Today, in honor of the 13 Reasons Why blog tour, I will be interviewing Faith Potts and Kaitlyn Krispense. These two have released their novels during Suicide Awareness Week. If you’re curious about the blog title, here’s an explanation…
“13 Reasons Why is a Netflix TV series centered around a young girl’s suicide. There’s debate about whether it promotes suicide or simply raises awareness, but the undeniable fact is that this show has persuaded others to take their own lives. Each episode explains a reason for the girl’s suicide—13 episodes, 13 reasons. Since both Freedom and Beloved deal with the topic of suicide, we decided to name our blog tour the 13 Reasons Why tour—but each day, we are giving reasons to choose life. We are fearfully and wonderfully made, loved beyond measure by our Creator. And that makes every day worth living.” ~ Kaitlyn Krispense
I don’t know about you guys, but the glorifying of suicide needs to end, and to do that, we must speak up. I’m honored to be part of this blog tour in effort to show life as the precious gift it is.
REASONS TO LIVE…
New song releases.
Seeing happy dogs while out in town.
Funnel cakes during festival seasons.
Bringing a smile to a stranger’s face in the store.
To learn to do something new.
To see another sunset and another sunrise.
Saving the turtles who wander into the road.
Laughing over silly things till your stomach hurts.
Late night conversations with the stars.
Having just returned to American soil from the desert sands of the Middle East, James Greene is done with his life. ‘Double amputee’ doesn’t seem like a strong enough phrase to label the physical and emotional pain he bears. Add the lack of love and communication with his family members, the demons that haunt him day and night, and he can find nothing worth living for. Ending it all is the only way out.
Alexandria Lorance is a not-so-ordinary physical therapist, content with aiding in her patients’ recoveries. Her work gives her fulfillment, but alone in the silence, she still endures the hidden scars of a past, unhealthy relationship. Reminding herself that true healing is found in Christ alone, she seeks to show kindness and love to everyone she meets.
When these two broken ones’ paths intersect, the spark of friendship is ignited, bringing hope and joy to both. Can they step out of the darkness of suffering and into the freedom of grace?
A Marine, broken by war. A therapist, scarred by words. A chance meeting in a parking lot bonded them together. But can love grow in these two hurting hearts? Or are they truly too broken to ever find lasting happiness?
ABOUT FAITH POTTS
Saved by God’s grace, Faith Potts is a teenage writer and homeschool graduate, living with her family and beloved yellow labs in the North Carolina mountains. When she’s not weaving stories, consuming large amounts of coffee, reading stacks of books, or studying American Sign Language, she can be found laughing harder than is healthy, daydreaming, and—of course—blowing dandelions.
AUTHOR INTERVIEW WITH FAITH
Welcome to the blog, Faith, I’m super excited to have you here. Let’s jump right to it… Have you always wanted to write about harder topics, or are these subjects something God slowly presented to you over your author career?
Writing about the difficult topics is something that I didn’t plan on. A few years ago, I never would’ve expected to be publishing a book centered around suicide and the heartache that accompanies it. I started playing around with a story of a suicidal veteran, having no clue where it was going. And over the course of the very wild, very messy first draft, I realized that this was the story God wanted me to tell—regardless of how much it hurt and even when I cried through entire scenes. No matter how it’s accepted, I know this is the story that He wanted me to write. <3
What part of Freedom most resonates with you? Have you ever related to certain elements in the story?
The element dearest to me—and one I can personally connect with—is the worthlessness and purposelessness experienced by several of the characters. Whether it’s thinking you “don’t deserve better” because of past mistakes or feeling like your life has no purpose or value, it’s a crippling mindset and a painful place to find yourself in.
Publishing a novel that tackles hard topics is not easy. What has pushed you on this far, despite the backlash and/or ignorance from others?
Although I love this story from the bottom of my heart, I would still be okay if no other soul on this earth found it to be worth their time. Why? Because I didn’t write this story for them. I wrote the story God placed on my heart. I said early on that if just one person realizes how serious and massive the suicide epidemic is because of this story, then it was all worth it. But now I can look back and see that that’s already been accomplished. Without writing this story which forced me to dig deep into the darkness of suicide, I never would’ve realized for myself just how horrible it is.
Writing a novel like this one isn’t easy, either. What did you do to ensure you didn’t wipe your emotions out? What kept you focused on the hope of the story, too?
I have been wiped out, beat down, and discouraged. But I’ve also prayed more over this book than any other story I’ve written. Jesus has kept me focused on the Hope, the Light, and the greater purpose. Reading stories of people who’ve lost loved ones to suicide and seeing how they’re able to cling to grace and push on through unimaginable pain—those people have unknowingly kept me mindful and grounded.
What can readers expect from the books to come in this series?
More hard topics. More pain. More Faith-tears… *ahem* Lord willing, there will be two (maybe three?) more books in this series and each will deal with harsh realities that Christian fiction prefers to steer clear of. Abortion, teen pregnancy, drug addiction, doubting your faith… and whatever else God throws at me.
I absolutely loved this interview, Faith, you are right on the mark. I’m so grateful you shared this story with the world and continue to be on fire for Chris. ♥
Life without love is hopeless.
Foster teen Cara Richards is unloved. With nothing left and nowhere to go, she is determined to find peace, no matter the cost. But despite her intentions, she’s tossed into another foster family and this time, there’s no going back to who she used to be. To make matters worse, one of her five new foster brothers is a Jesus freak, and she refuses to believe that God actually cares.
Her world is thrown upside down in a way she never expects. Though she prides herself on a resilient heart, her mind is lost adrift among a sea of questions: Is death really the answer? Does God care about someone as unworthy as me? Can everyone truly be loved, no matter what?
Kaitlyn is a farmer’s daughter and a born-again believer in Christ with an obsession for books and music. It is these obsessions that led her to write her own stories. Psalm 46:10 gives her inspiration, her brothers make her laugh, and there’s nothing quite like the excitement of opening an unread book for the first time. Her passion is to share the steadfast love of her Savior through the writing that takes up much of her free time, whether actual writing takes place or writer’s block, in which case she’s probably browsing Pinterest.
AUTHOR INTERVIEW WITH KAITLYN
Welcome, Kaitlyn! I’m glad to have you here. I’ll avoid asking “what inspired you” to write this novel… How about the tougher version. What made you tackle the tough topic of suicide and actually finish the novel despite the difficult element?
Thanks . . . I think?! So, when I first got the inspiration for this story, I was going through a time of depression. I wasn’t suicidal myself, but when I started the story, it just kinda . . . went that way? Honestly, the suicide aspect didn’t bother me as much as it probably should have.
What part of Beloved resonates with you the most? A character or a certain aspect..?
The message. The fact that we are loved by our Creator, and that makes us utterly priceless. Many people—including me—need to be reminded of this fact over and over. And if I can have a part in helping spread that, then this will all have been totally worth the hours I agonized over poorly-structured sentences.
How long did you have the idea for Beloved before you wrote it, and how long have you been writing before? What made you decide to publish this specific project?
About two hours. I actually would’ve started it sooner but I was working in the garden, haha! Before that, I’d been writing for . . . three years? Give or take. I was into writing fan fiction back then, and then I wrote my first novelette—one that will stay locked up forever, muahahaha. But yeah, that got me into really loving it.
What is your opinion of the “stigma” behind suicide? Do you still see it in existence, or do you think we have surpassed a healthy awareness, perhaps even become a society who worships the heartbreak?
We live in a fallen world. There will be people who see suicide as a sad a heartbreaking thing, and others as the opposite. But I can only speak for myself—life is a precious gift from God, and when we take that away, it’s going against everything that He created us to be. What’s important is that we never forget the seriousness of it, and that we spread the love of Christ to everyone. Who knows? A simple hug could keep someone from ending it all.
What can readers expect from you after Beloved? Do you have any more novels in store for us? I hope so!
I’ve got a couple of ideas that I’ve been working on off and on . . . one in particular being an urban fantasy that I’m rather excited about. Not sure where it’ll go, or if it’ll get published—we’ll have to wait and see! I’ve also written several flash fiction stories that I’m thinking about compiling into a collection.
Amen, Kaitlyn! Life is a precious gift and I pray Beloved inspires someone to choose life. ♥ Thank you!
Three lucky winners will wrap-up the party with anywhere from a ebook copy of one of the books to paperback copies of both.
Giveaway closes midnight September 13th, winners will be announced on the 14th. International entrants are welcome, but should they win first or second place, ebooks will be substituted in place of paperbacks.
That’s all for today, folks! Check out Faith and Kaitlyn’s blogs for the full HUGE schedule! I hope this post encouraged you and PLEASE comment at least ONE reason to live below. ♥