room. She lunged over the crib. No sound. No movement. Not even a stirring of air from her tiny nostrils.
“Katherine!” Elizabeth snatched her daughter from the mattress. The infant drew a heavy breath as her eyes flung wide open.
Lord, what’s happening?
Elizabeth’s bare feet pounded the cold tile as she ran back to her husband. “Chris, wake up! Katherine quit breathing again!”
Chris rubbed his eyes and scowled. “What is it?”
“We need to take Katherine to the hospital. She stopped breathing.”
He studied their child. “She seems to be breathing now. Are you sure?”
“Of course, I’m sure.”
“She’s fine.” Chris fell back against the pillow.
“We don’t have the money to take her to the hospital when there’s nothing wrong with her.”
“But there is. She stopped breathing.”
He sat back up. “You’ve been worried about her since before she was born. You’re all worked up because she hasn’t rolled over yet. The doctor said that’s normal for being early.”
She’s called a preemie. She glared into his eyes. “If you were home more often you’d know she’s not fine.”
“I’m home, Elizabeth, and she’s fine.”
Heat flushed her cheeks as tears filled her eyes. “I’m scared. Can’t you see that? I need you to pray for our daughter. I need you to hold me and tell me everything will be all right.”
“Look, she’s sleeping.” His voice softened as his hand ran down her thigh. “Come to bed.”
“How can you care so little? I’m worried about our baby.”
Chris’s hand dropped to the sheets. “Shut the door when you leave.” He turned away from her.
Elizabeth stood for a moment unable to speak. With their baby in her arms, she slowly closed the door behind her and sank her teeth into her lip to keep from crying. If tears came, it would be for her daughter, not for the stranger in her bed.
"Unconditional is a powerfully-gripping story of deep heartache laced with fears, yet even through the sorrow, Tanya Eavenson reminds us that nothing can separate us from God's love."
~ Alice J. Wisler, author of "Still Life in Shadows" and other novels
"Not your typical amnesia story, Unconditional tells a tale of loss, betrayal, and forgiveness. Eavenson drags her characters through the fire, then reveals God’s power through their broken lives. The writing is stellar; the emotion, raw and palpable; the cast, impeccably crafted. This author is one to be watched!"
~ April W Gardner, award-winning author
"Unconditional explores the struggles that married couples sometimes experience, and the decisions they must make after going through difficult circumstances. A powerful story of hope and healing."
~ Laura V. Hilton, Healing Love (Whitaker House)
"Unconditional is a beautiful story of God's never-ending love. Throughout its pages, Tanya Eavenson evokes a myriad of emotions in her readers, from deep despair to heartfelt praise. The characters gripped my heart, showing me the reality of man's sin but also the depth of God's grace. Unconditional is a well-written, heart-stirring novel written by a talented new author."
~ Jennifer Slattery, Novel Reviews