Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Interview with author Alice Wisler


Today I'm very honored to have a guest with us. She is a fellow writer, one I met online. I found out about her son, Daniel, when I mentioned I had a child with cancer. Alice was quick to share her story and offer a shoulder to lean on if I should need it. She has written a book about dealing with grief, and let me tell you, this book is fantastic--whether your child has cancer or not! 

Katie--Hi Alice, thanks for stopping by! Can you tell us a little about your son and his diagnosis?

Thanks for having me as guest on your blog.

Daniel was a mama’s boy, a lover of Cocoa Puffs cereal and Toy Story, best friends with his older sister, and born with a great sense of humor.  He was three when diagnosed with neuroblastoma and four when he died on 2/2/97.

Katie--There is a sweet spirit that eminates from his pictures. A beautiful boy! How long after Daniel’s illness did you realize that writing was a good outlet for your emotions? How did you cope before you came to that discovery?

When Daniel was in the hospital undergoing treatments for his malignant tumor, I was glad to have the companion of my journal.  When he died, I needed to write out my anguish more than ever before. My heart was broken.  Writing saved me.

Katie--I can understand that. Many people have encouraged me to write about my own experience, but I haven't found the courage to do that, other than this blog. When did you know that you wanted to write a book about grief, and how did you come to that decision?

Ever since Daniel’s death, I wanted to create a book about the journey of loss.  Although I wrote numerous articles on losing a child to death, the book didn’t materialize until later. Getting Out of Bed in the Morning:  Reflections of Comfort in Heartache stemmed from my own faith walk on this journey as well as from what I’ve learned about writing through heartache. I think I needed time to develop my new relationship with God—when Daniel died my old relationship seemed distant and I didn’t feel God at all. In fact, I felt abandoned.  Over the years, I was able to cultivate a new song, so to speak (Psalm 40:3).  I realized the strength God is when He sustains us on our journey.  He doesn’t take away our agony or situation, but He is faithful to give us what we need in order to travel over the rocky path.

Katie--Your faith is inspiring. What is your best advice for someone who’s dealing with grief (of any kind)?

Don’t try to skirt around it; you have to go through grief.  Weep boldly.  Don’t be afraid to question.  God can handle all your tears, your confusion, and your doubt.  Be authentic.  Don’t pretend.  That’s the best way to heal. 

Can you tell us a little more about yourself and your writing?

I grew up as a missionary kid in Japan and love sushi!  Now I live and write in Durham, NC and bake a lot of bread in my bread maker. I’ve written five novels—Rain Song, How Sweet It Is, Hatteras Girl, A Wedding Invitation and Still Life in Shadows.  All of them are Southern with recipes in the back, and all have an international connection as well as one to loss. I teach online grief-writing courses and all-day workshops locally as well as at conferences and seminars. I love speaking to groups from my Broken Psalms presentation—about how God sustains us in our circumstances (themes from Getting Out of Bed in the Morning).  I have three blogs and one website:  http;///www.alicewisler.com.  And oh, I really like going out for sushi.
 
Thanks for stopping by, Alice! I strongly encourage you to check out Alice's book Getting Out of Bed in the Morning. It is available here! BUT WAIT! If you would like to win a copy of Alice's book, then simply leave a comment and I will choose one random commenter as a winner. Make sure you leave a way for me to contact you (i.e. your email address, etc.). Entry will be closed on Monday the 18th.

21 comments:

  1. Don't know if I can enter for the book from here Katie, but I'm giving it a go.

    Great interview. Heartfelt and inspiring.

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    1. Sure, Terrie! And thanks for stopping by :).

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  2. That's a lovely, heartbreaking story. My heart sort of died when I read that he was only four years old when he died. Only four. Still such a baby.

    Thank you so much for this post! It was beauitful, thought-provoking, and intensely spiritual. God bless!

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  3. A heartbreaking post about Strength. So sorry for your loss, Alice. Sending much blessings to you and your family.

    I don't know if this giveaway is International, but I'll just leave my email address here: claudine.g@carryusoffbooks.com

    Thanks for sharing about Alice and GETTING OUT OF BED IN THE MORNING, Katie!

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    1. I have left it open to ALL participants, Claudine :). Thanks for stopping by!

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    2. Thanks for letting me a guest on your blog, Katie! Thanks to all who read the post and have entered the giveaway!

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    3. Glad to have you Alice! I know your book is spreading hope and peace to many families.

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    4. Thanks, Katie, for your encouraging words.

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  4. i have heard so much about this book i would love to win it
    Shirley

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  5. Thank you for the interview, Katie, and for connecting us to the story of such a sweet boy. Alice, I'm blessed that you are blessing others who are struggling with questions and grief. You will be a lighthouse in the storm that's called cancer to many. God bless you and Katie.

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    1. Thanks for your encouraging words, Donna!

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  6. Great interview! Alice is an amazing writer and a wonderful friend!

    - julie

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    1. Thank you, Julie! I am so blessed to have a friend like you!

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  7. Touching. I'd like to win the book and share it with a friend...

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  8. I know a couple of people I'd like to share this book with. It sounds like it could be a great witnessing tool, too.

    Please enter me in the contest to win a copy.
    Thanks!

    cindialtman(at)gmail(dot)com

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  9. I love Alice - she is a beautiful writer and speaks from the heart of a bereaved parent and for all of us. Can't wait to read her newest book. Cathy Seehuetter, Nina's mom & Chris's step-mom; Cottage Grove, MN

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    1. Thank you, Cathy! I am so glad that we are going to be able to meet for the first time at the regional TCF conference next month in Kentucky.

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  10. Thank you for stopping by, Shirley, Donna, Julie, Jennifer, Cindy, and Cathy! I have entered you all in for the prize. And I think winning it to give to someone in need of it is a GREAT idea!

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  11. What a heartbreaking but inspirational story you have to tell, Alice. I commend you for having the courage to do so in hopes that your story will help others that might be facing or have already faced cancer in their lives. I'm so very sorry that you had to lose your sweet baby at such a young age. But he will live forever in your book!

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