In the latest in my series of author interviews, today we sit down with Tonya Ferguson, author of "to remember love."
Q: Tell us a bit about yourself.
A: Hmmm, I always feel a little awkward when I'm asked this question. I never know what "bit" to tell. I'm always thinking, does anyone really care? Well, here goes. My name is Tonya Ferguson. I am an Author / Singer / Songwriter / Recording Artist / Life Changer. I've been happily married to the most tremendous Man of God and my greatest Encourager for over 31 years. We have 2 grown daughters that are our greatest achievements in life, and together we laugh, live, and love. I've been through a lot, and I know I will have to go through a lot more, and that's ok with me.
Q: How long have you been writing?
A: I actually started writing songs first. I wrote my first song in 2005. I wrote my book, "to remember love," in 2011.
Q: What is "to remember love" about?
A: "to remember love," tells a story of "Real Life," "Real Loss," and "Real Love."
It is a book based on the true story of how my family and I were forced to live our lives clinging to the edge of a jagged cliff, while battling a fierce, non-stop, thirteen year storm.
Being a Caregiver, for nine and a half years, was the most difficult, thankless, exhausting, challenging, frustrating, heartbreaking, and lonely job I've ever done. However, being a Caregiver, for nine and a half years, also gave me the opportunity to give the greatest gift of "Unconditional Love," and has left me reaping rewards that words just can't describe.
What makes my story different, is not only do I tell the raw truth of the struggles I experienced during an unrelenting storm, but I also show the reader how I found my way out of the darkness of my situation and into the light of a new day. It will comfort and encourage anyone who has experienced any type of loss, grief, or is weary from laying down their life to put someone else's life first, by caring for their every need.
Q: How did you come up with the story?
A: It was very simple really, I "LIVED" it. This story was the last 14 years of my life. I have found that I "Live" what I "Sing," and I "Live" what I "Write."
Q: How long did it take you to write "to remember love"? Did you hire any outside help such as a cover artist or editor?
A: It probably took a couple of months to actually write my story down. Then another month to "tweak" it a little. We created the cover ourselves, I did have to hire someone to put it in the format we needed. I did use an editor.
Q: What do you feel sets your book apart from others of the same genre?
A: If I had to answer this with one word it would be, "HONESTY." I was Honest in telling my story. It didn't matter to me if it was good, bad, pretty, or ugly...above all I wanted to be Honest. Maybe it can be better said by someone else. Here is a quote about my book. "We have all experienced hardships in our lives, every single one of us. If you haven't yet just wait, it's coming. This book is Tonya Ferguson's "mountain climbing" story, painted with the raw and real emotions of someone who has battled a long, violent storm." ~Mairin Wolfe
Q: Did you have any specific goals when writing "to remember love"? Any themes or ideas or concepts that you wanted to get across to the audience?
A: I think my goal changed somewhere between the first word I wrote and the last word I wrote. When I began writing, I think it was for my healing. I had hopes that what I lived would somehow make more sense to me if I saw it in black letters on white pages. As I got further into my journey of writing, however, it became increasingly clear that I was writing this book for everyone in this world that has experienced "real life" and all that means. My goal is to give a Voice to all the Caregivers, Compassion to all the Grieving, and Hope to all the Hopeless. I truly feel my book has "No Boundaries." This book is an umbrella to hold on your stormiest days.
Q: What do you think of the changes taking place in the publishing industry? With authors gaining more control over the creation and distribution of their work, what do you think readers stand to gain/lose?
A: I've only experienced one type of publishing, so I have nothing to compare it to. I think authors should have ALL control over the creation and distribution of their work. It's their blood, sweat, and tears that formed the words on those pages. How could readers NOT benefit from authors being free to be themselves?
Q: As I'm sure you know, many readers like to find their favorite authors on social networking websites like facebook and twitter. Do you have any social network links or websites you'd like to share?
A: I love talking with people. I would like to invite everyone to come and visit with me.
My Website: www.tonya-ferguson.com
My Facebook: www.facebook.com/uniquelytonyaferguson
My Twitter: @Tonya_Ferguson
Q: What do you feel are the most important aspects of a great book?
A: I think that changes for each individual person. It's like a work of art. One person may find it overwhelmingly beautiful and another person may not be drawn to it at all.
Q: Were there any other authors in particular that inspired you to pen your own novel?
A: The only author that inspired my story was God.
Q: And just for fun, favorite vacation destination?
A: Anywhere that I can see something beautiful to look at. Mountains, oceans, forests, deserts, etc. Why, are you sending me on an all expense paid vacation?
Thanks for stopping by, and best of luck to you!!