Name: Tina Sears
Connection to Fredericksburg region: My family moved here in the early ’70s. I went to Fredericksburg City schools and graduated from James Monroe High in 1979. I moved away after college but the charm of the city drew me back. I still reside here.
I was inspired to write this book because when I was growing up, there weren’t many books on this topic. I wanted to bring awareness to the subject of sexual abuse. This story, although fiction, is based on some of my own experiences. My therapist encouraged me to start journaling as a way to navigate through my emotional turmoil. The result became this novel. The process of writing became a way of healing. I wanted to write a book to help people know that healing from trauma is possible—but that it doesn’t happen overnight. I received counseling at RACSB for years and turned to writing while recovering from abuse.
My favorite time and place to write is mid-morning, after I have taken care of business and when the house is quiet. I write on my laptop, mostly at my desk in the living room.
My future plans as an author: I am working on “Over the Edge” about a girl who can’t wait to leave her small town behind and explore life on her own terms. But once tragedy hits home and she has to return, she feels guilty for leaving in the first place. Now she has to repair her broken relationship with her family to try to find peace amongst the wreckage.
What I learned from the writing/publishing process: Writing can be very cathartic, which brings tremendous relief. It also opens up a creative way to express things that are sometimes too hard to verbalize. Publishing is a different beast. You really have to do the research to know what agents and publishers want, which is changing all the time.
My advice for those trying to write a book: Make sure you have the dedication and the motivation. And if you write a manuscript, edit and re-write as many times as necessary and join a critique group.
ABOUT MY WORK
Book title: “The River’s Edge”
What it’s about: Forced to spend the summer with relatives, Chris Morgan faces many challenges. Her mom and dad are splitting up and she hates being away from them. She has to make some tough choices about what she knows is right or giving in to the expectations of her new friends. Surrounded by the danger of the river and the shadows of her family’s past, Chris realizes her carefree childhood is ending.
Publisher: Bedazzled Ink Publishing, which is dedicated to publishing literary fiction, nonfiction, and children’s books that celebrate the unique and under-represented voices of women.
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Who should read my book? Fans of realistic fiction, or anyone who has ever had to keep a secret. It’s not just for teens but for anyone who likes a good coming-of-age story.
You can buy my book at: Amazon, Barnes & Noble or independent stores
Meet me on March 12 from noon to 2 p.m. at Red Dragon Brewery, 1419 Princess Anne St. Buy a book and a beer and get a free chili dog during “A Book, A Beer, and A Bite.”