So the title of that sounds like it should be a non-fiction book, right? Well it's actually fiction. And the reason why I say it's a review of sorts, is that I'm still reading it! I'd completely forgotten I'd agreed to read and review this until I received an email reminding me of the date my review needed to go live. So since I'm still reading it, I won't be able to give a true rating, and the review won't yet be posted on Amazon until after I finish the book. But I've got a question & answer with the author that'll be a part of this, and I promise to finish the book and have the review posted on Amazon/Goodreads as soon as possible.
About the Book
Catherine Benson who longs to do one great thing before she dies and Elmer Grigsby who hopes to stay seriously drunk until he slips out of the world unnoticed. Against a Christmas backdrop, Catherine searches for purpose while fighting the infirmities of age and the best intentions of her children. She gains support in the battle from her faithful housekeeper and her quirky friends known as the Glory Circle Sisters. Elmer isn’t supported by anyone, except maybe his cat. When he opens the last whiskey bottle of the month, he knows it is time to shuffle down to the post office and pick up his government check. Somewhere in his fog, Elmer knows he was once a better man. That is why he stays in the fog. When their destinies intersect one Tuesday in December, they both discover it is only Thirty Days to Glory.
My Thoughts...So Far
So I'm currently still reading this. I've gotten about halfway finished with it right now. I'm finding that this a sweet story. I'm not sure what I was expecting, since this is the first book I've ever read by this author. I'm really enjoying the character of Catherine. Her faith is strong and when she prays, she often doesn't quite understand why she needs to pray for something very specific for this man she's never met, but she does so anyway. Elmer makes me smile. I see an elderly gentleman who has suffered and really seems to be forgotten. But he's not forgotten. God has remembered him. It'll be interesting to see how the rest of the story plays out. Based on the book description, it seems that Catherine will meet Elmer at some point. I think that that will be a memorable meeting. I'm looking forward to finishing the book.
Since I'm not finished with it, I cannot give it a true rating. While I'm enjoying the book, I'm still unsure what I would rate it. Keep watching for my review to change once I've finished it!
I received a pdf copy for free from the publisher, CrossRiver Media, for the purpose of reviewing. My thoughts and opinions are my own.
About the Author
Kathy Nickerson is an author, speaker, and eternal optimist who writes from her home in rural Missouri, where she lives with her husband of nearly forty years. They are the parents of four children who grew up to become their best friends and who have given them thirteen grandchildren, so far. Kathy's eternal optimism comes from her mother, The Nicest Woman on Earth, and from a deep faith in the God who made Light to shine from darkness.
Kathy's articles have appeared in several magazines and her novel, Thirty Days to Glory, will be released by CrossRiver Media in 2013.
Connect with Kathy online.
her blog - kathynick.com/blog
her website - http://kathynick.com
FaceBook - https://www.facebook.com/Mrs.KathyNickerson
Question & Answer
• Tell us a little about your background and how you became interested in writing..
I've loved writing since my sixth grade teacher taught us to diagram sentences on the chalk board. I started writing fiction in high school when I wanted to change the endings to some of my own stories. (You know, the girl actually gets the guy instead of getting dumped.) Later, I discovered that stories were a great way to express emotions, share truths, and explore life. Eventually, I started writing lots of non-fiction and sold several articles, as well.
• What led you to write Thirty Days to Glory?
⁃ I actually drew Elmer Grigsby's name in a prayer challenge like Catherine's. (Although I've changed his name.) He stuck with me for years, and I wondered if my prayers had made any difference. Then I met a sweet lady in the nursing home who felt her life was useless. My husband reminded her the most important thing she could do was pray. The story grew from there.
• Tell us about getting your mind in a creative mode? How do you begin your writing process?
⁃ I write! I'm a big believer that we must discipline our art, so I don't wait for some kind of magical inspiration. I sit down and force myself to type words. Even if they are no good at the start, they will eventually flow. However, when I do get dry, I give myself a creative experience. I watch a movie, read a book, go for a walk, or enjoy a great conversation.
• Many writers utilize a writing group. Where do you get constructive critiques and feedback?
⁃ I have a small circle of writing friends who are willing to tell me when something stinks. We are an informal critique group. I also sign up for paid critiques at writers' conferences, and I sometimes use a service such as The Christian Writers Guild critique service. Those require a thick skin, and I think I have one.
• What is Thirty Days to Glory about?
⁃ This is the story of Catherine Benson, an elderly widow who wants to do one great thing before she dies. And about Elmer Grigsby, a WWII vet who just wants to stay seriously drunk . Inside their stories are universal questions about purpose, destiny, relationships, and the things that ultimately matter in life.
• What was the hardest thing about writing the book?
⁃ Honestly, I was surprised by the emotions I encountered right along with the characters. They feel almost as real as my family sometimes. I've read and revised the book about a zillion times, but some places still make me cry. Or laugh.
• Now that Thirty Days to Glory is out in bookstores, do you have any projects you're currently working on?
⁃ Several. Some of the Glory Circle Sisters are demanding stories of their own. Currently I'm working on a novel about the adventures of Bess Caldwell after she sneaks away from the assisted living apartment her nephew put her in. And Madge is about to save the day in another story.
• When you're not writing, what do you enjoy doing?
⁃ Snuggling my husband. Hugging our grandchildren. Talking with friends about God-things. Watching our children conquer various corners of the world. And, of course, planning for Christmas all year long!
• Anything else you would like to add?
⁃ I hope readers will be inspired to take some action after reading Thirty Days to Glory. To mend a relationship, to find a friend, to leap toward that One Great Thing whether it is as simple as a prayer or as grand as an exotic adventure.