Today Wednesday Writers welcomes back Teresa Pollard. Teresa will be talking about Not Ashamed, her July 7 release from HopeSprings Books. Like the first book in this series, Not Guilty, Teresa deals with a hard subject—rape, yet she and her coauthor manage to shine God’s grace and love through, even in such a tough topic. To get things started here’s the blurb from Not Ashamed.
by Teresa Pollard and Candi Pullen
Charity Wright is ashamed of who she is. She just found out she was born of a brutal rape. Now, everyone tells her that her biological father has changed. They say he’s a good man who only helps people. They say she must forgive him. But do people really change? Especially when they’ve done something so heinous? Is forgiveness even possible?
Before she can confront her father with his crime, she almost literally stumbles onto another crime. In the same place. Has the rapist also become a murderer? Can Charity discover the truth before the killer strikes again? Or will her fury destroy her?
Teresa, tell us about Not Ashamed, and let us know how the first and second books are connected.
My first published novel, Not Guilty, written in 1982 with my writing partner, Candi Pullen, was not actually released until 2013. But even before its publication by HopeSprings Books, it had been read by a number of people I knew, and it was amazing to me how many readers I found who had either been raped themselves, or were a child born of rape. I know God had ordained that they read it, because they told me themselves it had freed their spirits from the guilt and shame that had plagued them for years.
But in talking with those women born of rape, other issues also emerged. They all told me they had wonderful mothers, women who loved them and cared for them exactly as they had for siblings who were not a product of rape (which is not something the pro-choice advocates will ever admit, but is statistically the case most of the time). They did admit to having self-esteem issues that related to their birth. And when I asked what the one question they would like to ask their biological father if given the opportunity was, that answer was universal too—why?!!
I did ask one lady if she had ever also questioned why God had allowed that to happen to her mother, and she immediately said, “Oh, yeah!” even though she had an answer every time she looked in a mirror.
So these were the topics that formed the premise for the sequel, Not Ashamed, which is coming out from HopeSprings Books on July 7 of this year. After not seeing each other for years, Candi was able to visit me from Florida for a month, and she and I were able to again collaborate on the writing. It was so wonderful being able to see her and write with her again! It was like a few weeks had passed rather than thirty years!
Of course we reprised some of the characters from Not Guilty, but since this was the story of a grown-up Charity Wright, born of the rape of Carrie Shepherd (later Wright) in Not Guilty, there are a few new characters as well. I do urge people to read Not Guilty first if possible, because if read out of order, Not Ashamed will spoil the ending for Not Guilty. Since they’re both written in a mystery format, there wasn’t any way around that.
As with the first book, Not Ashamed is an unashamedly pro-life book. It’s also unashamedly pro-Gospel. We don’t apologize for that. The setting is the church. And to me, the main character is also the church even though it is seen basically through the lens of a few characters. So it would not be realistic for there to be no “preaching” in it. But I also hope that it is so entertaining and intriguing that even a non-Christian can read it and enjoy it, and hopefully find their Savior through it. That has been our goal from the beginning. God bless.
Teresa Pollard is from Richmond, Virginia, and was saved at a young age. She has a Master of Arts degree in English and Creative Writing from Hollins College, and has served as a Sunday School teacher and children’s worker for most of the last forty years. She is the co-author of Not Guilty and Not Ashamed (due July 7), and the author of Tokens of Promise and Woman of Light, (also due out from HopeSprings Books in October). Married for forty years, she was devastated by divorce and the death of her youngest daughter, but God has blessed her with a new home and another grandson, and she now resides in Dacula, Georgia. She blogs every Tuesday at http://teresatalkstaboo.wordpress.com. Follow her on Facebook at Teresa Pollard, Author.