Alicia's writing always challenges me to know and love the Lord more deeply, to embrace the sorrows that He sends with the assurance of His Father-love, and to set my hope more firmly upon Him.
Now, without further ado, :-)
An Interview With Alicia G. Ruggieri
A fourth-generation New England native, Alicia G. Ruggieri writes stories about the possibility of redemption for all things through the Cross and the cost of true mercy. With a degree in Communications and History, Alicia loves spending her days researching, writing, and caring for her family, and she avows that every life would be enriched through the addition of just one more dog.
When did you begin writing?
Well, the first thing I remember writing was a sequel to the original Little Mermaid. I was so disappointed that Ariel had left her entire family to choose a sea-less life! I think that I was around six or so. I've written since then. Thankfully, my subject matter has matured!
What was your inspiration/motivation to become a writer?
Books - good ones - were an integral part of my childhood and young adulthood. So, I suppose, writing stories was as natural to me as breathing. As a result of reading almost every day of my life, I've come to see nearly everything that I observe as part of a story. And I love the idea that everyone has a story and is part of the Great Story that God is writing. I'm not sure that there was ever a time when I decided to become a writer; but there was a time when I knew that God desired that I put concentrated effort into my fiction writing so that others could benefit from it.
What overall message do you want to send your readers through your writing?
A theme that travels through most - or even all - of my writing is that, through the Cross, all things can be redeemed: even the most ghastly sorrow, the most wretched circumstance. All can and will be made well - made right - by the Lord Christ, the one who crushed the Serpent's head. And that we, His children, can trust Him to do right.
How does your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ influence/impact your writing?
For me, I see this world as a shadow, as something passing away to make way for the Real Kingdom. Gradually, that has led to a stronger focus on the spiritual - not in a preachy way - but in a way that, I hope, emphasizes that Real World and makes us understand better the solidity of the Gospel and its application to all of life, and not only to our moment of salvation.
What authors, past or present have had an impact upon your writing? In what way?
Wow, what a question! There are so many, from Gertrude Chandler Warner with The Boxcar Children series that I read so often as a child; to C.S. Lewis, whose 'Til We Have Faces revolutionized my thinking about Greek mythology; to George MacDonald, Oswald Chambers, and John Piper, whose theological writings have provided stones upon which to build from the foundation of Scripture. I also love different aspects of Louisa May Alcott, the Brontes, Jane Austen, George Elliot, and others.
What other activities do you enjoy, besides writing?
Drinking coffee. Taking walks in the woods. Playing with my nieces and nephews. Eating cannolis (If you've never had one, you've not lived.). Hymn-sings and prayer meetings. Laundry (Yes, I actually enjoy it!). Oh, and of course, reading!
My Review of Alicia's Novel:
The Fragrance of Geraniums is a beautiful, breathtaking, thought-provoking work of fiction. Alicia weaves together a dramatic story of sorrow and loss, and of redemption and grace through her character's pain and brokenness. Without being overly-sentimental, Alicia paints a poignant canvass whose dark undertones ultimately serve to emphasize the radiant, glorious, grace-imparting strokes of light and restoration, as a sunrise is illuminated by the darkness from which it rises.
This is a heartbreaking story. Be prepared to taste the sorrow of Grace's family situation, to cry with Emmeline as she faces the prospect of a lifetime of barrenness, and to sympathize with Sarah, whose failing marriage leaves her broken, bitter, and hungry for something deeper than the lifeless religion that she has always known.
And then be prepared to rejoice--rejoice in the unexpected twists and turns that the Lord's great mercy takes in the lives and hearts of these three women.
This is a difficult book to put down; completely engrossing, the conclusion actually left me quite stunned. The way in which Alicia illustrates through her story the workings of the Lord's hand in each of her character's lives is masterful and utterly satisfying to me as a reader and as a Christian.
Through Alicia's book, the reader is led to the conclusion that no matter what difficult, painful circumstances are seemingly hurled into our lives or gently placed there by a loving Heavenly Father, He is good--and that He is working all things together for His people who love Him.
I also enjoyed the subtle, though not overt or distracting, romantic element to the book, and the delightful way in which the main character's friend and admirer, Paulie Giorgi illustrates the love and gentleness of Christ in how he relates to and interacts with Grace.
So pick up a copy of the book, settle down with a cup of coffee or tea, and be prepared for your heart and mind to be deeply moved.
This novel would also make a wonderful Christmas gift.
You can purchase The Fragrance of Geraniums on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/aliciagruggieri
Available on Kindle and in paperback.
Visit Alicia's blog: http://www.abrighterdestiny.blogspot.com
Follow Alicia on Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/AliciaGRuggieri
Find Alicia on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AliciaGRuggieri
And on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/AliciaRuggieri
You might find me on these link-ups:
Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth, The Modest Mom, What Joy is Mine, Yes They Are All Ours, Missional Call, A Mama's Story, Mom's the Word, Rich Faith Rising, Time Warp Wife, Cornerstone Confessions, Mom's Morning Coffee, So Much at Home, Raising Homemakers, Hope in Every Season, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Woman to Woman Ministries, Whole-Hearted Home, A Soft Gentle Voice, My Daily Walk in His Grace, Messy Marriage, My Teacher's Name is Mama, The Charm of Home, Graced Simplicity, Children Are A Blessing, Mittenstate Sheep and Wool, Imparting Grace, Preparedness Mama, A Look at the Book, Essential Thing Devotions, Count My Blessings, Beauty Observed, Christian Mommy Blogger, Renewed Daily, Soul Survival, Good Morning Mondays