Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Meet author Deborah Piccurelli

Interview by ~Mary as it appears in this month's issue of The Wordsmith Journal.

Amy Roloff is best known as the Mom who holds the Roloff family together on the television show Little People Big World. Mark Crutcher is known as the whistler blower of the abortion industry. What could these two activists with seemingly opposite agendas possibly have in common?

They were both consulted for the writing of Hush, Little Baby in which author Deborah Piccurelli reveals truths involved in several key social issues including life as a little person as well as exposing the happenings inside the abortion industry.

She uses fictional characters Amber Blake, her estranged husband Evan, and Dr. Albert Hines to tell a compelling tale so dark and haunting, it would be easy to deny the underlying principle. However, it is Piccurelli’s intention to shed light on the challenge involved in sanctity of life issues through her novel and not merely use sensationalism to sell it. It is obvious there is a depth to her spiritual walk that has become the catalyst to her success as an author.

Like her readers, Piccurelli loves good books, enjoys movies, family time, and friendly get-togethers. She has her Good Friday and Easter traditions, as well as reasons for writing about issues other authors avoid. She even has a great argument for fiction and how it can inspire readers on their spiritual journey. Although introspective and at times, a woman of few words, don’t let her fool you; that doesn't mean she is superficial. It just means that Piccurelli proves the old saying true that states ‘Still waters run deep’.

MN-Your first novel, In The Midst Of Deceit, came out in 2004 with your sophomore novel Hush, Little Baby being published most recently. Tell me about some of the things you were able to accomplish between the writing of the two books.

DP-Soon after In The Midst of Deceit was published, I worked on a screenplay with a Christian film producer that was loosely based on a manuscript of mine. I finished another romantic suspense novel that I shelved (for now), because it's not the same type I'm doing now that are woven around today's tough issues. But, who knows, someday I may try to sell it. But what I really accomplished during that time was the sharpening of my craft, which made all the difference in Hush, Little Baby.

MN-Hush, Little Baby is a great book for fans of medical fiction. I happen to be one, and that was what lured me into reading it. However, from an editor’s point of view, it was your amazing writing that hooked me. You did everything right to make this novel a page turner, but I loved how you capitalized on ending each chapter with such suspense, it’s virtually impossible for the reader to put the book down. Does your gift for writing come naturally for you, or did you have to work at it by attending workshops and conferences that taught the mechanics?

DP-Thank you for viewing my writing as a gift. I think I'd have to say it's attributed to a mixture of both. Having been an avid reader for most of my life, I kind of picked up on the basics of story arcs, and things of that type. As for the little nuances that are hard to pinpoint, those I had to learn and work hard at getting right. I worked on Hush, Little Baby for five years, revising over and over, with each new technique I learned.

MN-Tell me about the concept of Hush, Little Baby. Was it born from your involvement in sanctity of life advocacy, and how did you become so involved in pro-life issues?

DP-I was always against abortion, euthanasia, and similar issues, but as I researched for Hush, Little Baby, I discovered more issues and organizations to support. In fact, I am donating a portion of the proceeds of this book to Life Dynamics, an organization that works to stop fetal harvesting, and where I acquired most of the information about it that I used in my book.

MN-Your main character, Amber, is a little person. I was fascinated to learn that your research involved interviewing Matt and Amy Roloff, Matt being the President of Little People of America. He is so motivating and such a powerhouse of energy, were you inspired in any way as a writer by interviewing him?

DP-I actually interviewed Amy more than Matt, because I decided to order Matt's book, Against Tall Odds. It encompassed his entire life, thus far, and it really was awe-inspiring. I believe that anyone who feels depressed because of life circumstances should read that book, and they're thinking and way of life will change forever. My conversation with Amy helped me with a woman's perspective of dwarfism.

MN-There was a controversial conversation between two celebrities recently that involved unfavorable statements regarding little people. Do you think in general, society misunderstands them, and do you believe by reading your novel, it could help shed light on how human and normal they really are?

DP-I do believe that little people are sometimes misunderstood, but I also believe they are sometimes viewed as novelties. As you've said, I hope my book does shed light of how human and normal they are.

MN-Part of your research included interviewing Mark Crutcher, author of Limelight. I read his book many years ago and was appalled at how the whole abortion industry operates. I think I was most surprised by the fact that it’s a machine driven by money. It proves how greed will literally cause some people to do anything. In doing your research and being involved as a pro-life activist, what are some of the facts you have learned that has shocked you or changed your initial views regarding abortion?

DP-I never knew about some of the things that go on in abortion clinics, such as how they are killed or disposed of, should they be born alive. I also never thought about the partial-birth abortions until I read about it on Mark Crutcher's website for Life Dynamics.

MN-I love how real your characters are. It helps solidify the argument that fiction can mirror reality and as a reader, we can be inspired along in our spiritual journey. What would you say to critics of fiction that say it offers little in the way of spiritual meat to grow on? DP-I believe readers can learn from the mistakes a fictional character makes, or be inspired by their good choices.

MN-Easter is around the corner as we kick off Lent. Do you participate in any annual tradition related to Lent and Easter?

DP-Just to go to church and have Easter dinner with family.

MN-Good Friday means different things to different people. Many capitalize on the spiritual aspect when Jesus was crucified and placed in his tomb. For others, it kicks off planting season and they make sure their garden is in the ground by the time the sun goes down. For yet others, between noon and three PM is a time of intense mourning. Tell me what significance Good Friday holds for you and what you are most apt to do this year.

DP-I'm one of those people who tries to stay silent for those 3 hours.

MN-As a wife and Mom, what is your greatest accomplishment to date? DP-I have three: First, that I am a born-again child of God. Next, that I have been married to my husband for 34 years, and lastly, that I am the mother of our two lovely sons.

To learn more about Deborah and her book visit her website, connect with her on Face Book or Twitter @DebPiccurelli