Marian P. Merritt - Lagniappe

Where the Bayous Meet the Mountains

Monday, March 30, 2015

Kathleen Friesen - Nila's Hope

Good Monday Morning Readers!

Today, Kathleen Friesen visits Lagniappe to discuss her latest release, Nila's Hope. She also agreed to answer a few questions. Read on to see what superpower she'd like to have and why. 

Welcome, Kathleen!

Tell us a little about Nila's Hope.

Nila’s Hope began in my first novel, Melody’s Song (published with Westbow Press). The young woman who started out as a minor character in that story grew to be someone I longed to know better. Nearly crushed by neglect and abuse, Nila Black responded to Jesus Christ’s grace with blossoming faith. As the first story ended, Nila’s abusive ex-boyfriend was headed to prison. I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if he obtained early release and decided to regain his control of her.

 What were some of the challenges (research, literary, psychological, or logistical) you faced in bringing this story to life?

A retired policeman and acquaintance who became a friend, Greg Woods, generously offered his expertise on matters of the Canadian judicial system. I hadn’t known just how quickly some criminals are released from custody, and this turned out to be a vital plot point in Nila’s Hope.

Getting into the mindset of an abused woman was painful. I haven’t experienced such abuse myself, but I have known people who have lived through the horror of verbal, emotional, and/or physical abuse. In order to understand their plight better, I talked to workers at shelters and was moved by their protectiveness toward their clients and their professionalism. No one should have to endure violence, and if Nila’s Hope gives one person the courage to step away from an abusive situation, I would feel incredibly blessed.

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven't been before and is it a place you'd set a story?

I would love to visit Maui someday and set a story there. It seems like a fairytale place, perfect for a romance.  I can’t quite visualize the characters yet. Perhaps they’re waiting there for me. Of course, I would have to spend several weeks in Hawaii in order to get enough material!

·      If you could have one of your senses (Touch, sight, taste, smell, hear) be a superpower which would you choose and why?

My choice for a superpower sense would be my hearing. To be able to hear the quietest whispers, the softest touch of the wind through a garden, or a murmur of a loved one would bring great joy. I would listen for songs of unusual species of birds, the flutter of butterfly wings, and the laughter of children playing. And as a bonus, I could finally understand my husband when he mutters.

·      What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?

I would love for my readers to share how they feel about Nila’s Hope with other readers on sites like Goodreads, Facebook, amazon, and on my website,

·      Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

My mother loved to read, and that’s probably why I yearned to go to school when I was three, but only to learn to read. A shy girl, I usually had my nose in a book. Mom brought home stacks of Grace Livingston Hill novels from the library, and I often read them before she got a chance. Mom also wrote poetry and short stories, and she gave instilled in me the love of words, of stringing them together like pearls. My goal in writing is to touch the heart of each reader with the beauty of those pearls that create pathway to faith.

·     What can we expect from you in the future?

I’m currently working on the third story set in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Once it is completed, I’d love to write a series set in a fictional small town. I’ve always been a small town girl, and I love the way people in small towns know one another and, hopefully, care for each other. The characters are already whispering to me, and I can’t wait to get to know them.


·      eReader or Paper book?
I do read books on my laptop, but I prefer the feel of a “real” book. The texture of the paper, the smell of ink, and the satiny feel of the cover have always thrilled me.

·      Steel Magnolias or Fried Green Tomatoes?
While Fried Green Tomatoes made me chuckle and cringe, Steel Magnolias affected my life. The interactions of the disparate characters created a rich tapestry that wrapped itself around my heart.

·      Sweet Tea or Unsweetened Tea?
Unsweetened tea, please, with perhaps a tiny bit of honey. My English grandmother taught me to drink my tea “straight” or sweetened with honey, and I’ve always preferred it that way.

Debbie Macomber or Nicholas Sparks?
         Nicholas Sparks knows how to pull heartstrings, but I adore Debbie Macomber’s stories of normal people in normal places who invite me into their normal, intriguing, and problematic lives. I want to write stories like that.

·      Vacation: Beach or Mountains?
It’s impossible to decide – I love them both! And here in British Columbia’s beautiful Okanagan Valley, I have quick access to lakes and mountains. I couldn’t ask for a better place to live and write.

Just when her career as a carpenter and a relationship with Will Jamison are within reach, Nila Black’s abusive ex-boyfriend is released from prison. He’s out of jail, out for revenge, and making promises she knows he’ll keep. Nila will do anything it takes to save Will and her friends from the evil that will come their way if she doesn’t put distance between them—even if it means abandoning her new-found faith. It will take a miracle and an angelic messenger to show Nila that God is her greatest protector. He has never left her side, and He wants only the best for her and for the man she loves.

Kathleen Friesen lives in the beautiful Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, Canada. 
She enjoys reading, travelling, kayaking with her hubby (on calm waters only!), and spoiling their grandkids.

Kathleen completed her first novel, Melody's Song, a story of redemptionIt was published via WestBow Press and is available at all major online retailers or through your local bookstore.

Her second novel, Nila's Hope, with its theme of release, is being published by Pelican Book Group under their Harbourlight banner.. It will be available March 20, 2015. Mark your calendars!

Kathleen's current work in progress is Hayley's Choice, and it concludes the Saskatoon series. The theme for this book is resurrection, and I can't wait to see how it all turns out.

Kathleen, thanks so much for sharing!

Readers, thanks for visiting Lagniappe.

I pray you find 
"a little something extra" 
in each of your days.