Interview with "Redemption of the Innocent" Author, B.J. Nicol

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There are those books that you can't put down, but then there are those books you MUST put down. "Redemption of the Innocent" was a bit of both. Intense writing with a cringe-worthy subject made for a great read-but one I had to take some breaks from. 

Why? 

Well, this book is about a woman named Eliza who suspects that one of her son's friends-a little girl named Joey-is being abused at home. The little girl has all the tell-tale signs. Problem is, she has absolutely no proof and Joey isn't talking. To make matters worse, he dad is about as nice and helpful as they come.
This is still something that Eliza can't seem to shake, causing her own decent into the dark truths of her past and opening up some forgotten wounds.

B.J. Nicol did an excellent job with taking on such a hard subject. This isn't something to just throw around, and you can tell she did her research. She created well-rounded characters with REAL problems/flaws. No one was perfect yet everyone seemed like someone you could already know. This could easily be a non-fiction account, if you didn't know any better. And Joey? I wanted to take that little girl home myself. I felt so immersed in the story, that sometimes the difficult chapters were too much for this mama. Sometimes I just wanted it to be over, but then once I got to the end-I was sad to close the book. I consider this a suitably good thing.

I honestly have only two complaints about the book, Eliza's husband was not one of my favorite characters. He seemed a little hard to invest in on a personal level. Maybe because he wasn't present much in the action, but I still wasn't a fan. My second complaint is just pace. From beginning to climax has excellent pacing and flows really well. From climax to ending seemed to be slightly rushed. This also could stem from the fact that I didn't want the book to end! 

All in all, this was a fantastic read, and I give it 4.5 out of  5 stars! I'm so thankful that B.J. allowed me to read and review this book, and I even had the chance to interview her!

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Hi B.J., thank you for agreeing to this interview! Could you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

When did you decide to become a writer?

-- My whole life I was a singer. My family was musical and I grew up singing with them in church. In 2007, after living with a serious thyroid disease for many years, resolved by having it surgically removed, my vocal cords were damaged and my voice suffered. It was no longer strong enough to allow me to lead worship at my church, or even sing solos as I always did. Becoming frustrated by this, I felt helpless and useless and I cried out to God, asking him, "If I can't sing, then what do you want me to do?" I felt a clear nudge in my spirit to write a book on pottery. So I started with a lot of prayer and faith and God's Pottery became my first book.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?

--After God's Pottery, I wrote a second devotional/teaching book called Life As A Cactus. I thought I was done writing then, but God had different ideas and the urge to write Redemption of the Innocent was so strong, it would not be denied. So I embarked upon one of the most difficult missions of my life in writing it. I have several more ideas for future books, but one I am especially excited about. I am praying about whether or not it is a project I am supposed to do.

Which writers inspire you?

-- I have always enjoyed fiction by Beverly Lewis, Lori Wick, Terri Blackstock and Janette Oake. One of my favorite authors for non-fiction is Max Lucado.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?

-- My main character in Redemption of the Innocent, Eliza Davies, is the woman I wish I was and want to be. She is real. As she goes through her struggle to come to terms with being dealt such a devastating blow, I feel her pain. I sympathize with her and cheer for her and rejoice when she finally finds that she will survive and be stronger for what she has experienced.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

-- The hardest thing about writing is making sure the story and the characters are authentic. The characters have to feel like real people to the reader. They cannot come across and actors in a play or movie; they must be people the reader can relate to. And the story has to be authentic and believable. Writing a story with a beginning and ending, with an interesting plot that keeps the reader engaged is key, but is also very challenging.

Do you have anything new in the works?

-- I am doing research at the moment for a book I have in mind. But I haven't committed myself to writing it yet. I am so involved in promoting Redemption of the Innocent, it is hard to free my mind to concentrate on it, so I will pray and wait and see if I feel God leading me to actually do it.

Any advice for aspiring authors?

-- Write what you know. It will be more believable and come across to your readers as something they can truly buy into. If you want to write about something and you don't know much about it, then research, research, research and then write. If you don't know how to write, or are not sure, then learn. Take some classes. Read some how-to books by successful authors. Learn your craft and do it well. Don't rush. Take your time and make sure it is right.

Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors:

-- I do read a lot. I just finished a book by David Baldacci which I thoroughly enjoyed. I like Christian fiction and I love to read classics too. My favorite of all time is The Chronicles of Narnia. I mentioned some of my favorite authors earlier and I will read anything written by C.S. Lewis or J.R.R.Tolkein.

For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?

-- I prefer hard cover books. But of course I own more paperbacks since they are affordable. I own some digital books and love having my Bible on my iPad. But there is nothing like holding a real book in your hands. I love how they feel and smell. They smell like the promise of adventure and a good time.

What book/s are you reading at present?
-- I am currently reading Beverly Lewis's newest book, The Atonement. 

Favorite book of all time:
-- The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe from The Chronicles of Narnia

Where can we find you: 
-- I can be found on GoodReads B.J. Nicol
-- My personal facebook page is www.facebook.com/bj.nicol

Where can we purchase your latest book:

-- Redemption of the Innocent is for sale on Amazon.com. It is available in paperback, hard cover and Kindle format.
It can also be purchased on BarnesAndNoble.com and the e-book is available directly from the publisher, Shopping Cart - Buy eBook

Thanks so much B.J. for your time, and for sharing  your book with us! It's been a huge blessing.

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I'd also like to leave these links here, if you are someone you know is suffering from abuse:

Help for Adult Victims of Child Abuse

National Resources for Sexual Assault Surviors

The National Center for Victims of Crime


*I received this book in exchange for my honest review*

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