I’ve just recently been introduced to this author, and I’m excited for y’all to meet her too!
I’m Beth Troy, and Lu is my first book. I became a Christian at 18 and can still remember my first visit to the inspirational fiction section of the bookstore and seeing a sea of bonnets and horses. Where was the story about a girl like me, who wasn’t raised in the church? Where was the story that authentically deals with the doubt and tension so many women experience with their faith? Lu is this story. I’m currently writing the second book when I’m not teaching Creativity + Innovation at Miami University. I live in the Midwest with my husband and three boys, and you can read more about my writing and life on my blog at www.bethtroy.com.
Her debut novel, Lu, is being called “One of those books you stay up until 3 am to finish because you just can’t put it down.”
“There’s great hope where the road meets the sky – maybe even an answer. But this road leads home. Just home. I thought I’d finished writing that story years ago, but then yesterday’s story happened – the one about the boy who cheats and the girl who leaves.”
Lu Sokolowski never planned to return to her small hometown of Dunlap’s Creek, but it’s the only place she can think of to go after her boyfriend cheats on her. Moving back in with her family lets her run away from her problems, but it also means suffering their attempts to reassemble her failed life, including arranging a job as the wedding beat writer at the local paper and setting her up with Jackson, the divorced pastor of her family’s church. Unexpected success and friendships restore Lu to the family and faith she’d left behind. But when the small-town life Lu never intended shakes up, will she run again?
Lu’s story is a journey of a woman back to her family, her faith, and herself. It’s about second chances and the unchosen circumstances that press the point of who we are and what we believe. Are we the sum of our successes and failures, or does our identity rest in a greater hope?
(Free to read for Kindle Unlimited members)
Hi Beth! Welcome to the blog! I start all of my guests out with a fast four:
Beth: Apples, but only in season and preferably tart and crisp. I like the flavor of oranges but can’t handle all that chewing.
Beth: Summer! I don’t mind sweating, but I really, really, really mind shivering.
Carrie: Ugh. I am exactly the opposite. Sweat is evil.
Beth: Dogs. A cat attacked me in second grade, and I’ve been a little scared ever since.
Carrie: Cats ARE scary!
Beth: Coffee – as much as my body can handle. But unsweetened, decaffeinated iced tea is my water in the summertime.
Carrie: Substitute ‘diet coke’ for ‘iced tea’ and you have my beverage of choice 😛
Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Beth: Definitely waking up early. I can pretty much out-energize and out-chat anyone else before the sun is up, though I’m usually to be found nursing a cup of coffee and writing.
Carrie: That is absolutely NOT a superpower I can claim lol!
Who is your favorite book character from childhood?
Beth: Jo March from Little Women, hands-down. She’s a fabulous mix of strong and selfless, independent and family-oriented, outgoing and introverted. I love that she kept writing even after she was rejected so many times. That she cut her hair to pay for a train ticket. I even love that she said no to Teddy’s proposal, though not when I was a little girl (I had to grow into supporting her in this decision!)
Carrie: I am still not over that!!! lol
Writing spaces are as diverse as authors and books. Where is your favorite space to write?
Beth: With my first book, Lu, I wrote from three windows: the front windows of my living room, the local coffee shop, and the library across from my son’s preschool. After I finished the first draft, I cleaned out the junk room in my basement. It used to be piled with boxes, and now it’s a magical place with a blue ceiling, “crystal” chandelier, and decorated with my favorite pictures and knick-knacks. Humble and special is how I’d describe it.
Carrie: Oh I love that!! It sounds delightful!
You incorporated several things that have special meaning to you when you wrote Lu. Which of those makes you smile the most, knowing it’s immortalized in fiction?
Beth: My grandparents’ cabin in Maine. Fiction is a range of complete imagination to real-life allusions, but even the latter is modified to suit the story’s purpose. The description of this cabin is the only thing I described as it was, verbatim.
Carrie: That’s awesome!!
Tell us about Lu, the title character. What is her biggest strength? Biggest weakness? Biggest fear? Biggest dream?
Beth: I always say that Lu is any girl from any place. She’s either you or your best friend, and I think it’s this mix of strengths and weaknesses, fears and dreams, that make her resonate so sharply with readers. Her biggest strength is honesty – she doesn’t pretend, and she doesn’t play games. Her biggest fear is failure, and it takes her awhile to rebound when she does … assuming she doesn’t quit entirely. Her biggest dream is to find a place to stand still, and this drives the bulk of her journey through the story.
Carrie: I can’t wait to meet her 🙂
What do you most want readers to take away from Lu?
Beth: That God is real and deals with real people. No character in this book falls in the two-dimensional “good” or “bad” buckets, and their beliefs are not of the hook-line-sinker mentality. I think the stereotype is that Christians fall into one category and check their brains at the doors of their churches on Sunday morning. Lu counters that assumption.
Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.
Beth: Writing Book 2! Trust me, you’ll want to know there’s a Book 2 before you read Lu. And that’s all I’m going to say about that!
Beth Troy is offering a signed copy of Lu to one of my readers! (US only) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? Are you #teamLaurie or #teamProfessor in Little Women?