Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Review and Interview: Treasure Blume

This week I had so much fun reading The Unlikely Gift of Treasure Blume. It's an ugly duckling story along the lines of Big Stone Gap and My Big, Fat Greek Wedding. Treasure Blume was born with the "gift" of being extremely unlikable. The only people who can stand her are children and senior citizens. I totally related to Treasure and her dilemnas. She was lovable and hilarious while also inspiring me to try a little harder.

At the beginning of the book, Treasure is living away from her family for the first time in her life in order to accept her first job as an elementary school teacher. Unlike most books I read, this one was not full of life-and-death adventures. It's definitely a character-driven novel, where most of the action centers around the elementary school or Treasure's involvement in a senior citizen dance team. I found it to be a refreshing and original Romance with excellent writing.

I hope you'll enjoy reading my interview with Lisa R. Harris:

Rebecca: What was your inspiration for writing The Unlikely Gift of Treasure Blume?

Lisa: I started writing Treasure Blume after a no-good, very bad, horrible day when it felt like everyone I talked to that day hated me: the bank teller, the checker at the grocery store, the pest control guy. I was so frustrated. Then I thought, "What if my life was like this everyday?" and that was the first seed of Treasure Blume. I was working in my garden, and when I walked back into my house, Treasure Blume walked in with me. That night, after my children were in bed, I wrote 15 pages of background material on her: what she looked like, what her family was like, what her job was, etc. 

Rebecca: I love how you took a horrible day and turned it into something awesome! You're a busy mom and a writing instructor at BYU. How do you find time to write?

Lisa: I usually write during my summer breaks at night time, after my children go to bed. It took me several summers to complete and edit Treasure Blume.

Rebecca: I write a lot on summer breaks, too. What's your favorite indulgence?

Lisa: British Period Dramas on PBS (like Downton Abbey and Call the Midwife) and Cadbury mini-eggs (I bought enough to last me until next Easter).

Rebecca: I love Downton Abbey, too. I have to confess, though, I haven't gotten up the courage to watch the latest episode yet. Which of your characters do you like best and why?

Lisa: Grammy Blume was the most fun to write. She would say things that surprised me and made me laugh out loud. I had a hard time reining her in. She would have taken over the whole novel, if I'd have let her. She is a spotlight stealer.

But I do love Treasure a lot. Like her, I've had instances where I said exactly the wrong thing at the wrong time. What I admire most about Treasure is that she never lets episodes like that get her down.

Rebecca: I like that about Treasure, too. What book have you read lately that you really liked?

Lisa: I just finished Jennifer Nielson's new book The Runaway King. I love all her double meanings and plot twists.

Rebecca: Ohhh, double meanings and plot twists. I'll have to check that one out. What advice do you have for other writers?

Write. Every day. Turn off the editor in your head, and get the words onto the page. Even if you think it isn't very good, save it. Then come back to it later, with fresh eyes. 

Rebecca: Great advice! Anything else you would like to add?

I am just so grateful to the people who have embraced Treasure, quirks and all. It's been such an adventure to bring her to life. You can find more Treasure at www.treasureblume.com and on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TreasureBlume

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for reading, Rebecca! I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

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    1. It's a great book, Lisa. I'm really glad I read it.

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  2. Thanks for the review - I just added it to my list of books to read. (it's a long list - I don't have enough time for all the ones I want to read)

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