When beloved doctor Avery Adam’s daughter, Hannah, goes missing, everyone in the city comes together to search for the lovely four-year-old. As support pours in, Avery’s ex-wife, Dana, can only focus on pointing the finger at he and his fiancée, Julie. When Detective Darren Burke is asked to lead the investigation of Hannah’s whereabouts, he notices the contempt between the ex’s and begs them to come together to bring their daughter home. After Hannah’s body is pulled from a dumpster, Avery begins spending more time with Dana, leaving Julie out in the cold. When the identity of the killer is revealed, Avery turns to alcohol and before long, his destructive behavior pushes Julie away. Left alone to grieve not only the loss of Hannah, but now Julie as well, Avery gets help from a most unexpected place. Once he regains his sobriety, he begins to rebuild his relationship with Julie. Soon, the pieces of his life are falling into place, although he is now searching for a sign from Hannah. Visiting her grave one afternoon, he gets exactly what he is looking for. Avery soon discovers Hannah has been with him all along, allowing him to begin his journey to healing.
Loss, rebuilding and healing are among the many emotions sprinkled throughout the novel, ‘Healing and the Lotus’. And today I’ve been lucky enough to be joined by the novel’s author Kimberly Cooper to take us through this journey. Kimberly, thanks for spending a little time with me today. What allowed for the events that take place in ‘Healing and the Lotus’ to initially germinate and grow?
My idea for Healing and the Lotus came from a character. I loved the main character, Avery. The idea of him with his daughter and the way he would handle losing her, even though it was tragic, I was drawn to creating the story.
Once you were drawn into the idea, did you find that you needed to investigate any areas to strengthen the central idea?
My sister, Nicole, is a nurse. She assisted me on one of the hardest parts that I had to write, the condition of Hannah’s body after she was found.
Writing those scenes would have been incredibly difficult, and I’m sure it gave you an appreciation for those people who have to handle events like this regularly. Did you also have events or personal knowledge that also contributed to the texture of the events in the novel?
Yes, I did. Everything that I write has a piece of me in it. I thought about the grief I felt when I lost my mother. While what I experienced was different than my characters, I could identify with the hopelessness and despair. You stop caring about everything, even things that had once been so important. It’s scary and terrible and while you are in the midst of it, it’s almost impossible to imagine yourself on the other side.
What is the most important aspect that you really wanted to communicate to others within these pages about the journey to reach the other side?
I wanted to emphasize how some handle grief. It’s easy to get lost in it, to let it devour you and possibly ruin your life. I think that Avery is the perfect example of that, what happens when you let it consume you.
I hope that this journey didn’t consume you as the author? Did you find any silver linings or positive rewards from putting this tale down on paper?
I believe that it has a message for everyone, a learning experience. When I write something like that, it always makes me happy. I hope that someone that is going through some sort of grief will read it and gain some peace and healing from what I have written.
I really hope that you find authors found peace for this novel too. Does your next writing project also try and offer peace and healing or have you gone in a different direction?
I am working on a series that I am very excited about! It is called The Wonderment Series and each story takes place in a fictitious place, Wonderment Virginia. The first book is A Life in Wonderment, which is complete, but not yet out. The second book is The Last Knight in Virginia. Each story tells the tale of a resident of Wonderment and their unusual life.
That’s a neat concept, and is bound to keep you busy if there’s a book for each character! What keeps you coming back to put pen to paper down for these novels?
It is my passion and my purpose. Writing has helped me get through depression, which I have suffered with for years. It has helped me more than any medication that I have ever been prescribed.
Writing beats medication, now that remedy needs to be publicised more! As it’s helped your depression I’m curious as to how your writing process unfolds. Can you take us through it in more detail? Where do you start?
I usually know the beginning and ending first, and work out the middle as I go along. I also always know what I want my cover to look like right away.
With depression keeping your motivation up is a key challenge. How do keep your motivation up and on task?
I try to do something towards what I am working on everyday, even if it is only editing. I like to keep my story fresh in my mind and I usually always have a journal with me so I can take notes as ideas come to me. I have notes on the back of a receipt because I didn’t have my purse with me while I was out.
*Laughs* I’m sure other authors can commiserate with finding any scraps of paper to write on as they’ve been caught out without proper paper! Other than remembering your purse and writing pad, do you have other top tips for authors?
Let a trusted friend or family member read over your work before you submit it. I myself, have never been able to afford a professional editor. I have gotten feedback about mistakes that were caught in my first novel. Now, I try my best, along with my husband, to check and recheck. Also, try to stay positive. It is hard because you are a small business. Do your research and find inexpensive ways to promote your work and most importantly, don’t give up! If this is your dream, keep going, there is someone waiting to read what you have to say.
Thank you for encouraging others to keep on dreaming. The world needs more dreamers! And another thing that the world needs is a bunch of random fun questions, so I’d like to move today’s chat toward our quick fire question round. And let’s start with a nice easy one, what is your favourite quote?
“I don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains.” Anne Frank
Are you a valuable asset on a quiz team?
Ha, probably not!
*Laughs* I think there might some underestimation there! Are you introvert or extrovert?
If you ruled your own country, who would you get to write the national anthem?
John Rzeznik from the Goo Goo Dolls. He is an amazing songwriter.
If you could breed two animals together to defy the laws of nature what new animal would you create?
A standard poodle and a horse. So I guess it would be a Porse?
I think it would have to be called that. It sounds AWESOME! Would you have a cast party with the characters in your book if they could come to life?
Oh yes! That is a no brainer.
What is your best tip for authors?
Try to stay positive and keep writing!!!
If they made a movie from your book who would you choose to play the main characters?
I love this question because my main male characters are always based on Adrien Brody.
*Laughs* If you have a good male lead picked out why mess with it!
I would love for him to read something I have done because he inspires so much of my writing. I would choose Amy Adams for Julie and Jennifer Esposito for Dana. I have a collage of all of them together on my phone, that I often opened up and looked at while writing. That is my dream cast!
What is your favourite word?
Finally, can you leave us with some fantastic feelings or a strong statement from your book that you feel will entice readers to pick up a copy?
“Don’t expect for things to go back to normal, your normal is gone. It has been gone since the day your little girl disappeared. You need to find your new normal, but that takes time.”
Kimberly, thank you for taking the time to give us a peak inside ‘Healing and the Lotus’ today, and I wish you the best of luck with sharing the journey of your characters with readers.
Want to find out more about Kimberly Cooper? Connect here!