27 June 2013

Getting to know you part two Thursdays with Tessa Afshar

Please welcome Tessa Afshar back to my blog. Tessa has a new book out which looks like an interesting read.

1.    Can you tell us a something interesting that readers may not know about you?
I was born in Iran and lived there the first fourteen years of my life. My family was nominal Muslim. The first time I had a transformative experience of Jesus was through a dream when I was in my twenties.
2.    Do you get to read many books and if so do you have a favourite Genre?
     I can’t imagine life without books! My interests vary from the Bronte sisters,   Jane Austen, and Wilkie Collins to current historical fiction and even some fantasy and science fiction.
3.    How do you come up with ideas for books?
     I usually start with a character. The central character in my last two books, Sarah, just invited herself over for dinner one day and refused to leave. From the first page, Sarah’s spunky personality was larger than life. I ended up creating the first novel to tell her story, and the sequel, Harvest of Gold, in order to tell the story of her marriage as well as to recount Nehemiah’s incredible accomplishment in rebuilding the shattered walls of Jerusalem.
4.    In your latest book did you learn any interesting titbits in your research?
     Because the backdrop of Harvest of Gold is the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem, I learned a lot about Nehemiah in my research. It was a life-transforming experience for me. As Christians, we can learn incredible lessons about overcoming the hardships of life from Nehemiah. He teaches us how to resist the temptation to cave in, to give up when we are exhausted and feel hopeless. He teaches us how to overcome.
5.    What does a typical writing day look like?
     Setting up a goal and not meeting it! 
6.    If you had one tip for aspiring writers what would it be?
     If you love your characters, so will your readers. There are no throw-away lines, no throw-away scenes. Make every word count and draw the reader into your world.   
7.    What do you hope readers take out of your latest book?
     Harvest of Gold is a romance, but it is also a book about overcoming. How do you respond to the interior and exterior forces that threaten to destroy you in your daily life? Harvest of Gold tries to answer that question based on the timeless principles we find in the book of Nehemiah.
8.    A couple of fun questions to end: if you were to come to Australia what would you most like to see?
     I would love to see some of the spellbinding coastline of Australia. I might even dip my toes in, if you promise nothing is going to eat me. (jenny here I think you will be safe if there was a problem with say jelly fish there would be an alert out)
9.    Do you have a favourite Ice cream flavour (this interview was composed on a day where it was over 100 in Australia)?
     Cherry Garcia by Ben and Jerry’s. 
10. Finally can you tell us about your current books and/or any that will be coming out soon. Also where we can find you on the web.
     A fun little tidbit: the book launch for Harvest of Gold is being sponsored by the Mark Twain House and Museum in Hartford, Connecticut, where the beloved author spend a large portion of his life with his family. On Monday, July 1, 2013, we are hosting a Persian tea with traditional cookies, pastries, pomegranates, figs, grapes, and other goodies to approximately two hundred fans and members of the local media as we unveil the book. For more information on me or my books, please visit me at tessaafshar.com.
Thanks again for your time and agreeing to be on my blog.
     It’s been a pleasure to spend time with you and your readers, Jenny! It may be the only way that I will visit Australia, so I do appreciate it.

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