Interview (and Giveaway) with Pamela Lynn France, Author of Life Soup, A Memoir: Testifying on the Healing Power of Jesus Christ

Today I am delighted to host my guest, Pamela Lynn France, author of 

Life Soup, A Memoir: Testifying of the Healing Power of Jesus Christ

Pamela’s story of surviving a childhood of abuse is a testimony to others of their own ability to rise above and survive. A copy of Pamela’s memoir, in ebook or pdf format, will be given away to one lucky winner.

Author of Life Soup: A Memoir
Author of Life Soup: A Memoir

Pamela L. France is an educator. She received her teaching degree at Adrian College in Michigan. She worked for a number of years in Child Protective Service for the State of Michigan. She has worked as the Coordinator of Services at Southern Utah University’s Student Support Services. Obtaining her Master’s Degree from Utah State University, she spent the latter part of her career as an Elementary and Middle School Counselor in Iron County School system. Pamela lives the retired life in Kanab, Utah with her husband and her little dog Dottie. Mother of six and grandmother of twenty, she finds great joy and loves the challenge and adventure of family. Pamela is a late blooming author. Life Soup is her memoir.

Welcome, Pamela. I am so happy you could join me today. And now to our interview:

Sherrey: Why did you wait so long to write your book?

Pamela: The healing process follows its own course. It takes years to understand oneself and when abuse is thrown into the mix, it can take even longer. I have been writing all my life and I found it very beneficial to get my thoughts and feelings out in this way. I wanted to share my testimony of Jesus Christ. My hope is that it might touch the hearts of those caught in the throes of traumatic abuse. Conveying this in a readable and inoffensive way took time.

SherreyWhat is your background that allows you to offer credibility to other people?

Pamela: I survived my father’s abuse. Throughout my life I have taken many opportunities to read, study and experience what I could that would help me to deal with its effects. Along the way, I learned much and wanted to help others in similar circumstances.

Sherrey: How have you gained your love of writing and your desire to write?

Pamela: I must admit that reading and writing in my teen years became an escape. Reading especially took me away to other places and helped keep my mind off my troubles. I love most genres of literature and have immersed myself in everything I read. My favorite categories are mystery and historical fiction. I believe writing is a wonderful way to heal wounds of the heart.

Sherrey: What gave you the confidence to write a book on this controversial topic?

Pamela: Frankly, my confidence was in the Lord. I hope that by writing my book helps repay some of the debt for the blessings He provides in such abundance. Sharing my story was not easy for me. Fortunately, I have a very loving family and friends who care. These people encouraged me to continue. I believe I had more determination and hope than confidence. Mia Angelo’s quote says it well – “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

Sherrey: Did you ever feel sensitivity towards those in your book whose names you included?

Pamela: When I shared my manuscript with my beta-readers, I ask if I should use real names or fictional. My sister Paula, a major character in my childhood and healing journey, said, “We are who we are.” I am so appreciative of her attitude and support. My topic is sensitive, but it is my story to tell.

Sherrey: Who has this book benefited and why?

Pamela: Since writing this book, I have been surprised at the unexpected benefits. One friend shared a wish that she could have read it many years ago. She felt it would have helped her better understand and love her own mother, who was also a victim of incest. Many have told me that they shared the book with a friends dealing with similar circumstances such as: the mother of a child victimized, a woman dealing with effects of abuse perpetrated on her during childhood and now trying to raise her own children. Other victims also shared support and appreciation that I had a voice when they had none. Abuse can make one feel so isolated. I needed to tell my story to let others know that they are not alone and that someone cares and understands.

Pamela, thank you again for joining me today to discuss your memoir. Also, thank you for sharing your story so others may learn from your experience.

And now to the book~

This is a true story told using the memories of a child – my inner child. It is a story of survival – a love story without romance, but hope. It tells of the age old struggle between good and evil, light and dark forces around us. Jesus Christ has been saving souls throughout human history. Thankfully He is a part of my story.

and to the giveaway~ 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Self and Soul: On Creating a Meaningful Life by Lorraine Ash | A Review

Are you living a life of quiet desperation? Questioning what it means to succeed? Wondering if your efforts matter? In this uplifting memoir, Lorraine Ash uses her own life experiences to explore inner landscapes where the seeds of divine healing and insight reside. These are the landscapes on which we create our own meaning and find the resiliency to thrive in a changing and challenging world.

(Image and synopsis via Goodreads)

My Thoughts:

Lorraine Ash shares courageously the story of her greatest loss: the stillbirth of her daughter, Victoria. I cannot begin to know what a loss, such as losing a child before life is breathed into it, does to one’s soul.

A beautifully written memoir takes us along with its author to explore the search for meaning after a loss of this proportion.

As I traveled along learning more about Lorraine’s journey, I began to realize there were still hurts and pains within me from childhood abuses. While combing through her words, I began to realize what I could do with those old abuses and scars.

One particular quote sticks in my mind and heart and will stay with me:

Some people scream out our insignificance … but it is we who choose to believe it.

These words jumped from the screen of my Kindle and into my being with such force it was as if they belonged to me all along. After rereading them a few times, I realized Lorraine’s words had given me permission to toss aside all the hurtful words flung at me as a child. A very freeing experience! (Thank you, Lorraine.)

As I continued to read, I felt as if Lorraine was a friend, a sister, a mentor of sorts. Life never gave her the gift of motherhood, but I see in her memoir that the qualities of mothering are within her and her nurturing reaches into the world via her words and her skillful usage of them.

Wherever you are, whatever your circumstances and/or your pain, reading Self and Soul will bring you inner peace, a new outlook on life, and perhaps even a moment of healing energy which allows you to move on with embracing life as it transforms with each new experience. to be.

I highly recommend Lorraine’s memoir to anyone interested in memoir, coping and healing following loss, and transforming life into a rich and bountiful experience.

DISCLAIMER: I received a copy of this book from WOW! Women on Writingas part of Lorraine’s book tour in exchange for a fair and honest review. The opinions expressed are solely my own.

Meet the Author:

Lorraine Ash, MA, is the author of “Self and Soul: On Creating a Meaningful Life” (Cape House Books, 2012) and “Life Touches Life: A Mother’s Story of Stillbirth and Healing” (NewSage Press, 2004). Both are spiritual memoirs, an old but evolving genre she believes in as a catalyst for personal healing and transformation and social change.

“We each were born as a character into a large family and cultural story,” she said, “and not always in the roles we would have chosen for ourselves. Then fate takes us in unexpected directions. Writing spiritual memoir is a way to weave our outer and inner lives to create meaning and trace and direct our evolving identities over time, including that timeless core in each of us called the soul.”

What does all that have to do with social change? Nothing helps the human race see and understand itself more than such honest witnessing in every corner of the human experience. There is no taboo territory in autobiographical writing, which the author William Dean Howells once called “the most democratic province in the republic of letters.”

In her workshops and writing retreats Lorraine fuses rigorous literary techniques with a wide range of spiritual and philosophical thought. Participants learn to find their strongest writing voice, structure their stories in compelling ways, and see their lives from surprising and useful new angles. All these goals are achieved in an informal backdrop of serenity and relaxation. Why? Because gracious contemplation is a friend to creativity. The ultimate achievement always is for the writer to lead herself, and her readers, to some spiritual truth.

Connect with Lorraine here:

Website/blog: www.LorraineAsh.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LorraineAshAuthor

Twitter: @LorraineVAsh

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/lorraine-ash/45/77/650

Book Details:
Publisher: Cape House Books
Published: October 20, 2012
Paperback and e-book available
ISBN-10: 1939129001
ISBN-13: 978-1939129000

Where to buy Self and Soul:

Paperback edition from CreateSpace (Publisher’s fulfillment partner—the fastest and most author-friendly way to buy!)

Paperback and Kindle from Amazon.com

Buy iBooks edition from iTunes

Buy Nook edition from Barnes&Noble

Buy Kobo edition

Also available for other popular ebook readers, or through your favorite bookstore! Audiobook edition coming August 15, 2014 at Audible.com, Amazon.com, and the iTunes store.

For delivery right to your inbox of upcoming memoir reviews, writing resources and tips, plus news items related to writing and publishing, sign up for my bi-weekly newsletter by clicking on the image below:

Memoir Writers’ Resources Series | The Power of Memoir: How to Write Your Healing Story by Linda Joy Myers

This is the third in this series, which has an infinite number of parts. Therefore, there is no “Part 1 of a #;” it will simply continue until the well dries up. The first two posts can be found here and here.

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Image via Goodreads
Image via Goodreads

Linda Joy Myers’ book, The Power of Memoir: How to Write Your Healing Story, is among the first books I turned to when I recognized the desire and yes, even the need, to write my story.

When I sat down to read through it, Myers’ writing style mesmerized me. Myers shares not only writing tips and guidelines, but as a psychotherapist she has helped others through pain and has worked through a great deal of emotional pain herself.

Comfortable and sensitive in her choice of words, Myers made me feel as if I were the only one she was talking to as we worked our way through this how-to guidebook on memoir writing.

Found between the covers of The Power of Memoir Writing are resources going beyond the mere writing of the manuscript. Here are a few examples:

  • A Useful Disclaimer
  • Tips for Making Ethical Decisions About Your Memoir
  • Preparing to Publish Your Memoir
  • Finding a Professional Editor
  • The Opinions of Friends, Peers, and Writer’s Groups
  • Building Your Platform
  • Book Publishing Options

Recently, I read a blog post by Myers, Tips for Your Memoir Writing Journey. The post begins with language that I feel sums up beautifully the message in The Power of Memoir:

Writing a memoir is like finding yourself on a journey: you thought you knew where you were going, but eventually you are lost! We all experience several stages that lead up to your journey: As you pack your suitcase, you think about the thrilling and interesting moments you will encounter. And as you start your journey, you are still excited and moving forward with great energy. Then reality sets in. Life still presents challenges. And it is this way when we write our memoir.

If you are just beginning or have already begun writing your memoir, The Power of Memoir should be on your list of resources to find and add to your writing library.

Perhaps you have a favorite memoir writing resource or resources.

If so, I hope you’ll share them in a comment below.

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Linda Joy Myers’ books are available on Amazon, where you will also find a short author’s biography. Myers is also the founder and president of National Association of Memoir Writers, another incredible resource for the writer working on memoir. Additionally, Myers blogs at Memories and Memoirs.

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