A few months ago I was asked by Jess Archer, my amazing writer friend (who I designed the quill logo for and was featured in a previous blog post) to design a book cover for a book that she wrote. Here is the book cover and also an interview with Jess Archer herself. More about Jess can be found on www.writerjessarcher.com.
When did you start writing your book and when did you finish?
I first started writing this book almost 7 years ago, but I'm not sure you can say it took me 7 years to write it because during those 7 years we were also starting a family, so there were many months when I couldn't even work on the book.
When did you know you wanted to write it?
This may sound odd, but in some ways I've always known I would write the story of how I grew up. (That is, growing up with Billy Graham as my father's boss, moving every year and longing for a sense of "home." ) Even as a young girl I remember thinking, one day I will write about what it feels like to be the "new kid in town." And that's what I did in this book. So in that way it was extremely fulfilling just to tell the story, to really tell my story in a full-length book format. It was fulfilling like lugging around all the ingredients to make a cake and then to finally after so many years, actually create the beautiful cake with all the tools you've accumulated.
What was the inspiration behind your book?
I'll speak to the title of the book to answer this question. The title of my book is, Finding Home with The Beatles, Bob Dylan and Billy Graham. Hopefully people see that title and think, What in the world do those three big names have to do with each other or with a sense of "home"? That's just what I want people to wonder about! The answer to that question lies in my father's dramatic conversion to Christianity. After he became a Christian, my dad changed his habits, his language and his heart toward people. But he held onto his favorite music-- The Beatles and Bob Dylan. On our long car rides between moves with Billy Graham, we listened to these musical icons. It was the only music Dad let us play on the cassette tape deck! The voices of childhood. The music of the Beatles and Bob Dylan. The spiritual direction of Billy Graham. These three forces of influence stayed with me through a very transitory childhood.
What do you hope to accomplish through this book?
I hope people wrestle with their own ideas about the meaning of "home." I hope people turn to God, The Father and ask Him, how can I make sure I get home to be with you?
What was the biggest challenge in writing this book?
Carving out space and time with children under foot!
What was the best thing that you experienced through writing this book?
I've never run a real race, like a marathon or anything. And I don't ever want to! But I have always envied that scene when the runner cross the finish line. That moment when he or she crosses over from pain and hard work into joy and victory. The runner breaks down crying when her feet cross over the finish line because it was all so worth the sense of accomplishment. In the privacy of my office I got to experience that incredible fulfillment of finishing the last line of my book.
When are you hoping it will get published?
Soon, very soon! God willing!
What did you want to come across through the book cover?
Tara's piece that she created for the book art gives that feeling of wistful longing. The girl on the front mirrors how I felt all those years traveling with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. I felt scared. I felt alone. I felt deep longing for the comforts of a home. I hope people see her piece and feel that same mood.