Sunday, April 5, 2009

Shadows on the River Interview

Today we're welcoming Ally Roarke, the heroine of SHADOWS ON THE RIVER By Linda Hall, April '09 Wow, you've just had quite an adventure.

1. Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to be in the midst of such suspense.

My name is Ally Roarke and I'm a boat designer by profession. I've got a degree in Marine Engineering Technology from Memorial University in Newfoundland, Canada. As you probably can tell, I grew up around water and love boats. As for the suspenseful situation I found myself in - well, that's something I certainly didn't plan and didn't ask for or want. And if I could go back to that time when I was fourteen and erase that horrible day from the calendar, I would.

But, there's no erasing the video, is there?

When I was fourteen I watched a boy from my church push my best friend off a bridge to her death. No one believed me when I told them what I saw. It was so hard for me for so long. Finally, I was able to put it out of my mind.

And then twenty-five years later the person who did this found his way back into my life.

So, that's where I am at the beginning of my story - SHADOWS ON THE RIVER.

2. So, during the book you met Mark Bishop. Tell us a bit about him. What was your first impression? When did you know it was love?

Mark and I were work friends before anything serious developed between us. He is smart, capable, an excellent boat designer in his own right. It was difficult for me to have any kind of serious relationship with any guy. I was a single mom and my daughter is profoundly deaf. Any men I happened to date, and there weren't a lot - took one look at my life situation and said, "bye bye." No one wanted to be sadled with a disabled daughter, but that word really bugs me because deaf people aren't disabled.

Maybe the turning point was when Mark met my daughter for the first time. Instead of running from her, or looking to me for guidance, he bent right down to her level and tried talking with her, with me as the sign language interpreter. It was so neat to see. Although, I didn't admit it at the time, I think that's when I fell in love with him.

3. What strengths/skills do you have? What is your greatest weakness?

I'm an excellent boat technician and designer, but on the flip side, I think that's my biggest weakness. I've had this little racing sailboat design in my mind and on paper since my university days. And I'm afraid it's no good. I'm afraid to show it to people. In other words, I'm afraid to put it "out there."

4. What scares you?

That my daughter will need me and I won't be there for her. That what happened to me when I was younger, will happen to her. I would do anything to keep her safe.

5. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
My reticence, my fear of trying anything new.

6. Where are you in your faith at the start of your story?

Oh, I was pretty mad at God. Wouldn't you be? I had gone through something so horrible when I was younger, because not only did it affect me, but it affected my parents as well. Suddenly, I was the "girl who tells lies," or the "girl who makes up stories." It affected my father's business and we eventually had to move. I'm not kidding. It was that bad.

7. Where are you in your faith at the end of the story?

It's been a real growth experience for me. Mark has helped me a lot. I am happy to say that God and I are friends once more. Yes, I had been through a horrible experience, but I had let it turn me into a bitter, withdrawn woman, because, oh yes, I forgot to mention this - My daughter's father was a jerk, and walked out on me before Maddie was even born! So, yes, I was pretty bitter. I had a lot to learn about forgiveness.

8. You've got a scripture at the beginning of the story. Tell us why this scripture is significant.
The scripture is from Matthew 18:21-22. This is the passage where Peter is asking how many times we should forgive people. "Seven times?" Peter asks. Jesus answers and says, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy seven times." Which means - there should be no end to our forgiveness. I've also learned that forgiveness is not for the other person, it's for the forgiver. That was a lesson I had to learn.

9. If you could be a dessert what would you be and why?

Maybe cheesecake? I'm not sure why I said that - it was just the first thing that popped into my head.

Cheesecake works for me. This sounds like a rollercoaster ride of a story. Can't wait. Thanks for sharing Ally with us.


EllenToo said...

This sounds like an amazing story and I am glad that writers are using so called handicapped children in their stories and showing the public how "normal" they are in other ways. And how loving they can be. This way the stigma that some people place on the handicapped can be erased.

Holly said...

Thanks for sharing the interview. It makes me want to read the story even more! Blessings, Holly

Terri Reed said...

You're so right Ellen. I've been watching the Amazing Race and one of the contestants is deaf. He's doing a fab job. His mother too. LOL.
Holl, Glad you liked the interview. Thanks for stopping.