Greetings! Today’s blog is a bit of a departure for me—I’m pleased to welcome guest blogger, Vivian Zabel, a writer friend and colleague celebrating the release of her latest book, STOLEN. This is the third stop on Vivian’s blog tour—please follow her travels over the blogosphere by visiting the next stops on December 4 with Holly Jahangiri and Nita Beshear blog stops. For a chance to win an ARC of her book STOLEN be sure to read clear to the end of this post.
As writers, we draw from our life experiences as well as research to make our stories and characters real. With some of us, experience strikes closer to home than we’d like. But through the adversity, through the pain, our work can become a gift that buoys us up and gives us purpose beyond what we can imagine. I’ve known Vivian for many years but cannot imagine the pain and hurt she felt—and how she managed to turn that around into the triumph that is—STOLEN.
Vivian writes, “Over 14 years ago, two of my grandchildren were taken by their father. We had no contact with them, didn’t know where they were, didn’t know if they were alive or not. The pain nearly destroyed us. We loved them so much, and they were such major parts of our lives, my husband and I felt as if a chunk of our hearts had been ripped out. I can only imagine the agony their mother, our daughter felt.
Something had to be done with that severe pain and despair. I turned to my therapy – writing. Stolen was born.
Every year for 12 years, around the time they were last seen by anyone in the family, I would blog a letter to them, giving my contact information. A friend asked if he could spread my latest blog, November 2007, through the blogs of his friends around the world. Of course I agreed.
Early 2008, I received an email, “I think you’re my grandmother.”
Finally, the novel is coming out and a sequel will be possible.
God does answer prayer; He just sometimes takes much long than we want.”
Vivian Zabel always has had a vivid imagination and, when a child, used it to tell her siblings and friends stories. As soon as she could write, she began to put those stories on paper. She wrote her first poetry when she was eight, and still writes it. Poetry was and is her therapy. When a “friend” laughed at her announcement that she would write a book someday, Vivian didn’t share her goal any more, but she didn’t stop planning on writing that book.
As she reared her children and was a stay-at-home-mother, with spells of working in the business world, Vivian wrote short stories, poetry, and articles, which were published. Vivian taught English and writing for 27 years and retired in 2001. Every year she taught, she attended writing classes, workshops, and clinics, not only to learn how better to teach her students, but also to hone her own writing skills. Finally in 2001 she was able to write full time and write longer works, after she retired from teaching.
At present, Vivian has six books to her credit, two co-authored. Her latest books are Prairie Dog Cowboy (written under the name V. Gilbert Zabel) and Midnight Hours (written under the name Vivian Gilbert Zabel). Her interests besides writing include her family (husband, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren), reading, helping other people publish their books (through 4RV Publishing), and traveling. Purchase her books here.
STOLEN is now available through Vivian’s publishing company 4RV Publishing bookstore as well as the Stolen website which includes a contest for signed ARCs. And in two weeks, just in time for the holidays, STOLEN (ISBN 978-0-9825886-4-2) will be available through bookstores, Amazon, B&N online, and everywhere else books can be found.
Contests: The host with the most comments from different visitors will receive a hard copy ARC. Two of the people who send me by email a possible ending to the novel will win an ARC. Also, anyone not hosting a blog stop but who promotes the novel will have a chance to win an ARC. (ARC means Advance Reader Copy). Winners of hard copy ARCs must have a U.S. address. Anyone outside the U.S. who wins will receive a PDF ARC.
I thank Vivian so much for taking the time to guest blog and share her touching, powerful novel STOLEN. Please remember this is the third stop on Vivian’s blog tour—follow her travels over the blogosphere by visiting the next stops on December 4 with Holly Jahangiri and Nita Beshear blog stops.