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Saturday, April 28, 2012

YA Author Beth Fehlbaum

I'm Beth Fehlbaum, author of The Patience Trilogy- Courage, Hope, and Truth. Hope in Patience is a 2011 YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers.



What made you decide to become a writer?

I wrote my first book, COURAGE IN PATIENCE (Kunati, 2008), as a therapeutic assignment. I was in recovery for childhood sexual abuse, and after months of sharing poems and short stories with my therapist, he suggested that I try writing a novel. The follow-up books--HOPE IN PATIENCE (WestSide Books, 2010) and TRUTH IN PATIENCE (as yet unpublished)--are a continuation of COURAGE IN PATIENCE. The books are novels--the story of a teen girl's recovery from childhood sexual abuse. I was motivated to write about someone else's experience because it helped pull me out of my own pain, grief, anger, and disbelief that my own mom turned her back on me.
 

Are your characters based on people you know?

I drew on my experiences as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse to write the character of Ashley, the teen protagonist of the PATIENCE books. I drew onmy life as a teacher to create Ashley's stepmom, Beverly, who is a high school English teacher. The character of Ashley's dad, David, is based, appearance-wise, on my husband, Daniel, and they are also both heavy equipment mechanics.  The character of Ashley's therapist, Dr. Matt, is in many ways based on my own therapist. My husband and (now former) therapist are aware that there are characters based on them.

What genre are most of your stories?

The PATIENCE Trilogy is realistic fiction. It's what I enjoy reading, but it really chose me since I was drawing on my own experiences in many ways to write it.

What do the people in your “real life” think of your writing?

They are all very proud of it, because it's so symbolic of how far I've come both personally and professionally.

What was the most challenging book you’ve written?

Each of THE PATIENCE books was challenging in their own way, but TRUTH, the third book, was most challenging because Ashley finally fully remembers what it was like when her stepfather raped her. Prior to that, she had it blocked out. The memory is triggered in TRUTH IN PATIENCE. That was very intense to write.

What books do you have available now?

The Patience Trilogy is the story of Ashley Nicole Asher, a teen girl recovering from childhood sexual abuse and the new life she carves out with the father she never knew.  

COURAGE IN PATIENCE, the 1st book, is officially out-of-print and is available only through used booksellers such as on Amazon Marketplace. The publisher, Kunati, went out of business within six months of Courage releasing. I own the rights now.


HOPE IN PATIENCE, the 2nd book, is still available and in print. 


TRUTH IN PATIENCE, the 3rd book, is as yet unpublished. 


 
 I will be a panelist in a presentation on the Future of Young Adult literature at the American Library Association meeting in November. 

My website is http://www.bethfehlbaumya.com. Be sure to stop by and read chapter previews and reviews of all my books! Thanks for having me as a guest!

7 comments:

B. A. Binns said...

I think writing about a character that mirrors your own life has to be difficutl.Thanks for sharing with us and with the world in the Patience books.

Sarah Raplee said...

Hi Beth, thanks for Guesting with us! I tried to leave a comment last night but it disappeared! blogger has been having problems this week.

I wonder if that happened to other comeenters? There have been over fourty pageviews already.

You are incredibly brave and caring to write about such a difficult part of your own life. The Patience books offer teens who have experienced sexual abuse hope for recovery. Thank you for writing them.

Anonymous said...

I am an aspiring author (unpublished) and I use people I know or have known as the basis for characters. I get a better sense of the characters' voices. I too am a survivor of childhood abuse (beatings, abandonment and malnutrition, but not sexual). At one time I tried to write a fiction story based on the perspective of my childhood self, but every time I read what I wrote, I would break down in tears. Kudos to you for breaking through this!

Diana Mcc. said...

What a brave person you are to write about such a difficult subject. Did you find it liberating or very difficult?

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Beth,
Great blog. Your books sound so inspiring, I am in awe of you. You are a very brave person, so I hope you achieve mega sales with your books. They are stories that must be told.

Regards

Margaret

Anonymous said...

Hey, everybody! Sorry I'm late in responding to these awesome comments-- I was out of town for 4 days. Thank you for your kind words. Writing The Patience Trilogy was liberating and healing for me. It was scary to write it at first but in many ways, confronting what I was most afraid of helped me come to terms with it. I hope that others find healing in their lives, and if my books give them a small slice of hope that they can hang on and get through the hell that is recovery from childhood abuse, then I will feel as if I have made a difference. :)

Beth Fehlbaum, author
The Patience Trilogy
http://www.bethfehlbaumya.com

Judith Ashley said...

Hi Beth,

I'm late to the comments because I too was out-of-town at the Desert Dreams Conference. If you were there, I'm sorry I missed seeing you!

Thank you for sharing your stories with us. I've worked in Child Protective Services and am going to invite my former colleagues to check your post (and your books) out.