20 April 2016

*Author Interview & Giveaway* THE PATIENCE TRILOGY by Beth Fehlbaum

The Patience Trilogy
Beth Fehlbaum
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Steady On Books
Date of Publication: March 29, 2016
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Courage in Patience begins Ashley's story. . . Courage to endure. Courage to survive. Courage to overcome. Tenacious 14-year-old Ashley Asher claws her way back to normalcy after enduring six years of an unimaginable Hell. Uprooted from her negligent and selfish mother, Ashley finds solace in the safety of her father's home. Building a relationship with her stepmother, she's finally able to open up and confront the past that haunts her. With the help of her stepmom, therapist, and a group of troubled adolescents, Ashley battles her demons, struggling to find the normal teenage life she's always wanted. Can Ashley find the strength and courage to overcome the horrors of her past while fighting for the future she so deserves? PURCHASE LINKS:      AMAZON      BARNES & NOBLE

Hope in Patience continues the story. . . 
Hope to heal. 
Hope to grow. 
Hope to evolve. 

Still shattered from the horrific events of her childhood years, 15-year-old Ashley Asher is barely holding it together. Battling her vicious and vile mother who still sees her as the villain and not the victim, Ashley's stuck in a cycle of self-injury and self-hatred as a result--despite the many people who trying to pull her out of it. Adolescence is hard, but throw in a new school, a new family, and a father she hardly knows, Ashley's need for self-destruction and pain intensifies. Her new therapist, Dr. Matt, may be unconventional with bizarre antics, but he'll do whatever it takes to pull Ashley out of the doldrums. Ashley just wants a crack at normalcy. But can her counselor and the friends and family who love her teach her that "crazy is the new normal" and that nobody has it easy?
Truth in Patience concludes the story. . .

Truth in the past. 
Truth in reality. 
Truth for tomorrow. 
Finally adjusting to life in small town Texas, Ashley Asher sees a glimmer of what happiness really is. Even her new relationship with the attentive Joshua Brandt shows promise of a first romance. But Ashley's fear of intimacy after years of unspeakable abuse may cause friction and distance in their relationship. Determined to prove to her that she's healing, Dr. Matt, her beloved therapist, shows her that "life is messy." And he doesn't know how messy it is about to get. When her mother decides that Ashley belongs back in their hometown with her, Ashley is forced into another family feud that she isn't prepared for. Refusing to leave behind the new life she created in Texas, Ashley and her mother go head-to-head. But can Ashley finally find the courage and strength to battle her demons when her mother might be the biggest demon of all?


How has being a Texan influenced your writing? 

Texas—especially rural towns—has a huge influence on my writing. In The Patience Trilogy, Ashley Asher is transplanted from an affluent Dallas suburb to tiny Patience, Texas, and a country town of about 2,000 people.  

This mirrors my experience of 2003, when my family moved from a Dallas suburb to a small country town on the edge of East Texas.  The pace is slower, the people are often more open and approachable, and, of course, these elements reveal charming eccentricities that make for great storytelling.  

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? 

Edgy YA fiction chose me. I initially wrote the first draft of Courage in Patience as a therapeutic assignment. I was in recovery for trauma from childhood sexual abuse and learning to manage having Post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the experiences I had from the age of 8.  

I was writing poems and short stories as a way of processing my grief and rage, and the only person I showed them to was my psychologist. He suggested that I try writing a novel. It took about four months of stopping/starting and always ending up stuck in asking, “Why?. . .Why did this happen to me?. . .Why did my mother ignore my outcry at age 14?” 

Finally, I gave myself permission to imagine the recovery process as someone else’s. That’s when the story began. 

What was the hardest part of writing this book?   

The main character, Ashley, experiences a horrific attack at the hands of her stepfather. Throughout the series, she has been unable to remember exactly what happened because she blacked out. In the last book, Truth in Patience, she is triggered by something and remembers the incident in a visceral way. That was difficult for me to write, but I will say this: the growth and healing I experienced between writing Book 1, Courage in Patience, through Book 2, Hope in Patience, then in Book 3, Truth in Patience, enabled me to be able to address Ashley’s remembering in a way that I could handle it with grace and in a gentle way with myself.  

I wrote The Patience Trilogy over the period of six years that it took me to go from a frozen-by-trauma eight year old in my mind to becoming an adult in the way I cope with the world.  

What character is most like you? 

Ashley Asher is basically me as a traumatized child/teen, and her stepmother, Beverly, is me as my adult “teacher self.”  

Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you to write? 

Chris Crutcher’s commitment to authenticity and truth telling are the reason I am the sort of writer I am. I happened to find his novel, Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes on my gone-away-to-college daughter’s bookshelf, and I read it from cover-to-cover in a matter of hours. That book changed my life because after reading it, I knew there are stories inside of me that might help others.  I love Sherman Alexie for his honesty and no-holds-barred expressions of emotion, and Jennifer Brown’s ability to pull me into story is so keen that I find it difficult to adequately describe it. 

What is something you want to accomplish before you die? 
 I worked so hard to overcome the first 38 years of my life in a highly dysfunctional family and claim my life as my own.  Therefore, when I die, I want to leave a legacy of mentally healthy family members who have boundaries in place and are aware of their self-worth.  

What projects are you working on at the present? 

I am co-writing a book with my former therapist, whom the “Dr. Matt” character in The Patience Trilogy is based on. It will be a companion to the Patience books, as well as a stand-alone non-fiction book. The goal is for it to encourage abuse survivors to persevere through recovery and the process of claiming one’s own life. The book is in the early draft stages and I do not have a release date. Much too early for that.  

In addition to writing Young Adult Contemporary Fiction, Beth Fehlbaum is a secondary English-Language Arts teacher who frequently draws on her experience as an educator to write her books. She has a B.A. in English, Minor in Secondary Education, and an M.Ed. in Reading. Beth is a featured author on the 2015-2016 Spirit of Texas Reading List- High School. She is the author of the Kirkus Starred Reviewed Big Fat Disaster (Merit Press/F+W Media, March 2014) and The Patience Trilogy: Courage, Hope, and Truth (Steady On Books, 2016). Beth is a member of the RAINN (Rape , Abuse, Incest National Network) Speakers’ Bureau. She has a following in the young adult literature world and also among survivors of sexual abuse because of her work with victims’ advocacy groups. She has been the keynote speaker at the National Crime Victims’ Week Commemoration Ceremony at the Hall of State in Dallas, Texas and a presenter for Greater Texas Community Partners, where she addressed a group of social workers and foster children on the subject of “Hope.”   Beth is a survivor of a traumatic childhood, like Ashley in The Patience Trilogy, and the day-to-day manager of an eating disorder much like Colby’s in Big Fat Disaster. These life experiences give her a unique perspective, and she writes her characters’ stories in a way meant to inspire hope. Beth lives with her family in the woods of East Texas.


Each win autographed copies of all three books in The Patience Trilogy  
Plus a $50 Amazon Gift Card

Each win autographed copies of Courage in Patience 
Winner names drawn 4/19, 4/24, 4/27, 4/30, 5/3

  April 19 - May 3, 2016

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