Interview with Mary DeMuth

I’m looking forward to posting a review of Mary DeMuth’s newest book: Daisy Chain. It’s an exceptional book that I’m sure you will love. 

First, I wanted to introduce you to Mary and provide you with a ‘teaser’ of what’s to come.

Where to find Mary:

Mary DeMuth’s Website
Mary DeMuth’s Blog
Mary DeMuth’s Facebook Profile
Follow Mary DeMuth on Twitter

A little Q&A with the Author:

Where did you get the idea for the book?
I had a friend who shared a difficult story with me. He grew up in a Christian home. His father was in leadership in the Christian community. From the outside, all looked perfect. But behind closed doors, life was very, very hard. I wanted to expose that kind of abuse. That’s why the idea of family secrets plays heavily into all three books of the Defiance, Texas trilogy.

What are the major themes of the book?
The importance (and elusiveness) of authenticity.
The devastation of maintaining and keeping family secrets.
Redemption comes from surprising people.
Feeling guilty doesn’t always equal reality.
True friendship involves sacrifice.

What kind of research did you have to do for the book?
Having lived in East Texas for two years, I absorbed a lot of the geography and colloquialisms of the area. A lot of my research happened as I wrote. I also researched battered wives and police procedure (Thanks Officer Woodruff).

With which character do you identify most and why?
In high school, I was a lot like Hixon, living on the margins of life in some ways because I was so flat-out in love with Jesus. I wanted to share Him everywhere, and my speech was peppered with Jesusisms. But like Hixon, I also had another side to me, one I hid. Learning to be honest with myself and others about my own shortcomings—and, oh, they are aplenty—has made me a better Christ-follower in the long run. It’s not about appearing holy. It’s about being holy from the inside out. The only route to that kind of abundance is honest, excruciating disclosure with trusted friends and the God who sees it all.

What do you hope to accomplish with this book?
I liken this book to an Oprah book, but with hope. Yes, there is darkness and meanness abounding in this world, but God’s light has a way of fully penetrating that darkness. I hope Daisy Chain cradles the reader through its deep, scary journey clear through to the end because redemption will shine brighter in the midst of darkness. That’s my own personal testimony, so it can’t help but leak out on the page.

My hope is that folks will see the need to share their family secrets in order to be set free. (A cool place to share your family secrets anonymously is http://blog.myfamilysecrets.org). I also want people to see that the Body of Christ is probably much different looking than they first thought. Some appear holy. Others, in distressing disguises, actually are.

 

Daisy Chain’s first page:

How’s this for a teaser: the first page of Daisy Chain:

It had been thirty roller-coaster years since Daisy Marie Chance forced fourteen-year-old Jed Pepper to fall in love with her. He’d obliged her, dizzied at the thought ever since. It had been that long before Jed could walk through the ruins of Crooked Creek Church, a butterfly flitting a prophecy he never could believe, even today. It was Daisy’s singsong words that gave the butterfly its bewitching manner, those same words that strangled him with newfound love. For years, he wished he’d had an Instamatic camera to capture the moment he fell for Daisy, but then entropy would’ve had its way, fading and creasing Daisy’s face until she’d have looked like an overloved newspaper recipe, wrinkled and unreadable.Thing was, he could always read Daisy’s face. Even then. She’d looked at him square in the eyes that day in 1977, in the exact same spot he stood now, and declared, “Your family ain’t normal, Jed.” And because lies came easy to him, he’d thought, of course my family’s normal. Anyone with eyes could see that. Daisy said a lot of words, being a thirteen-year-old girl and all, but these didn’t make much sense.

Thirty years later they did. They screamed the truth through the empty field where the church used to creak in the wind.

For a hesitant moment, enshrined in the ruins of his childhood, Jed was fourteen again. Filled to the brim with testosterone and pestered by an orange and black tormenter and Daisy’s oh-so-true words.

“Your family ain’t normal, Jed.”

He watched the butterfly loop above the organ, never landing, like it had a thing against church music. Or maybe dust.

He sat on a rickety pew.

“Jed?”

He clasped his hands around his ears, hoping Daisy’s words would run away. He hummed “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.”

She put her nose right in front of his. He felt her breathing, smelled her Juicy Fruit breath. “You in there?”

He swatted the air between them, hoping she’d disappear. “Yeah. Quit bothering me.” He looked at his watch. Six fifteen. Time to go.

“But your face.” Daisy sat down a Bible’s throw away.

Jed touched his swollen eye. “Yeah? So? What about it?”

“It looks like it hurts.” Daisy scooted closer. She reached her arm his direction.

He inched away.

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