Here is the text from a newspaper article in The Daily Times in Farmington, NM. I'm so excited!
Mother knows best
By Melissa Oyer The Daily Times
Posted: 03/07/2011 10:51:29 AM MST
FARMINGTON — For an author with 10 children, there's always something funny, serious, soothing, traumatic, dangerous, witty and, most of all, heartfelt to write about.
Rebecca Talley used all of these and more to emote the message in her latest book, "The Upside of Down."
"My family inspired me to write this book," Talley said. "When I shared some of my experiences with my friends and family, they encouraged me to write everything down so I decided to express my experiences within the framework of a novel so I could tweak things here and there to create a functional storyline."
"The Upside of Down" is a story centered around a woman raising a large family and trying to do the best she can despite trials that arise. The book helps mothers, or women in general, take hold of problems that arise throughout life.
A series of events happens to Natalie, the main character, that chip away at her faith. She begins to question her beliefs, her faith, and most of all, herself. After some tough-love and deep bouts of soul searching, she realizes that what has happened to her was meant to be.
Though this story is framed within a religious belief system, Talley thinks many busy mothers can identify with the normal, everyday dealings most people encounter, such as the infamous haircuts small children like to give themselves and/or their siblings, trying to conquer the ever-growing mountain of laundry, juggling kids' schedules, dealing with difficult family members, and attempting to raise respectful, loving children.
"This isn't a tool for converting," Talley said. "I wrote a story that I would read, and that I felt like other mothers would enjoy reading."
When writing, Talley said she generally percolates a story idea in her mind for a few months, then writes a narrative synopsis, character sketches, character goals, story goal, descriptions of the settings, and any other details as they develop.
Talley writes scenes on index cards and continuously rearranges them until the flow of the story feels right. Then several drafts are worked through, then sent to the publisher for final edits.
"It takes me about a year or so from start to finish," she said, "depending on when the idea first strikes me. Sometimes I get an idea when I'm in the middle of another project, so I have had to learn how to juggle. I'm a wife and mom first, so I fit my writing in whenever I can."
So when not writing novels, updating her blog, or contributing to other publications, Talley spends her days like every other mother, which she considers her number one priority.
My family is extremely supportive," Talley said. "My husband picks up the slack at home when I have a deadline to meet. Writing wouldn't be possible without my family's support."
Talley sits on the Board of Directors for the writing group LDStorymakers. After current chairman Julie Coulter Bellon's term ends this summer, Talley will take over the leadership role.
"Rebecca balances her writing and her family with her responsibilities as the chair-elect of LDStorymakers and excels at all three," Bellon said. "Her compassionate nature just naturally flows into her writing and her characters are so real they become people you'd like to be friends with."
Of course, her books are as complex as she is, and they always have that little thread of optimism running through them, no matter what the issue, just like she does, Bellon said.
"The Upside of Down" is available locally at the Farmington LDS Bookstore and can be ordered through Hastings. It's also available online at www.cedarfort.com, as well as Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.
"Besides writing," Talley said, "I enjoy dating my husband, playing with my kids, swimming in the ocean, and dancing to disco music while I clean the house — you know, normal mom-stuff."
Melissa Oyer: firstname.lastname@example.org