Imogen Browne longs to make up for past mistakes before she can move on. She quietly resolves to help the Dorazio family, whose lives she accidentally upset. Her biggest challenge is Asher, the one person who may never forgive her. And he is facing a crisis of his own. Imogen must tread very carefully, as trying to fix things may well make them shatter. A sensitive story about misplaced loyalty, celebrating life and falling in love. Can family secrets concealed with the best intentions bear the light of day?
What I thought:
From cover to cover this story had me wondering, searching and contemplating it’s many complex issues and characters. There is a twist at the end of this book which blew me away. It was so well done and entertaining. This story has stayed with me.
I asked Paula a few questions about Imogen’s Chance. Please leave a comment to go into the draw for a copy of this great read. (Copy offered worldwide in either paperback or electronic form).
1. Imogen begins her story as a simple girl with a simplistic goal – to help a family she feels she has wronged as a child. It’s only as the story progresses that we start to understand the complexities of this goal as well as her past mistakes. What are the main themes you had in mind when writing this novel? And what do you hope the reader takes away from Imogen’s story?
One of my favourite themes in this story is regret, and whether or not any mistakes are ever left too long to make amends. Imogen has lived for years with the conviction that she might have been able to prevent something bad from happening, not once but twice. She feels challenged to try to make amends, because regret is eating away at her, even though she’s worried that stirring up memories may make things worse.
For Imogen, back-tracking means returning all the way from America to South Australia. She finds that one of her old friends, Asher, has a problem which seems impossible for her to help with. As he’s one of the people she felt most wary about facing again, she’s unsure how she should behave around him.
The other main theme is divine healing, which I’ll discuss in question 2.
I’m hoping that readers will be encouraged to see that nothing need ever be final, in spite of the way it may appear, whether in the area of relationships, health or career.
- The connection between faith and healing is a major theme in Imogen’s Chance. Was there some event or research you did when incorporating this theme into the novel?
I have researched this connection for several years before starting to write the novel. Dealing with physical problems was a definite spur. I suffered multiple miscarriages, and later, my eldest son was diagnosed with a peanut allergy when he was small, along with eczema and asthma. These occurrences filled me with intense fear. I hated to think that serious sickness could strike at any time. That’s why I started to study divine healing, and the material I’ve come across has been phenomenal.
Some of the true testimonies of healing I’ve discovered could only have been miracles from God. Reading these has been enough to convince me that simply accepting every bad prognosis, based on limited data gathered by humans, is a shortsighted choice. I’d rather err on the side of optimism than simply give up hope.
Several of the books I’ve read propose reasons for faith in healing such as this. If Jesus died on the cross to cover our sins, then His death must also cover the consequences of our sins, and sickness is a prime example. There was no sickness before sin came into the world, so there should be none for forgiven believers. The physical bodies of true believers, which are temples of the Holy Spirit, should be out of bounds for sickness and disease. No matter how we feel about simple arguments like this, it is interesting to at least be aware of them.
I’ve had healing experiences in my own life that convince me every believer ought to keep their faith boosted. Just last year, I had a sore patch on my face. Two doctors were certain it was a skin cancer, but before the appointment with a plastic surgeon came around, I watched it spontaneously fade and disappear in the week following prayer. Personal experiences like this are enough for us to hold onto, keeping our faith for bigger issues elevated, because God never changes.
Most of my research came from non-fiction texts by healing evangelists. I wanted to add to the encouraging books out there in the form of fiction, one of my favourite ways of communicating truths to readers. As far as I know, there are not many novels which deal with the ins and outs of divine healing. As soon as I had the idea, I was anxious to start one.
Together, my characters Imogen and Asher figure out ways to deal with a serious prognosis he’s given. One of the questions they ask themselves is whether there is actually some action required from patients in their approach to God? What should our attitudes be? They find themselves thinking about things which have never crossed their minds before, as they learn the extent of what is in the grace package God offers us, and how our faith may help to activate it.
- Imogen is an American and the family she is living with is Australian. What are some of the challenges you found in writing characters from different nationalities?
This actually worked out really well. I’d automatically intended to make Imogen an Aussie girl, as all my former heroines have been. My publisher and editor both suggested that I make one of the main characters American, thinking that it may appeal to international readers, especially those who are searching for somebody they can more easily relate to.
I’ve never visited America so found that idea fairly daunting. I’m so glad I took their advice, as Imogen being American turned out to be crucial to the plot in several ways. If she’d simply lived in a different Australian state to the Dorazio family, it would have been too close for the plot to work. Some of the characters would have behaved quite differently and the drama would have fallen flat.
My biggest challenge was having nothing but my lifetime with movies, books and the media to base her on, especially since she’s the main character. I referred to charts of American versus Australian words. My biggest fear was that, although I knew several of these words already, I would inadvertently miss a few. That’s why I thought it wise to run the story past a few American friends.
I’m pleased that some international readers have told me that Imogen does come across as American to them. One day I may actually be able to visit, and learn some extra things for myself.
Award-winning author, Paula Vince loves to evoke tears and laughter through her novels. A wife and homeschooling mother of three, she resides in the beautiful Adelaide Hills of South Australia. Her youth was brightened by great fiction and she’s on a mission to pay it forward.
Her novel, Picking up the Pieces, won the religious fiction section of the 2011 International Book Awards.
Her novel, Best Forgotten, was winner of the 2011 CALEB Award in the fiction category and also recognized as the best overall entry for the year, chosen over memoirs, devotionals and general non-fiction.
Paula’s books are a skillful blend of drama and romance tied together with elements of mystery and suspense.
Find out more at www.justoccurred.blogspot.com.au and www.vincereview.blogspot.com.au.
Paula is the author of Picking up the Pieces, The Risky Way Home, A Design of Gold and Best Forgotten. Her new novel, Imogen’s Chance, will be published in April, 2014.
Paula is also one of the four authors of The Greenfield Legacy.
34 thoughts on “Aussie Authors in America – Paula Vince.”
Haven’t had a chance to read it yet but hope to soon.
It’s a great story, Lynne. A few surprises in it too. 🙂
Our TBR piles can get pretty big 🙂
LOL My Good Reads To-Read pile is currently at 81 and I think I have some other books in stacks waiting for their turn as well. But it’s a great problem to have 🙂
Great interview thank Paula and Rose. I loved reading Imogen’s Chance. Both Imogen and Asher are lovable characters and the book has a great balance between romance, suspense and thoughtful provoking material.
That is so true. I agree that both characters are very likable, and one of the things I also loved about the story is that it had a bit of everything.
Thanks, Jenny and Rose. I’m glad you enjoyed the family drama and big revelation.
Thanks for the interview Rose and Paula. It sounds like a really interesting premise for a story. I didn’t realise you’d had miscarriages Paula. That must have been really difficult. I’ve seen both sides of the healing issue. After healing prayer, I’ve seen a huge improvement in a neck injury I sustained 14 years ago and I’ve also seen friends miraculously healed. However, I have other Christian friends with disabilities and chronic illnesses who haven’t been healed. It’s an interesting question. I’ll look forward to reading the book.
This book really opened my eyes to the issue of healing. I think you will enjoy it very much.
Those issues you mention made it a challenge to write the book. It’s a mysterious, sometimes tricky issue.
Love this book! For several years now I’ve been involved with the White Butterfly Project – an organisation who recognises the pain involved with pregnancy and infancy loss and guides healing in that area, such a need for that pain to be remembered, recognised and healed. Thanks so much for sharing this interview. xx
I’ve never heard of the White Butterfly Project, Michelle. I will definitely be looking it up in the future. Sounds like they do vital work helping people through what would be one of the most difficult times of their lives. I agree with you that the pain of loss needs to be worked through and healed. What a great organisation to be involved in. 🙂
I haven’t heard of White Butterfly Project either. What a wonderful cause. I know first hand that the type of pain from miscarriages is often smothered.
I great interview. I have just ‘won’ Imogen’s Chance and am looking forward to reading it as soon as possible.
I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did, Rosanne.
I hope you enjoy it too, Rosanne xo
I have read Imogen’s Chance as well and thoroughly enjoyed the main characters and their journey. I have read most of Paula’s books and have enjoyed every one of them but I think this one is my favourite by a tiny bit.
I think this is my fav, too, Lesley. 🙂
I’m so pleased that you enjoyed Imogen and Asher and their journey together.
It sounds an intriguing story Paula. Healing is certainly one of those mysteries of life – and yet, as you said – if God has come to bring healing – then surely, it is our birthright. An interesting interview Rose and Paula. Many thanks. I look forward very much to reading it.
Hi Anusha. This novel certainly did inspire a lot of thinking for me.
It’s an intriguing subject and I enjoyed trying to thresh it out.
Paula Vince is an amazing author!! I have read “Best Forgotten” and LOVED the story!! Would really enjoy reading it 🙂
I loved ‘Best Forgotten’ as well. This certainly is a wonderful follow up novel.
Yes, so pleased you loved Best Forgotten, which is probably one of my longer books.
Have loved reading both Paula Vince and Rose Dee!!!! Have been begging Mum to buy me this book for my birthday, would be an awesome birthday present if i got it !!!!!!
Hi Rhi. This is a great novel. I enjoyed it immensely. I am certain you would too. Thank you so much for coming by and leaving a comment. xxoo
So pleased to hear you’ve enjoyed our books. Good luck with the draw 🙂
sounds lie a great story. Love to read. Never have read Paula’s books but i know I love Rose’s.
Paula is my co-author on The Greenfield Legacy. I love her books. I think this one is my favorite read of her’s so far. Will draw the name today.
Thank you for stopping by my blog and commenting. xx oo.
I agree, Rose’s books are great. Good luck with the draw. Thanks for your willingness to explore other Aussies’ writing.
Thanks Rose, for hosting me on your blog and coming up with these interesting questions. I enjoyed the visit and deciding what to say. Also made me remember the days when we worked together on The Greenfield Legacy.
Thank you all so much for contributing to my blog and thank you, Paula for allowing me the chance to interview you.
I let my son, Tully pick out the winner. The piece of paper he chose was Rhi. Congratulations, Rhi – you have won a copy of Paula’s new release, Imogen’s Chance. Happy birthday. I know you will love this book 🙂
This book looks so good. Will definitely have to look for in our local bookstore. Thank you Rose for showing me an author I haven’t read.