Questions Frequently Asked in Author Interviews
What inspired you to write the book?
When our family was going through our "dark night of the soul" I found it to be a very lonely place. Grief in our culture is extremely misunderstood. People tend to think we are doing well when we are "getting over" our losses or "moving on" when in fact we are secretly dying inside. I wanted to put a face on grief, to take my internal journey and share it so others would feel less isolated in their pain. Through the authentic sharing of the mourning process, there is healing and beauty comes when we lean into grief instead of avoiding it.
How did you come up with the title?
Clefts are places of refuge. Birds hide in them to get away from dangerous predators and to escape the harsh winter season. During the darkest moments of my journey, God lovingly took me to a place of safety and protected me from being taken out when the storm was at its worst. God is impenetrable in his shield-like protection and completely reliable as a stronghold in times of trouble. I need to take trips to the cleft on an ongoing basis so I can be restored. A well-worn path finds its way to the cleft, from having travelled there so many times. I rest here and have permission not figure everything out. I can just put my head on God's chest and weep.
What message do you want readers to grab a hold of?
Mostly, I want readers to know they are not alone in their pain stories. I want them to know that it's ok to mourn for as long as they need. I want them to know that no matter how bad things get, a new day will eventually dawn and hope will rise out of the broken places.
What book are you reading now?
I usually have three or four books on the go. It's dysfunctional in a way, but it has always been that way for me. I have finished reading Zach Sobiach's story written by his mother called Fly A Little Higher. Her story was beautiful and very inspirational. Her son Zach died of osteosarcoma so I could relate to a lot of her emotions. I also just finished reading Rare Bird, a memoir by Anna Whiston-Donaldson. I have a thing for memoirs, especially ones where people overcome Insurmountable pain.
What are your current projects?
Right now I am focusing on my counselling practice. I'm also trying to learn how to rest and not get sucked into perfectionism. I tend to take on too much which often puts me into a very bad mood. I'm trying to contemplate more, read my bible more and spend more quiet time with God.
Who are your favourite authors?
I would have to say Phillip Yancey, Henri Nouwen, Brennan Manning and C.S. Lewis.
What books have influenced you the most?
C.S Lewis' A Grief Observed, Nicholas Wolterstorff's Lament For A Son, Ann Voskamps's 1000 Gifts, and William Paul Young's The Shack.
What was the hardest part about writing your book?
It was really hard to rummage through all the painful details of our trauma. Digging through the grief layers was unbearable at times. It was like I went into a cave to write and at times there was no light. Countless days I wanted to give up because it was so overwhelming. My husband was an amazing support and I could not have done it without him because the book took all of my emotional energy.
Will you write another book?
At this point it isn't on my radar. It's going to take me a while to recover from writing this one. My youngest son is turning 16 in April and I want to squeeze all the joy out of these next few years before he leaves home. I really want to be available for my family at this time. Perhaps later in life when things have settled down.