How did the publishing process work for you Shane? How did the cover process work? What were you looking for in the cover? Were you pleased by the outcome?

I prayed about whether to use a self-publishing company or just get my own ISBN number and have the book formatted and printed. After researching some self-publishing possibilities, I settled on just having the book printed myself. We got an ISBN number, and Greg Finley designed and formatted the book to have it ready for the printer.

The cover, as with the whole book actually, was just a thought that I know was inspired by God. I wanted a cover that made people want to read the book while it also told the story of my son’s life at the same time. Zach would wear a white handkerchief hanging out of his back pocket a lot. At the funeral visitation and at his celebration service, all his friends came in wearing those white handkerchiefs in their back pockets to honor Zach. It was a sweet and powerful thing to see. So, as we thought about that, it was clear that we should put that on the cover. The photo was taken by a dear family friend, and my son Jered, Zach’s brother, is the one in the photo. As far as him walking from darkness into light… well, that was just my son’s story. He was brought out of darkness into the Light of Christ. It still takes my breath away to ponder his testimony.

What do you hope readers take away after reading your book?

If my heart followed the Holy Spirit as closely as I prayed to as I wrote the book, then my hope is this:

I hope people are introduced to a young man named Zach whose life was radically changed by Christ. But, by the time they finish the book, I hope that Zach has disappeared and all they see is Jesus. I pray they will see that He is the answer to their deepest need, the healer for their deepest hurt, and the only Hope they have for real, lasting peace in this life.

So, I guess what I ultimately hope they take away from reading this book is a longing for Jesus – a longing to know Him for the first time, or if they already know Him, a longing to know Him more deeply.

What made you write this book? What is the desire of your heart for this book?

About 6 months after Zach died, I was finally ready to read the journal that I knew he had carried the last 12-18 months of his life. As I sat on his bed reading, the one thought that kept coming into my heart was the tangible intimacy between Zach and Christ that was so evident on the pages of that journal. It really struck me how personal the relationship was and how clearly I could see, through his journal entries, the principles that he was learning from God. I just knew that other people needed to see and experience God this way, this REAL. That very day, I know God called me to write the book. Immediately, my heart knew the title. Immediately, I knew I would break it down into principles that I was seeing jump off the pages, and those became the dares in the book.

As far as my desire for the book, I already mentioned above that I hope the reader takes away a desire to know Christ. In my heart, that translates into a desire for the reader to develop a true and deep intimacy with Christ. I am convinced that intimacy with Christ is the key to powerful change in our hearts and lives; it is what changes us from the inside out.

Any new and exciting news you'd like to share?

As a result of the book’s core message, I have begun a ministry called Dare to Live REAL, Inc. The Dare to Live REAL message involves the heart of what I believe is true Christianity – real with God, real with self, and real with others.

When we get real with God, He shows us our real selves – who we are and who we are made to be. He gives us the courage to face who we are, and when we choose to cooperate with Him as He sanctifies us by His power and love, we slowly become who we were made to be. It is a life long journey of getting real with Him and ourselves. Then, as we do that, we automatically live real among others. We live out authentic community.

Could you imagine what would happen if we truly started living the freedom of Christ where we live, work, and play? It gets me excited when I think about it! I am looking forward to ministry opportunities that God may bring my way as a result of this life message He has given me. I’m dreaming big with Him about REAL Parenting seminars and conferences for Teens Living REAL and REAL Women in REAL Marriages. It will be exciting to see how God continues to develop what He started through this book.

I’ve known you for many years Shane, you are a very strong women rooted in your faith. Did you ever feel like giving up along this journey with God? Please explain

There were certainly times before Zach died that I felt weary. The work the Lord was doing in me, in my marriage and parenting, and of course in my children, was a mighty thing. I felt the weight and magnitude of what He was doing through our struggles, as He used them to teach us, to grow us, to transform us. I was moved along one day at a time by my faith in God that He had promised to break the dysfunctional cycles in my family. I believed His promise with the deepest part of my heart, and my ability to stand firm in hard and dark times even surprised me. Those who read the book will discover that Zach’s testimony was not for the faint of heart – not for him or those of us who were on the ride with him. Yet God gave strength when I found no more. He gave wisdom when I had no idea what to do or where to turn next. He gave endurance for each day that I still see as a mystery when I look back on it. But, it was completely evident at all times that it was His and not mine, Him and not me. It was the power of Christ.

But, that was before Zach died. And though I still believe God’s promise even now, these past two and a half years have tested my faith like never before. Not in just the grief over losing Zach; that is hard, so hard that I still struggle to breathe when the pain hits afresh. Yet, the hardest part has been to watch what death has done to my family. A family that had grown strong and had overcome so many dysfunctional patterns was once again kicked in the gut by this tragedy. And though I know the Lord will bring us all the way through and back to restoration once again, we are still very much fighting the fight. It hurts to see my family hurt. And from that perspective, I have wanted to give up many times. I know that my faith has held only because Christ is holding me. There is no other reason why I can still declare that He is good. Because nothing feels good. Nothing has felt good since 8/31/08. Yet, as I was just saying to God during worship this morning, I’ll declare this truth until I draw my last breath simply because I believe it from within every cell of my body whether I feel it or not – He is good! By the power of Christ, I choose every day to believe that when He allows great pain that it is because He has a great purpose. I trust that this book is one part of the purpose.

What would you say to other mothers that find themselves in your shoes? How would you encourage them?

I guess there are two ways that mothers could find themselves in my shoes. One is obviously a mother who has lost a child. In those cases, I would simply say to take grief by the horns and wrestle with it. Feel it, cry over it, scream until your throat feels bloody; I have many times. Get angry, not at God or any one person, but get mad that you lost your child. It is not the way things are supposed to be. There is no way to live real and not be mad about that. Besides, the pain of grief simply feels like rage so much of the time. And if you do get mad at God, tell Him. That’s the intimacy I am talking about. A real relationship thrives when honest feelings are put out on the table. Your relationship with God is no different. He can handle it. He will love you and soothe your soul as you come to Him with whatever emotions you feel. Just don’t be afraid to feel them. You will never heal if you try to run from the pain or candy coat over it. As much as I trusted God (and still do) with this tragedy, He made me to live a human existence on this earth. No matter how deep our faith, we can’t escape the very real heart wound that has to be dealt with when grieving the death of a child.

A more common situation that is addressed in the book that a mother may find herself in is the very hard place of having a struggling teenager. This journey can be just as hard in different ways than grieving death. There is so much I could say to a mother in this place that I could fill up another whole book. So, I will simply say this: Draw close to the Lord, and beg Him for strength, wisdom, and discernment like you have never begged before. One big truth you will notice from reading the book is that He has specific instructions for how He wants to save your teenager. There is an all-out spiritual war for the souls of our children. We must fight that war spiritually as well. Don’t ever stop praying. And when it is time to go into the battle of tough love (very hands-on help and support without enabling), trust your God that He has gone before you. He will give you everything you need, one day at a time. Whatever you do, don’t ever pretend they are going to be okay if you just let this season pass. Get proactive and do something to help your child. Don’t ever give up, and don’t stick your head in the sand. Stay awake and alert to the ways that God is leading you to help your child. I truly have found that He will do it very specifically.


What movie did you see as a child that most impacted your life?

I guess the movie that impacted my life the most was Swiss Family Robinson, and it wasn’t because of the movie. It was because my daddy took me and my sister, just the three of us. He worked a lot and was not the most affectionate dad, but I will never forget that night. I felt so loved and valued just because he was spending time with me. It is a sweet, sweet memory.

Out of all the people in all the history of the world who would you like to meet and why? (besides Jesus)

Wow, that’s so hard because I always struggle to narrow stuff like this down to just one. Paul comes to mind, so does Peter. But, as I’m typing, I guess Mary, the mother of Jesus, comes to mind as the dearest to my heart right now. I have drawn great comfort these past couple of years in knowing that she endured the loss of her son, while also choosing to trust her God no matter what. I would love to hear her heart on how she learned to wait patiently until she could see her son again while also remaining useful to God in the life she had left. I find it hard not to dwell on what was lost; I have to constantly choose to move forward. Also, Mary lived sacrificial obedience when it was the hardest thing to do. That’s who I want to be. Her words have become my life verse: “I am the Lord’s servant; may it be to me as You have said” (Luke 1:38).

If you had an opportunity to take a vacation (all expenses paid) where would you go, what would you do and why?
Ok… there are at least 10 places that come to mind. So, since the other 9 are all the same, just different location, I’ll pick the one place that I really do hope I can go before I die – Israel. I want to walk where Jesus walked. I want to see the Garden of Gethsemane where He agonized over His fate of going to the Cross, ultimately choosing to rise up and face suffering and death for you and me. I want to see the Jordan River where He was baptized into His earthly ministry. I want to see the empty tomb. That may seem like the church answer, but if I only get one, that’s my choice.

Well, just now as I tried to go to the next question, this thought came to mind. My family and I have been thinking about planning a trip. We haven’t been anywhere as a family since Zach died. We have been talking about going to Curacao but it’s expensive. So, if I’m just plain honest in this fleshly existence that I mentioned above, I think I would just want to go to Curacao for a couple weeks with Brian, Jered, Haley, and Sydney. I want to laugh like we used to.

If you had the money to do anything you wanted to do, what would it be and why?

I would build a home for women and children to come to when they are in abusive marriages. I want the home to be a long term place (1 – 2 years) that would allow true healing and restoration for the families so that generational cycles could be broken. The women would learn how they end up in abusive relationships and get healthy in order to move forward making healthier choices in life and relationships. They would be educated and trained for jobs. Their kids would receive the counseling they need as well, while also getting to finally just be a kid. This is a dream I’ve had since 2005.

What’s your favorite time of day? Why?

I really am not a morning person, but my favorite time of day is quickly becoming those moments in the morning after I get everyone off to school and my husband off to work. I usually spend this time listening to some of my favorite worship songs and just spending some time with God. Sometimes, I even go back to bed for a nap when I know that the extra rest would be good for me.

What did you want to be when you were little?

Another loaded question… the very first thing that I can ever truly remember wanting to be was a doctor. I can honestly say that is because I thought my dad wanted me to be one. Then, I think my heart wanted to be a missionary for a while around age 12. Then I got so far away from God that I forgot all about that. I never really latched onto one dream back then, and that really sums me up. I was a very insecure kid who really only knew how to be what everyone else wanted in hopes that I might be accepted somehow. Sadly, as a little girl, I don’t think I ever really thought about what I wanted to be. Praise God for His grace that sets our feet on a rock and puts a new song in our mouths (Psalm 40:2-3)!!


Yes, I would like to tell people about an exciting opportunity that recently came up. I will be speaking at this conference on Saturday morning, Mar. 5. 2011. I hope that some of my friends will consider registering. Come and connect with other women and enjoy the reminder that you are Brilliant, Beloved, and Beautiful!

We also have the first annual Zach Campa Memorial Golf Tournament (benefitting Dare to Live REAL, Inc.) coming up in June, 2011. Brad Williams and Chick-fil-A will be partnering with us, so we will have more news about that coming soon!

Thanks for having me here, Nora. Please pray for me as I speak on March 5th; it is my prayer that God will be my strength and that He will use me to communicate His message of Love and Hope to the women who will be at the conference. Also, please pray for me as I seek God on the best ways to develop Dare to Live REAL, Inc. The REAL message is simply the heart of the Gospel, and I am excited about all that God could do! Eph. 3:20-21!

People who wish to purchase a copy of the book may do so at my website, The book is also available at the Chick-fil-A on Moore Road off Peachtree Industrial Blvd. in Suwanee where my son, Zach, worked for almost two years. The owner of this Chick-fil-A, Brad Williams, wrote the Foreword for the book, and he has made the books available in his store as his own way of continuing Zach’s legacy. I am grateful for all that he and Chick-fil-A have done to love and support our family. They placed a tribute to Zach in the store for a month or so after he died, and Brad also started an annual Missions Scholarship in Zach’s memory. A beautiful plaque hanging in the store describes the scholarship and features the names of those who have since received it. The way Chick-fil-A has partnered with us to share Zach’s story has really touched us, and our continued hope and prayer is that God will use it to draw many to Himself.

Shane Sutherland

THANKS Shane for stopping by and letting us get to know you, your son and your new book, I Dare You. You are an inspiration my friend. I'm excited about your speaking engagement and the fact that you have written this book. I'll be praying for you this weekend.

If you are interested in getting a copy of this book you can check Shane's website, .She also has a Facebook page for excerpts of the book and fans comments.!/pages/I-Dare-You-to-Read-this-Book/144760235574472

Shane is also giving away a signed copy of her new book here. Leave a comment about this interview for you chance to win I Dare You.

Blessings to you and your family, Shane. Thanks for the chance to interview you, tell others about you and your family and this giveaway opportunity!


Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network

MANDATORY - PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT About the interview for your name to be entered in the drawing.


For EXTRA CHANCES to win this book you can
1. Become a FOLLOWER of my blog (1) entry - please make a separate comment
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PLEASE REMEMBER to leave your email address so that I can contact you if you win (Use (At) and (dot) so that people won't be able to spam your email address) - I will contact the winner and need to hear from them within 48 hours to claim their prize! Winners chosen using


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********DISCLAIMER: Entering the give away is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws. Void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents, odds of winning depend on number of entrants *****


  1. Nora thanks for interviewing Shane! I've always been blessed hearing her comments in a Bible study or through her testimony. Shane; thank you for sharing not only Zach's journal/story but being honest in your struggles even as I see you as a strong Christian woman; I know I'm not alone in my thoughts and struggles because of the people willing to take the mask off and be real. I keep you in my prayers. I too share your desire to help women.

  2. Wow. I loved this, "I hope people are introduced to a young man named Zach whose life was radically changed by Christ. But, by the time they finish the book, I hope that Zach has disappeared and all they see is Jesus.". Every author should strive for this. Seriously. That's great. I was hooked right these. I would love to enter this giveaway.


  3. I'm also a follower.
    and I have your button on both my sites.


  4. I imagine that Dare to Read this Book will be a very emotional read. I like the fact that Shane says "But, by the time they finish the book, I hope that Zach has disappeared and all they see is Jesus." This promises to be a very excellent read, if it brings me to Jesus. Would love to win the book. Thanks for the chance.
    Debbie Clark

  5. Oh, my, what a powerful interview an story. Thank you so much for sharing it, Shane. If you'd ever like to be on my blog, I'd welcome you! Bless you

    Carole Brown

  6. Thank you Shane for the interview and amazing story of your son Zach. Thank you also for sharing the difficult times with us...even as Christians, its just hard to give up those we love. What an amazing Testimony Zach had as a teen, and that testimony will live on as you share his story. God can still use Zach in as amazing way to bring others to Him
    Blessing to you
    Joy Hannabass

  7. Wow! What an encouraging and uplifting interview. I'm sure the book is an emotional experience but I would to read it. Please enter me in the drawing. Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy.


  8. I'm a follower.


  9. Something weird went wrong and it said service unavailable after I tried to leave this comment:

    I put your button on my blog :)


  10. I made a post on my blog about this giveaway.


  11. Interesting interview. Want to read this book.

  12. thanks for the chance to read this inspirational book

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  13. i'm a follower :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  14. I am honored to be considered for this book giveaway!
    I so enjoyed the interview!
    A woman's shelter where the women could live for 1-2 years for healing sounds as if it would be such a blessing for so many, if only it could be built!!!!
    Many Blessings and Smiles:)
    Charlotte Kay
    charlovesmark at gmail dot com

  15. I am a follower:)
    charlovesmark at gmail dot com

  16. I tweeted:)
    Charlotte Kay
    charlovesmark at gmail dot com

  17. Great interview. Thanks for sharing your son with us, Shane!

    GFC follower

    meredithfl at gmail dot com

  18. "Scream till your throat feels bloody." Good advice for grieving and very aptly said.

  19. I'm a follower. :)