Today I’m proud to introduce the first book by a new writer. June J. Austin is the author of Sing Her Home. I had the pleasure of interviewing June and asking her about her novel and the three-day eBook promotion that starts today.
Diane Tibert: What inspired you to write Sing Her Home?
June J. Austin: Sing Her Home started off as a question for me, I had asked myself one day-What would life be like if I was in a coma? Would I be aware of my surroundings even if I couldn’t open my eyes and communicate with others? Of course I went on to wonder if others had reported being aware of their surroundings while in a coma.
Diane Tibert: How did you come up with the title Sing Her Home?
June J. Austin: The title comes directly from the book. I will share that excerpt:
“What about Ruth?” I ask. “Will she live?”
Papa nods at the rear-view mirror. We see Ruth; she’s running through the woods. The radio comes on and we hear her struggle to reach our house. She’s panting real hard and she’s crying. I don’t want to watch her, but I can’t take my eyes away. There’s a shadowy figure behind her, The Highway Runner. He’s getting closer. Run faster, I scream in my head. Look behind you. Like she hears me, she looks behind. She screams and falls to the ground. Get up, I scream at her, get up and keep running. Again, like she hears me, she struggles to try to get to her feet. She looks so cold and scared; I want to do something so bad to help her, but I can’t. It kills me inside to know that whether she lives or not, the next few hours in her life are going to be unimaginable, terrifying, painful. I want to reach out to her, to touch her, to hug her, and to tell her everything’s going to be all right.
I want more than anything for her to know that she’s not alone in the woods, in the dark, and in the cold. I want her to know that I am with her, and she’s not going to go through this by herself. I want her to know that I am here, we all are here as a family.
We sing her home: “We are all here with you, Ruth don’t you cry, Come and sing with us, We’ll lift you up so high, Take the path we made, To the house you once knew, Follow it with our song, We sing it just for you.”
Diane Tibert: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to understand?
June J. Austin: I think if there’s a message in my novel that I want readers to understand, it’s that no matter what situation we are faced with, there’s always hope and we can draw strength from that hope. It never hurts to lean on others, those who can also be a great source of power.
Diane Tibert: What was the hardest part of writing Sing Her Home?
June J. Austin: The hardest part of writing Sing Her Home was definitely the end because I didn’t think I could do it justice. For me, the book had taken on a life of its own and became an outlet for me to envision what my last few hours left on Earth would be like. The end really forced me to look within myself and ask what would be important to me, how would I think and feel when the end came, and would it really be the end? Or is there something more? What do I believe happens? I have struggled with this all my life. I want the tone of the book, despite being tragic in nature, to be hopeful. More than anything, I want to think that we all matter, and when the end comes, no matter where we are or what we are doing-whether we are alone or not, we will feel content and know our lives meant something.
June J. Austin: The book deals with the paranormal. There are parts that may be inappropriate for some. I think it is appropriate for YA, so long as the reader has had some exposure to material dealing with the heavy subject of life and death.
Diane Tibert: How would you describe Sing Her Home to someone who has not read the novel?
June J. Austin: I would describe Sing Her Home as a novel about family torn apart after a terrible accident. It is about a family that will find a way back to each other in the most unusual of circumstances. The story is written, for the most part, from 12 year old Cassidy Newberry’s point of view and describes her journey back to her family and her acceptance of the tragedies she’s been called upon to endure.
Three-day eBook Promotion (Tuesday October 1st to Thursday October 3rd)
After October 3rd, the eBook will return to its regular price of $4.15 Canadian ($3.99 USD), so download it now to read later. The book is also available in paperback for $9.49.