About the Book
A Love to Come Home To
Book 3 in the A Time of Grace Trilogy
By Alicia G. Ruggieri
Releases: July 22, 2016 in softcover and on Kindle
Hardened Ben Picoletti thought he’d turned his back on Depression-era Rhode Island years ago. Nothing remains there for him, except for haunting memories of an abusive childhood. Yet when a criminal accusation shatters his ambitions, Ben has nowhere to flee but back to his stepfather’s home.
There, he finds that redemption yet waits for him… but the sacrifice required to attain it may exceed the limits of his family’s hearts.
Meanwhile, his musical sister Grace continues her studies in New York. She longs to hear a word of affection from her high-school beau… yet only Paulie’s silence greets her. Grace must decide whether she wants to live in the past or move into an unknown future with unexpected love.
Lyrical and sensitive to the aching heart, A Love to Come Home To affirms that God delights in being a stronghold in times of trouble; that He renews His mercy every morning; and that He will work every bitter thing together for the good of His children.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alicia G. Ruggieri writes grace-filled, Christ-centered fiction, including the A Time of Grace Trilogy. She’s a graduate of Rhode Island College, where she studied Communications and History, and her adventures include children’s theatre direction, restaurant management, and small business ownership. Alicia and her husband live in coastal New England, where she may be found drinking far too much coffee and penning stories with her emotionally-disturbed second-hand pug by her side.
Good morning and welcome to the Bookish Orchestrations blog! I’m excited to have you here and hope you have some fun with these questions. Since this blog is about and for writers, most of the questions will be about writing with a few optional, fun questions at the end.
1. What is your writing process? Do you outline before you start?
My novels usually start with an idea that I mull over for a long time before I start the official writing process – often, that idea is just a character who intrigues me or a theme that I really would like to develop. As a Christian, I bring that idea before the Lord and ask Him to give me a sense of whether this is a story that He’d have me write – I ask Him for direction and more story material. Then, it’s usually on to pre-writing for me. I’m not a strict pantser or a strict plotter – The best way to describe my writing process is with those Russian dolls – the ones that fit one-inside-another. J I start small – literally, write the story in a sentence or two. Then I move on to making it a bit bigger – put it into one paragraph. Then, I write the story as one page. And so on. (This is my own take on Randy Ingermanson’s Snowflaking process found here: http://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/articles/snowflake-method.) Often things will change and grow as I keep writing the same story larger and larger. It’s really interesting for me to look back on these drafts and see how the story has changed and how it’s stayed the same. It’s also a great way for me to understand what the heart of my story is.
2. How do you develop your characters? Do you use images found online, a Pinterest board, character sketches, or develop them as you write?
I often map out my characters as I write, not before. Their background, appearance, etc., emerges somewhat organically out of the story I’m telling, and I like to keep notes on this so that I don’t contradict myself! You can find some character-development worksheets that have been helpful to me on my writing Pinterest board here: https://www.pinterest.com/AliciaGRuggieri/writing-how-tos-tips-and-more. For my characters’ appearances, sometimes I’ll find images through Pinterest to illustrate how I see them, but that’s usually after the first few “dolls” (see my answer above) have already been written.
3. What is your best advice for getting rid of writer’s block?
I’m not going to say that writer’s block doesn’t exist. I am, however, going to say that you can, by God’s grace, overcome discouragement and dullness by handing your writing over to Him on a moment-by-moment basis and letting Him work through you – by pushing through the laziness that falls over all of us, telling us that we don’t need to do something that we don’t like – and by seeking encouragement in God’s Word and through godly friends and family members to persevere.
Sometimes, the “handing over” of my writing means that I stop – take a walk – gain refreshment in some way so that I can work better. It means working in God’s timing and not my own. Pushing through the laziness might mean refusing to hop on to social media or (gulp) to read until I get done what needs to be done writing-wise that day.
To be honest, ever since I began doing my “Russian-doll” form of pre-writing, genuine “writer’s block” – a frozen inability to write or gain ideas – has hit me less and less because I already know what I’m writing next so I can’t use that excuse… I just need to fill out the story and push forward. I am really thankful for that method of writing!
4. If you could share one piece of advice that you wish someone else had told you to an aspiring writer, what would it be?
Your writing is not your life. It’s part of the life God has given you… for now. But ultimately, it will fade away. Make sure that you don’t allow the whole writing-world to consume and envelope you. And as a Christian, I’d add, remember that you are a Christian who happens to be a writer, not the other way around.
5. What is your favorite genre?
Ah! Great question – one that’s reeeally hard for me to answer! J I love a good story, first and foremost, with a deep theme that makes me think about my walk with the Lord Jesus, with round characters, with a unique premise. Books that make my favorites list come from a few different genres, including mythology, historical fiction, fantasy, and biblical fiction. A genre that’s tough to get me to read is sci-fi, but that’s partially because I haven’t read much in it yet, I think! J
Fun (optional) questions:
Pizza or Pasta?
Pizza from Twins in North Providence, RI, please! J Unless it’s my mom’s lasagna we’re talking about… Then, it’s a whole different ballgame. J
Seriously?! You want me to choose one? Some of my favorites are: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Bella, and BBC’s North and South (based on the book by Elizabeth Gaskell). I also really love The Gospel of John by Visual Bible International – It is so excellent.
Favorite Bible verse?
One of my favorites is this: “But we have this treasure [that is, the Gospel] in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.” 2 Corinthians 4:7 nkjv
Coffee, tea, or water?
Coffee is necessary for life and godliness, Faith! J I won’t pass up a mug of peppermint tea, either, though.
Favorite movie adaptation?
I love Little Women (the version with Winona Ryder), The Lord of the Rings, and Ben-Hur (the version with Charlton Heston).
SALE INFORMATION FOR A TIME OF GRACE TRILOGY
· July 21-25, 2016 – The Fragrance of Geraniums (Book 1) – FREE on Kindle – http://bit.ly/1VXSyDO
· July 22-28, 2016 – All Our Empty Places (Book 2) - $1.99 on Kindle - http://bit.ly/1UOfV02
· July 19 (12 a.m. EST) – July 29 (8 p.m. EST)
· Wrap-up and winner announced on Saturday morning, July 30, 2016 at www.aliciagruggieri.com.
· See blog schedule (separate attachment) for a reminder on when you are posting and what. J
· Open to U.S. residents only due to shipping costs.
One winner will receive:
· A complete set of signed softcovers of the A Time of Grace Trilogy.
· “Paulie’s Pearls” – So named in honor of Paulie’s first gift to Grace, these are freshwater pearl earrings set in 10k gold.
· “One Day in Your Courts” journal