by Juliane Brandt
What is “Flipping” about, in one sentence?
It’s about striving through life’s ups and downs and unforeseen turbulences with the power of love.
You say in the acknowledgements that everything is fictional, but talk a bit about your inspiration. Why this novel?
All of the characters are fictional, indeed. However, I infused personal experiences and inspirations into the characters. To be relatable, my writing is in an easy-to-read, straightforward style. Like all the authors, I always have the burning desire to share the stories.
What did your research process look like?
The most challenging portion of the book is to make the gymnastics training and completions real, of which I do not have direct personal experience. I read several gymnastics books, visited the local School of Gymnastics, and interviewed the staff at the facility. I am very grateful for their support.
Why did you choose gymnastics of all things as Christa’s passion?
Dancing and horseback riding were among my considerations during the plotting stage. However, I chose gymnastics. Not only does it fit into the story nicely, but also, Gymnastics is always one of my favorite competitions to watch during the Olympic Games. Gymnastics combines the ultimate beauty and strength of the human body and requires an unwavering mental power to perform daringly in a brief time, which conveys the essence of the character.
The cover is really pretty – how much influence did you have on that?
I envisioned the cover to be somewhat abstract, colorful, and related to the story. I looked through all of my kids’ artworks, which they created in a local art studio at earlier ages. The cover design was one of my daughter’s artworks; I used it as is.
How does one go from optometry to writing literature? Was it a difficult transition to make?
The desire to write and tell stories has been there since I was little. You might ask why I have waited for so long. Well, I was scared of taking action or facing failure. Optometry is still my full-time day job. I appreciate all of my patients giving me the privilege to look into their eyes, which are the windows to the soul. The soul carried by the owner of the eyes is unique. Every soul is precious and is a living story from which to learn. My day job has enriched my life and helped my writing; they are intertwined in many ways.
Who is your intended audience for this novel? Do you think parents would also enjoy it as an inspiration how to deal with disabled children?
The primary audience is the romantic novel lover. I do believe that the parents with special needs children will find Flipping inspirational. Flipping also involves the following sub-topics: overcoming adversity, pursuing dreams fearlessly, adoption as an option, gymnastics competitions, cochlear implant, personal inner turmoil when encountering disability, and relationships between different races and diverse family backgrounds. All of the sub-topics revolved around the central theme: what is love all about? This is why readers from various backgrounds may find Flipping relatable, one way or another.
Where and when do you write (or write best)?
Sunday is my writing day. Since the outlines have been laid out, I have the idea of “what’s next.” I take quick notes during the weekdays when my muse strikes me, and this helps me gather my thoughts much faster when I hit the keyboard.
Is there anything else you would like to let the readers to know?
Do not be afraid of writing—you do not need to be a “perfect” or “great” writer. All you need is the desire to share your aspirations and tell stories.
Give me and my readers a book recommendation, please! A favorite or what you are currently reading.
All the Light We Cannot See
By Anthony Doerr
What does your literary future look like? Any upcoming projects we can look forward to?
I do have a couple of book ideas that are dancing in my head; they are still in the incubation period. Currently, I am working on a memoir, along with two other friends, to share our experiences of raising special needs children—my son is born profoundly deaf; one of my friend’s sons has Down Syndrome, and the other one is autistic. Raising a child with special needs, is like traveling through a long, winding road in the fog. It can be apprehensive, lonely, and exhausting at times. We want to let parents, the similar situations, know that they are not alone.