Monday, July 16, 2012
Sharon Leaf's "Lady and the Sea"
Title: Lady and the Sea by Sharon Leaf, a novel based on a true story
Cover blurb: After two failed marriages, forty-eight-year-old Rosie Atkisson struggles through the process of rebuilding her life with husband, Jesse, in Southern California. But the settled rhythm of her newfound comfort is interrupted by a tug in her heart when she encounters a haunting photo of another aging lady, the World War II vessel MS Restoration. A special mission to transport Russian Jews from the Black Sea to Israel means an adventure of a lifetime; does she dare pass up this dangerous assignment that will take her thousands of miles from her family and comfortable life? In spite of her fear of water and the unknown condition of the old ship, Rosie says yes to the inner voice that is saying GO!
After fourteen months on board the ship—from a hurricane to a heart attack, from miracles to the M word--menopause--and now being held at gunpoint in the Haifa harbor—Rosie wonders if she will ever return to her own safe harbor.
1) How did the story come to you?
After volunteering fourteen months on a World War II vessel in 1994-95, I knew I had to tell the ship’s story. When the government put the lock-knot ship in mothballs after the war, she thought her glory days were over, until forty years later when a retired Alaskan sea captain bought her, then gave her to a church in Sweden to transport Russian Jews from the Black Sea to Israel. The Titanic was the ship of dreams, but the MS Restoration was the ship of miracles. God saved the best for last for the old gal, showing the reader that the best is yet to come for us 40+ gals and guys.
2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
One traditional publisher liked my manuscript but suggested I make two major changes. I have no problem making changes, but these two were critical for telling the story. So after much research and prayer, I indie-published. Instead of waiting months (or years) for Lady and the Sea to be accepted, then waiting another year (or perhaps two) for the publishing process, Lady and the Sea was published in seven months. The whole process, including the marketing, is on my time schedule. Because the two major changes remained, many readers have been blessed. The moral to my story? Stay true to yourself in the publishing process.
3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
1. When I was an avid runner, I ran a ½ marathon (non-stop) and lived to tell about it.
2. I recorded a song in a honest-to-goodness recording studio 30+ years ago; no telling how famous our group “Sonshine” would be today if You-tube had been around then.
3. I guess I’m just an Annie Oakley kind of girl at heart because I love to shoot my 45 … at the shooting range, that is. And yes, I’m downright good!
4) What are you working on now, and what’s next for you?
In between promoting Lady and the Sea and enjoying life, family, and friends, I am re-writing my non-fiction, Lady on the Run, editing my young adult novel, Victory Run, and oh yes, since I self-published Lady and the Sea, I’m going to go ahead and write a screenplay for LATS (is that considered self-producing?)
5) Parting comments?
A thirteen-year-old girl read her mother’s copy of Lady and the Sea and learned about the Holocaust; an 89-year-old avid reader read Lady and the Sea in one day (oh, the joy of retirement) and after she re-reads it, she will loan it to her family members. Young or old, my prayer is that readers will find faith for their forgotten dreams.
6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
You can order a signed copy of Lady and the Sea directly from me on The Book page, through Amazon.com, E-books, and other online bookstores.
About the author:
Sharon Leaf is the author of Lady and the Sea, a debut novel based on her adventures as a volunteer aboard a WWII ship secured for a hazardous mission, to rescue Russian Jews from the Black Sea to Israel. She traveled to over fifteen countries, lived in Sweden while attending Bible College, and travelled the Trans-Siberian Railway. At the age of sixty she received a degree in theology, proving that it is never too late to fulfill another dream. Sharon and her husband of twenty-four years now enjoy life in the sultry southern state of South Carolina.