Upon learning that the previous owner of her home was a victim of suicidal depression, author Barbara Richardson made a silent promise: to turn that farmhouse into a house of joy. In her new book, Guest House, she fulfills that promise.
Guest House is a fictional novel that weaves together the burdens and joys of one outwardly accomplished go-getter, Melba Burns and one shy, imaginative and neglected kid, Matt Garry. After witnessing a terrible accident, Melba has retreated from the world; she’s abandoned her high-achieving life, she’s stopped driving her car, and she avoids human contact. Her sheltered world starts to crumble when Matt, a courageous and ingenious boy with troubled parents finds his way into her heart.
I recently had a chance to interview Barbara about Guest House. She also talked about how it took her 18 years to get her first book published and gave some great advice for aspiring writers.
You can read a few highlights from our interview below.
Matt: Your characters deal with many challenges ranging from growing up with alcoholic and troubled parents, spousal abuse, being raised in a very strict and religious household, how to comfort those grieving, loneliness, and finding love. Do you have a personal connection to the issues raised in your book?
Barbara: I do. Yes I was raised in a really strict religion and had parents who sort of ignored me…And, I think the beautiful thing about living a spiritual life is that it’s not the circumstances, but what you do with them. To me it was so important to show the humanity of all these people, even the terrible actions of parents and friends. And, in all the confusion truly there is this beautiful thread running through it that you can be free when you learn how to surrender to those who love you and to the moment which provides all the care you could possibly need.
Matt: How do you find beauty in those moments of darkness when you have such terrible circumstances?
Barbara: . . . I saw a documentary on the Holocaust a couple nights ago. And, no there wasn’t joy in the camps there. But, these people managed to locate the joy in their heart in these most difficult circumstances because they were true to themselves. If you’re true to your self, not your outer circumstances…joy is available to you every moment.
For more information on Barbara, you can visit her web site at www.BarbaraKRichardson.com or purchase Guest House on Amazon by Clicking Here.