- What was your first encounter with the writing world? I first started writing more seriously when I was 12 years old. It’s a little embarrassing to admit this, but my first story (which ended up being a 20-part series) was called How I Became A Spice Girl. It was right around the time that Ginger Spice left the group and I thought it would be cool if I, a teeny-bopper, could take her place as the fifth Spice Girl. I would hole up in my room for hours writing those stories. Good times 😊
- How did you get the idea for your book? It’s actually a really cool story. I was taking a counselling class while doing my seminary degree, and in teams, we had to make up a family, and create a crisis scenario to experience what it would be like to be “counselled” (our professor happened to be a professional counsellor). The family we made up in that role play became the Myer family in Safe on Solid Ground, and that counselling session is nearly exactly what we role played that day in class.
- What’s more important: characters or plot? Both are important, but I would definitely say characters. If you have a strong plot, but weak characters, you have a weak story. Readers identify strongly with characters – they feel what they are feeling, they imagine themselves alongside of them, or maybe even as them. The plot is only best experienced when the characters are easy to relate to, so characters have to come first, in my opinion.
- What do you do when you’re not writing?In this season of my life, I feel like we should be asking ‘what am I not doing?’ Life is full. I am working full time as a Youth Pastor/Administrative Assistant, I am very slowly trying to write another book, and I foster two little girls. When I’m not doing any of that, I like to curl up with a good book (right now I’m reading through A Series of Unfortunate Events), or a good show (I’m a Heartland fanatic right now).
- What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?Honestly? Never never never give up. I know it’s cliché, but after all the rejections, closed doors, and unprofessional dealings, I should have quit years ago. But I felt as though I should just keep trying. And trying. And trying. And trying. In the end, it paid off. Here I am, so perseverance is crucial. Don’t let those first few (or few hundred) rejection letters stop you from improving your book and trying again. And again. And again. You never know! I sure didn’t 😊
- Where can readers find you online?I’m on Facebook and Twitter (Just search for Chrissy M. Dennis), and my website is www.chrissymdennis.com
Fourteen-year-old Kaitlyn Myer dreams of becoming a basketball champion, but making her high school’s varsity team quickly turns into a living nightmare when a gang of bullies targets her. As their abuse erodes her confidence, Kaitlyn slides into destructive patterns and isolates herself from the people who love her most. If God is so good, why is her life so bad?
Taryn Thompkins, fifteen-year-old daughter of a heroin addict, is just settling into a group home when an experienced foster family offers to take her in. Embraced by the Myer family, Taryn begins to understand for the first time what family really means. But when Kaitlyn’s rebellion threatens everyone’s peace, Taryn is caught in a crossfire of mistrust and judgment and left wondering if she ever should have agreed to live with them in the first place.
Terrified of the repercussions, Kaitlyn cannot speak the truth, and no one’s listening to Taryn. But as secrets, half-truths, and lies upheave the family, one thing is certain: Truth alone will set their feet on solid ground.
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