BOOK COVER: I was really drawn to pick up this book because of the cover. First of all I LOVE the binding and old book look. The girl on the cover made you look at her a couple of times to imagine what was happening there.
C.J. Darlington takes the reader on an amazing book journey not only about rare and expensive books that turn up missing but of this young girl trapped in a situation she wants to get out of but doesn't quite know how. C.J. says that she has compassion for teens and their struggle. Her heart really comes through on every page.
Bound by Guilt is on book shelfs at your favorite book store now. Below is an interview C.J. Darlington gave me permission to post here. It's an interview that's in the back of the book. Next week I'll be posting more about Bound By Guilt and C.J. Darlington the author! I highly recommend this book for your enjoyment and for a book club selection. There is alot to discuss inside the pages of Bound by Guilt!
BOUND BY GUILT
By C.J. Darlington
Q and A
C.J. DARLINGTON BIO: My first novel Thicker Than Blood, won the 2008 Christian Writers Guild Operation First Novel contest and was published by Tyndale House in 2010.
My second novel, Bound by Guilt, is due to release in early 2011 from Tyndale House. I am the co-founder of the website TitleTrakk.com, which features book, music & movie reviews, interviews, articles, music videos, novel excerpts, and more. I was homeschooled for all my schooling years. Visit my author website to learn more about me and my writing. http://cjdarlington.blogspot.com/
Where did the idea for Bound by Guilt come from?
I read a news article about a young man who’d been arrested in California for stealing rare books from various bookstores and re-selling them to other stores for a profit. I wondered what kind of story I could build around that idea. For many years I’d also wanted to write about someone who suddenly found themselves with nowhere to go and nothing but the clothes on their back. What would they do? How would they survive? These two ideas propelled the story.
Why did you choose to deal with guilt in your book?
When I started writing this novel I didn’t have a specific theme in mind. I had a few elements of the plot and several characters I wanted to include. But most of the story came about organically as I wrote. My working title actually wasn’t Bound by Guilt. What’s really cool is that when my editor suggested that title I stepped back and looked at the story and realized how perfect it fit. Even the first line, which was written long before we had the title, is about guilt! However, this story is also about forgiveness in a big way. How do you become free from guilt? By being forgiven. There are characters in the story who desperately need to forgive, and there are those who desperately need to receive forgiveness. The wonderful thing is, like the Scripture Gordon shares with Roxi, God can not only forgive our sins, but he can forgive the guilt of our sins too.
Did you have a sequel in mind when you finished your first book, Thicker than Blood, or did you write the sequel because of reader interest?
Do you form emotional attachments to your characters?
My characters are real people to me. I might see someone walking down the street and think, “Wow, she really looks like Roxi.” It can be hard to finish a book because it’s like saying good bye to close friends. I sometimes have to remind myself they’re imaginary!
Which character is your favorite in Bound by Guilt?
Roxi. Wounded characters like her touch my heart. But I also really like Jan Mercer. The scenes with Roxi and Jan together were my absolute favorites to write.
Your stories focus on the world of antiquarian books. How did you research this?
I’ve been involved in the rare book industry since I was seventeen. My sister and I began book scouting for local stores, and within a year or so we started our own online bookstore selling directly to consumers. Much of what I write regarding rare books comes from personal experience, or something I’ve heard in my travels. I’ve been to book sales all across the country, from California to Connecticut, and I’ll tell you . . . book dealers are a colorful group!
During your travels to scout out books, what would be the most intriguing situation you’ve experienced?
What sticks out in my mind is the book that got away. Every book dealer has a story like this, and they’re painful to hear. Mine was when we found a first edition copy of The Velveteen Rabbit that even had its very rare dust jacket. Unfortunately, we didn’t know how rare it was. We listed that book at an online auction site for three hundred dollars, and we were thrilled when it sold. Years later I realized we could’ve gotten ten times that, or more.
How do you “get into the heads” of difficult characters such as Vince from Thicker than Blood and Irene in Bound by Guilt.
I actually find writing the bad guys easier in some ways than writing the good guys. But I almost never get them right the first time. In the rough draft of this story for example, Irene was very one-dimensional. We didn’t understand why she was doing what she was doing. I had to dig deep into her character and ask myself to really think about her motivations. Much of their character comes from asking myself what if questions. And letting my imagination run wild.
Your writing reveals a deep affection for and an understanding of animals. Have you always felt this?
I love animals. I grew up with dogs and cats, and at one time we had a pony and a miniature donkey too. Selah was actually inspired by my Whippet mix, Story, who we rescued. Did you catch how Selah’s story actually parallels Roxi’s? They were both thrown away and forgotten, had trust issues, and needed someone to love them. One of my favorite quotes is: “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.” That applies to all the animals we love.
What do you hope readers take away from this book?
I hope they’ll be challenged to look past outward appearances and see people, especially teens, the way God sees them. Love them for who they are with no strings attached. Love them even when they make mistakes. Love truly does cover over a multitude of wrongs.
If God gave an endorsement of this novel, what do you hope He would say?
My biggest hope would be that He would say, “I can use this book to stir people’s hearts.”
Will there be a sequel to Bound by Guilt?
I’m currently writing a third book that is closely connected to both Bound by Guilt and my first novel Thicker than Blood. We’ll see what happens!
Giving Away - Bound by Guilt
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