Today our guest is Kathleen Friesen, author of Nila’s Hope. Once upon a time, there was a shy girl who loved to read. She found friends, adventure, and reasons to trust God in the pages of her favorite books. When she grew up, she carried a dream in her heart that some day she would join those authors long admired in the adventure of writing stories. Today Kathleen Friesen is writing and loving it. Her stories invite readers to risk faith, dare to love, and trust God with the consequences.
After thirty years on the Canadian prairies, Kathleen and her husband Ron now live in the beautiful Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, Canada. They enjoy travelling, long walks in nature, and time spent with family and friends. And wherever they go, Kathleen’s on the prowl for ideas for her next book. Catch us with Kathleen on her website, and on Facebook.
Welcome, to Inner Source, Kathleen. I’m delighted to have you because I have had the pleasure of watching your debut novel come to fruition. Nila’s Hope is about a young woman who is overcoming an abusive relationship. Why was it so important to you to bring Nila’s story to us?
I met Nila while writing my first novel, Melody’s Song. In that story, Melody tried to help her young neighbor escape an abusive boyfriend, and my heart broke as I researched the terrible mistreatment many endure and how difficult it is for them to escape. After Melody’s Song was finished, Nila kept after me to tell the story of her journey to freedom.
When I’m writing, and I feel as if God has shown me something I wouldn’t have recognized outside of working on the project, I refer to it as “God bringing something to the table for me.” While writing this story, do you feel that God had a message that you needed to learn that might or might not have been separate from the reason you started to write the story?
One question that haunted me was: How can we forgive the unforgiveable? I knew God expects us to forgive those who have hurt us, but some things just seemed beyond forgiveness. For me, not for God. But Nila showed me the way.
Through your research or through your experiences do you have any pearls of wisdom for women who are in an abusive relationship or might be recovering from one?
The first concern is safety. Get help, and get to a safe place. Once your security is assured, forgiveness is crucial, for yourself and for your abuser(s). Without it, you will never be free. And that kind of forgiveness can only come from God. Get to know him. Learn to trust him. He loves you and will love you forever.
Nila’s Hope is set in wintry Saskatoon. I live about as far on this continent as you can get from Saskatoon. Is this where you are from? If so, I’d love to hear a little about your life there.
I grew up in the mild climate of the Pacific Northwest, but after I met my Saskatchewan-born husband at a small Bible college, the prairies soon became my home. I had a hard time with the long, bitterly cold winters, but I loved the colorful dance of northern lights, hoar frost so brilliant it hurt the eyes, and even – sometimes – the brisk winter wind, so cold it burned. Blizzards are not uncommon, and as long as my loved ones were all safe at home, I enjoyed watching its power, as the white monster enveloped the house and made the windows whistle and the rafters moan. When swirling snow was all we could see from our cozy home, we had a real blizzard. That meant it was time to get out the candles, oil lamps, and popcorn, because more than likely, the power would soon be off. Those were the days!
Well, it sounds like the preparations for your blizzard stays aren’t much different from our Florida hurricane preps, except when the power goes off here, we’re facing weather that, while hot, can still be alleviated some by the opening of windows when the storm has passed.
What’s next for Kathleen Friesen? Are you working on any new stories? If so, I hope you’ll share a little about them.
My work in progress is Hayley’s Choice. Hayley is introduced in Nila’s Hope, and I have to admit, I didn’t like her. Spoiled and self-centered, she was a foil to Nila. Until I got to know her better. In this story, she has suffered a great loss and is searching for a purpose, a reason to live. On her way to Saskatoon, she meets Trevor, who is eager to leave Saskatoon to make a name for himself and prove he is better than his past. Can these two damaged people, one wanting to know God better and the other anxious to escape Him, find the answers they long for?
Sounds like a great story, and I remember meeting Hayley. I can’t wait to read her story, and I hope you’ll visit us again on Inner Source and introduce her to us once the story is released.
More About Nila’s Hope:
Just when her career as a carpenter and a relationship with handsome co-worker Will Jamison are within reach, Nila Black’s abusive ex-boyfriend is released from prison. He’s out of jail, out for revenge, and making promises she knows he’ll keep. Nila will do whatever it takes to save her friends from the evil that will come their way if she doesn’t put distance between them-even if it means abandoning her new-found faith. It will take a miracle and an angelic messenger to show Nila that God is her greatest protector. He has never left her side, and He wants only the best for her and for the man she loves.