Phyllis Edgerly Ring
author, Snow Fence Road
Give us a bit of your background (where are you from, your family, traveling adventures)
My parents’ inter-cultural marriage, courtesy of World War II, was the perfect set-
up for my inner writer’s needs. I feel at home in the whole world, have a passionate interest in what develops human beings into their highest possibilities, and have been intrigued by the roles of culture, history, and inspiration since I could talk. As youngest child, almost like an only child, I learned early how to keep myself happily occupied, a vital skill for any writer. “Listening” to the stories that came along and “told themselves” to me was a big part of that.
Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go?
Germany, and most of Europe. It’s my childhood home, and never fails to yield wonderful discoveries. My current novel-in-progress is set there during World War II and research for it is immersing me in whole new aspects of Germany. I love to spend time in the places that inspire settings in a story, to be physically close to the scenes taking shape on the page – smell the scents of the street foods, hear the tolling of the bells, see the sky over Europe’s wide-open expanses of fields, rolling hills, and forests. Perhaps it’s because I knew them so early, but no other place feels quite as much like home.
What got you started on your writing journey?
Coming from a family of writers – and trying to escape it! I explored a number of other occupations before I realized that I’m inherently a writer, I just had to understand how that works for me. That happened with the experience that led me to write Snow Fence Road. I dreamt the accident experience that shatters its hero’s life, saw it as if I were witness at the scene. That’s when I realized that the stories that want me to engage with writing them come and find me. My job is to pay attention and respond.
What other things do you have planned with your writing for 2014?
After a year of releasing one book and wrapping up publisher’s revisions on another, I’m ready to forge ahead in 2014 with my novel-in-progress, spending time in Germany as I do. A story of three women in two generations, Ordinary Girl is set in wartime Nazi Germany as well as contemporary settings and has plunged me into a span of history when things got very scary and dangerous, very quickly, in ways people didn’t see coming. Many who lived in Germany during the war didn’t support what was happening but had no way to escape it. So they had to focus on finding a way to outlast it. This is a theme still resonating loudly in our world, in lots of lives and situations. This women’s fiction also explores the power of believing enough in goodness to find the will and fortitude to outlast injustice, and horror.
What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?
Just one? I guess I’d have to say the way in which it requires me to go within, deep into that interior “waiting room”, then listen and watch and do my best to render what I discover there into what will be compelling enough to attract others’ hearts – and also bolster them. That’s my ultimate goal.
Do you have a favorite comment or question from a reader?
Oh, goodness, what a gift it is to hear from readers – and I love the reader reviews that make better blurbs than any I struggled to come up with. A favorite reader sharing was the reviewer who had read the book aloud to her husband, of all things, as they made a long drive together. Hearing that they were both thinking about the characters weeks later means the world to my writer’s heart.
How many books have you written, and how many of those have been published?
Snow Fence Road is my second published book and first published fiction. A third nonfiction book, a collaboration with two other authors, is due out in January (http://grbooks.com/george-ronald-publisher-books/forthcoming/with-thine-own-eyes-1380638499). Possibly because I did a lot of magazine-writing for 20+ years, I tend to alternate between fiction and nonfiction. My goal is that 2014 be the year that I also complete my next novel.
Please share about your book
Snow Fence Road is a love story about how hearts are healed. Now that even “sweet” romance can lean heavily toward physical attraction and arousal, this book might seem like a vegetarian at the barbecue in terms of how it’s categorized. It aims at more emotional and spiritual themes because in the thousands of lives I’ve encountered, so many wounded -- hardened-off -- hearts seem determined to believe they’ll never love, or trust love, again. No amount of physical love or attraction heals that, but real love of heart and soul can, and does. Snow Fence Road also explores the weight of secrets – why we keep them, when they drain our life away; when there isn’t even truly need to, though shame and guilt often won’t let us recognize that.
What are your hero and heroine of the story like?
They’re both wounded, and incredibly gun-shy about love. They’re also held hostage by secrets they don’t need to keep. That’s what they’ll help each other discover, along with the reality that the compassion and love they’ll come to feel for each other can melt what has frozen around their own hearts.
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And now for the giveaway! Phyllis is generously offering one lucky winner a Print copy of her book, along with hand-crafted earrings and bath salts! What a way to enjoy a book! Don't miss out!
To enter, please use the Rafflecopter form below.
Official Rules: All entrants must be 18 years old or older. This giveaway is open to those with US mailing addresses only. The giveaway will end at 11:59 pm EST on Jan 13, 2014. All entries must be submitted before then. The winner will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to respond. If there is no response, another winner will be chosen.