Meet Amy K. Sorrells author and creator of “Before I Saw You”.
Amy, took some time out to share with us about her inspiring book “Before I Saw You. This book has helped many birth mothers find peace and healing through the life of Jaycee. May it also bring you the peace, love and healing intended.
Amy, I see you are an author. Tell me about what led you towards knowing that writing was a gift that you had to offer the world?
I have enjoyed writing for as long as I can remember. I started writing professionally right out of college in newspapers and medical journals. In 2006, I decided to get serious about publishing a book of my own. Twelve years and four novels later, and I think I’ve convinced myself the gift is not a fluke!
What types of books do you write and are they all adoption related?
The overall mission of all my books is to write words of hope for a hurting world. My novels are each very unique stories, but with the common thread of a topic or issue that breaks my heart. In my first novel, How Sweet the Sound, that topic is sexual abuse. In my second (and soon to be re-released) novel, Then Sings My Soul, the topic is the elderly and early 1900 Jewish history. In my third novel, Lead Me Home, the topic is the plight/demise of the American dairy farmer and small town churches. Before I Saw You is the only one that deals specifically with adoption, and in particular, my focus is on the too-often silence and shame of birth mothers.
What led you to include sharing about adoption in your work?
The courage and strength of birth mothers is a topic that has moved me for some time. I began thinking about Moses’ birth mother, Jochebed, and how her heart-wrenching choice literally saved an entire nation and changed the course of history. I began to imagine how a birth mother like Jochebed might feel in today’s society, and that’s how Before I Saw You was born. In addition, I am a registered nurse, and I have worked with pediatrics and neonatal intensive care babies tragically impacted by the opioid epidemic, and combined that theme with my story. Without a doubt, those two topics involve hurting people who need hope.
Let’s talk specifically about a book that you wrote that really highlights a birth moms journey, “Before I Saw You.” I was really excited when I connected with you on instagram because I know that stories have power. Sometimes it is easier for another person to read about a character even fictional that faces a struggle they too are facing. I think the story becomes a voice for them and they are able to bravely walk through the situation with the character and glean strength and vision for their own life, How did “Before I Saw You” unfold?
Of all people, I am probably the least qualified to write a story about birth mothers. I have three young adult sons, all biological, and I’ve never been directly impacted by adoption. However, once captivated by what birth mothers must go through, I knew I had to write this story. I dove into research, culling through internet sites written by and for birth mothers. I read books and connected with birth mothers directly; Michelle Thorne, author of Delivered, was a huge help to me as I strove for accuracy in the main character, Jaycee’s, journey. Since my sons are all going off to college and growing up, I was able to infuse some of my angst about empty-nesting into the story. And I prayed as I wrote. A lot.
Without spoiling it for our viewers give me a brief synopses of the story.
Here’s the official synopsis;
Folks are dying fast as the ash trees in the southern Indiana town ravaged by the heroin epidemic, where Jaycee Givens lives with nothing more than a thread of hope and a quirky neighbor, Sudie, who rescues injured wildlife. After a tragedy leaves her mother in prison, Jaycee is carrying grief and an unplanned pregnancy she conceals because she trusts no one, including the kind and handsome Gabe, who is new to town and to the local diner where she works.
Dividing her time between the diner and Sudie’s place, Jaycee nurses her broken heart among a collection of unlikely friends who are the closest thing to family that she has. Eventually, she realizes she can’t hide her pregnancy any longer—not even from the baby’s abusive father, who is furious when he finds out. The choices she must make for the safety of her unborn child threaten to derail any chance she ever had for hope and redemption. Ultimately, Jaycee must decide whether the truest form of love means hanging on or letting go.
How do you feel your story has or will impact women who have placed a child for adoption?
Truly, if this story gives hope to even one woman facing an unexpected pregnancy, I will be beyond grateful. I am amazed already by the women who have read this book–some who kept their babies, many who chose adoption, and others who were adopted as children–who have said they wept through the story, in a good way. If anything, my prayer is that readers will realize that even in the most uncertain and terrifying of times, they are not alone. More than that, their children are not alone. There is a grander purpose and hope to each of our stories, and eventually the light does break into and shine through the darkness.
I am sure that you have touched a deep place in the hearts of your readers.
Will you be writing more adoption themed stories?
Actually, my new-to-most novel, Then Sings My Soul, is set to be re-released in April, 2019, and it’s about two young boys who escape the early 1900 Jewish genocides of eastern Europe. Once they arrive in America, they are in fact adopted. While the focus is not adoption per se, their story is about their lives as orphans and how the tragedies they survived work out for good in the end.
Any upcoming projects that you might give us a sneak peak about?
I’m currently on a writing sabbatical, but I have a couple of ideas rumbling around in my brain. I think readers can look forward to a semi-historical or two in the future, at least, and for sure another story full of hope for a broken and hurting world.
Amy, Thank you so much for caring enough to write stories that need to be heard and for taking time to share with us.
Lastly, How might others connect with you?
Where can readers order a copy of
“Before I Saw You”?
Before I Saw You is available wherever favorite books are sold, online and in stores, with direct links at my web site: amyksorrells.com