image: header
image: gownflare

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Spotlight on Nicole Baart and The Moment Between

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

NICOLE BAART was born and raised in a small town in Iowa. She is the mother of two young sons and the wife of a pastor. After the adoption of their infant son, Nicole discovered a deep passion for global issues and is a founding member of a non-profit organization that works with a church and orphanage in Liberia. After the Leaves Fall and the sequel, Summer Snow, were Nicole's first books. Summer Snow is a 2009 Christy Award finalist for excellence in fiction. The Moment Between is her third book. The inspiration for Nicole's next novel was an unsolved murder near her hometown. Her fourth book is set for release in 2010. Nicole and her family live in Iowa.

THE MOMENT BETWEEN
by Nicole Baart
Published by Tyndale House

ABOUT THE BOOK

Abigail Bennett was completely in control of her life until tragedy pushed her to the brink of something she'd never experienced: obsession. Now, she's given up everything she's ever worked for to chase down the object of that obsession. His name is Tyler Kamp. As Abigail follows him across the border into Canada to a beautiful winery in British Columbia, her journey is awash in memories of family and childhood, especially those of her younger sister, Hailey. Dangerously beautiful yet indefinably needy, Hailey seemed to take all the risks Abigail avoided. Until now. But even as Abigail races into her future, her past continues to pull her back. Only when she is brought to the edge of her obsession will she be able to come to terms with the tragedy that ignited it.

A breathtaking story about the emotional risks of relationships, The Moment Between explores the cost of regret, the desire for revenge, and the redemptive power of forgiveness.

Buy Your Copy of The Moment Between today!

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

1. What gave you the inspiration for this story?

The idea for this book was sparked nearly a decade ago when I was a young, high school teacher fresh out of college. A teenager in our community committed suicide, and the ensuing shock and horror really affected my students. In dealing with the fall-out, I learned that many of my students believed that suicide is an unpardonable sin--that since your final act on earth is one you cannot repent of, God cannot forgive you and therefore your soul cannot be saved. Of course, suicide is never the right answer to any problem, but I believe that God is bigger than that. I believe his grace can abound in any situation. The Moment Between is really about grace in unbelievable circumstances.

2. How much of your own experiences influenced your characters? What aspects became traits that are theirs and theirs alone?

The biggest part of me that shows up in this book is a love for British Columbia’s Thompson Okanagan. This setting will forever be one of my favorite places on earth. I feel a sense of home there, even though I’ve only ever vacationed there and will probably never truly call B.C.’s wine country home. Abigail’s growing love for The Summerlands and her sense of place there definitely came straight from my own affinity for the region.

But there are many things about Abigail that have nothing to do with me. She’s an accountant--I hate numbers and still add on my fingers. She has a very dysfunctional family and a messed-up relationship with her sister--my family is awesome and I only have a brother. She’s short and dark-haired and athletic--I’m tall and blonde and a complete klutz… I’ve never really thought about it before, but looking at my list I suppose she’s sort of my alter-ego.

3. If one of your characters were an ice cream flavor, what would he/she be and why?

Abigail Bennett would be a homemade vanilla gelato: simple, straightforward, and uncomplicated, but not without a certain exotic appeal--maybe hand churned with bits of vanilla bean throughout. :) There is much more to her than meets the eye, though you have to be willing to really savor her to realize all the many subtleties and nuances in her personality.

4. Are there any themes in The Moment Between that you hope the reader sees? Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the stories progressed?

Forgiveness is a major theme that plays into The Moment Between from the first page to the very last. I read a number of books on this subject of communion in years past and have always struggled with what it means, who it is for, and why Jesus chose the symbols that he used to represent the ultimate gift of himself--this symbol of forgiveness and reconciliation. I think we often take the elements for granted, not bothering to struggle with the implications of what God was really doing for us with this often misunderstood sacrament. So blood, wine, and sacrifice are all big symbols that play into the theme of forgiveness in this book.

Mental illness, familial relationships, and finding a sense of place are also important. I’d have to say that there were no surprise themes in this book because it was so planned out in my head from the moment I started writing it. I don’t always know my book so well when I begin, but there was something special about The Moment Between from the very first time I put pen to paper and wrote the opening line.

5. What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?

The most difficult parts to write were definitely the suicide scenes. It was very hard to immerse myself in that sort of pain and try to imagine what it would be like to lose someone I love in such a violent manner. But for some reason I felt very compelled to go there--I wish I knew why. People always ask me why I chose to write about this topic, but the truth is, the topic chose me. It grabbed my heart and my mind and wouldn’t let go until I started writing.

My favorite parts to write were all the parts about the winery and Abigail’s growing relationship with the estate owner and vintner Eli Dixon. I love his character so much and I love what he was able to do for Abigail throughout the course of the book. He made all the sad stuff worth it.

6. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?

My next book is coming out in the spring of 2010. I’m just putting the finishing touches on it right now and I’m so excited about it! I don’t have a title yet, but the story is part mystery, part love story, and part emotional drama. It’s about a small town doctor named Lucas Hudson who is called to act as coroner in a routine case when the real coroner is vacationing in Mexico. Everything seems run-of-the-mill until Lucas stumbles upon a second body. Suddenly, he’s pulled into a bizarre, decade-old murder mystery that catapults him from his lackluster existence. When a missing woman turns up unexpectedly, and Lucas does the unthinkable, things only get more complicated. He finds his careful life in shambles and his marriage crumbling around him.

This book was pure joy for me to write, filled with quick dialogue and fascinating events. The idea was planted when I was sixteen years old and a body was discovered in a ditch near my hometown. A young woman had been brutally murdered and her body wasn’t found until months after the horrific crime. She has always haunted me… And now I get to tell my version of her story. I’ve waited years to pen this one. :)

* * * * *

Thank you, Nicole, for being in the spotlight with us.

Readers, leave a comment for your chance to win a FREE autographed copy of The Moment Between.

Make sure you also leave your email address (name at domainname dot.com/net). You won't be entered in the drawing without it. If you wish to comment but don't want to be entered, say so when you post.

And if you want to make certain you don't miss anything, check the box that says 'email follow-up comments to:' when you leave a comment and they'll be sent to the email address associated with your blogging account. That way you'll be notified of any comments and will know when I announce the winner.

This week, the contest is open to anyone worldwide.

13 comments:

Wendy said...

What a fantastic interview. I can't wait to begin reading her novels. I think she writes w/ depth and insight (have read some of her work online).

It would be an honor to win! :D

~ Wendy

Wendy said...

ohps...my email is millerct1{@}cox.net

J-Lynn said...

Hey, that was a great interview. The first question is what hit me the hardest. My cousin committed suicide when I was a week from turning 16 and I used to struggle with this question. How could he have repented, how could God forgive him. Is he in heaven, or is he in hell. I struggled with that for those questions for a long time. And it hurt when people would try to tell me he wasn't in heaven. Now with the grace of God I am a saved 20 year old women running after Gods own heart living in Brazil in a discipleship program called Masters Commission and I know God used my cousin Brandon's life for His will even though many people don't really see that. Now I don't fret, I know God is bigger then me and bigger then anything I could even begin to understand. It does get hard when Feb 10th hits again because then I start to wonder those question but then I realize those questions are coming from the enemy, the devil himself, and they are just lies. God has His plans and His forgiveness and mercy is so amazing!

I am sorry if this is a longer comment then you wanted, I just wanted to share a little of my heart. I do hope to win a copy of this book. Thanks for reading and doing all that you do. My email is God4me1312007@yahoo.com
Thank you,
Jamie Lynn

Chrys said...

I love Nicole's books, and I've been anxiously waiting for this one. She was actually my high school Spanish teacher, so not only do I get to read great books, but I get to say I know the author!
My email is chrys5@hotmail.com
Thanks!
Chrystal

windycindy said...

I have not read anything by this delightful sounding author! This book sounds very good. Please enter my name in your drawing.
Many thanks, Cindi
jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

Linda said...

Suicide is devastating. Unfortunately, I've gone through it twice in my family. It leaves such an empty hole, wondering also what I could have done to prevent it.

Please enter me in your contest.
desertrose5173 at gmail com

Nicole Baart said...

Thanks so much for stopping by!

I know this book deals with tough issues, but I think that it is a very hope-filled, redemptive read that is worth the difficult beginning. I had the pleasure yesterday of participating in a book club chat via Skype, and was blown away when one of the ladies told me that her grandson had committed suicide last year. She brought me to tears, but there was so much hope (and laughter!) in the conversation... I think it's important that we talk about this stuff. Thanks for continuing the conversation. :)

Warmly,
Nicole

Carole said...

I enjoy the more literary types of Cristian fiction and have wanted to read this book since seeing its first reviews. Thank you for the chance to win a copy.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Krista said...

I am anxious to read Nicole's novel - sounds excellent! We're hoping to have a discussion on the book at the library where I work and have Nicole come for a visit. Please enter me in the drawing. My email is heavenlyacres[at]gmail[dot]com.
Thank you so much!!

Anonymous said...

My name is Lisa and my email is ldewaay@aol.com, I would like to be entered into the contest if it is still open. I really enjoyed Nicole's last two books and can't wait to read the new one. I live in the town that Nicole lives in and it is neat to have an author lin the same town as me. It was even better to have the last two books set here in the place that I've grown up. Thanks.

Mike + Stacey Duncan said...

i would love to win! my email is independentfae[at]yahoo[dot]com and my name is stacey!

Carolynn W. said...

Sounds like a fascinating book, please enter me, thanks!
carolynnwald[at]hotmail[dot]com

remnant reminscences said...

It does sound fascinating, very emotional. I was attracted to this author when I read how they'd adopted a child from Africa...it's an issue very close to my heart. God bless her!

ldneuhof at hotmail dot com