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Friday, November 9, 2018

A Dozen Confessions About Swimming in the Deep End

Swimming the Deep End Blog Blitz

Welcome to the Blog Blitz & Giveaway for Swimming In The Deep End by Christina Suzann Nelson, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours! My stop is an author guest post: A Dozen Confessions About Swimming in the Deep End



Christina Suzann Nelson, inspirational speaker and award-winning author of If We Make It Home, is celebrating the release of Swimming in the Deep End, on September 25, 2018. She writes and speaks about hope after dysfunction. Christina is over the top about her passions, including the stories created somewhere in the twists and turns of her less-than-focused brain. When she’s not writing, she’s working with the Every Child initiative, chasing escaped steers, reading, breathing in the sweet smell of her horse, hiking with her dog, or enjoying her just-as-crazy family.

CONNECT WITH CHRISTINA: website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

A Dozen Confessions About Swimming in the Deep End

Thank you, Angela, for allowing me to chat a bit with your readers. I tried to keep any spoilers from wriggling their ways into this post, but I think you’ll get an idea about my latest book, Swimming in the Deep End.

1. Swimming in the Deep End was written prior to my book that released last year.
Even though If We Make It Home released a year before Swimming in the Deep End, Swimming was written first. This made me very nervous during the editing process. With each story, I try to focus on a new writing skill. When I read back through Swimming, all I could see were the places I’d come up short. It took a lot of time and a great deal of patience from my wonderful editors to get this story ready for readers.

2. I was inspired by Melissa Ohden’s story
A few years ago, I had the privilege of interviewing Melissa Ohden. Melissa has a beautiful story of grace, honor, and forgiveness though her birth was actually intended to be an abortion. Just like Melissa’s life, our stories do not end in the same way they begin. Melissa turned a near-fatal start into a life of empathy and love. In the same way, I wanted to show my characters experience hardships and trials, then grow and find places of connection with each other.

3. This book made me fall in love with weaving stories together.
This was the first time I’d experimented with intersecting lives in sometimes unexpected ways. I think this is really how we live, not knowing who will come in and out of our own stories and what impact they will leave behind.

4. I’m a horrible swimmer.
I can’t decide if I’m a horrible swimmer because I don’t enjoy it, or if I don’t enjoy swimming because I’m a horrible swimmer. When I started this story, I led a high school small group. One of the girls was a strong swimmer and even went on to compete in college. Watching her meets, I was amazed by how easily she skimmed through the water, and that’s how I decided to make Izzy a swimmer.

5. I believe in the ability we have to raise children in healthy homes even if we were raised in dysfunction.
It’s because of this belief that I write stories like Swimming in the Deep End. I want to show the possibilities as well as the challenges these life-changes can be.

Routing a new course for yourself and your family isn’t easy. Not even a tiny bit. But making the changes in our lives that will have a positive effect on generations to come is well worth the struggle.

6. I didn’t know how the book would end until I got there.
There are times when I start writing a new book and all I really know is how the story will end, but Swimming was different. I knew who the people were and what they were facing, but the final outcome of their stories were a mystery to me until I got there and saw for myself.

7. I wrote this book after a tough time in my life.
Writing is how I experience and examine my own feelings. It’s not that I write about what I’m going through, it’s a matter of expressing universal emotions on the page. While I haven’t had the same experiences as the women in Swimming in the Deep End, I have felt the sting of loss, the heavy weight of grief, and the fear of an uncertain future.

8. I see each character as a whole person, but also as a color.
I realize this sounds very weird, but it’s how my brain sorts out the pieces of each character. When I begin editing, I use those colors in my notes and on the timeline calendar. With so many things happening, this helps me see the flow of each storyline.

Jillian = teal
Izzy = purple
Margaret = burgundy
Stacey = pink

9. My publisher considered titling this book Four Frames.
You’ll have to read the whole book to understand the reference. Sorry, folks.

10. Irene was originally a point-of-view character.
In the end, I decided to tell her story from the perspective of the other characters. I’m happy with the outcome, but now I feel like I’m holding a lot of Irene’s deepest secrets. Hmm. Maybe in another book.

11. I’m an audiobook junkie, so one of my greatest dreams for this story is to have it out on audio.
I love audiobooks! I love print and ebooks too, but audio allows me to keep up with the house, the kids, and get the dogs and myself some exercise while squeezing in another story. And honestly, at the end of the day my eyes are sometimes so tired from writing that there’s little focus left for reading.

12. This was the first novel I wrote in first-person.
It was so much fun, I went on to write If We Make It Home in first-person too. There’s so much freedom to explore motivation and thought processes from this perspective.

I recently finished writing a story in third-person. The change was difficult at first, but I think my writing was improved by having written two novels in first.


swimming in the deep end
Title: Swimming In The Deep End  
Author: Christina Suzann Nelson  
Publisher: Kregel Publications  
Release Date: September 25, 2018  
Genre: Contemporary Women's Fiction  

A moving novel entwining the many faces of motherly love

Jillian Connors has the perfect daughter: loving and smart, she's an Olympic hopeful with a bright future. But when Gabby becomes pregnant, Jillian fears that future is lost. Worse, she must confront her own secret past and hope the decisions she's made don't drown their whole family.

Gabby can't believe God let this happen to her. She knew the risks, but who thinks about that when they're in love? Now she has to face the consequences--and the disappointed stares from everyone who thought she was the perfect Christian girl. At least she has the baby's father, Travis. Nothing can tear them apart, right?

Margaret Owens had determined dreams for her son. She's furious that Gabby's pregnancy jeopardizes his college baseball scholarship and terrified that Travis will be trapped in a life of struggle and poverty--the life she's tried so hard to save him from. She'll do anything to protect him--even if it means forcing him to leave Gabby.

Stacey Meyers is aching for a child of her own. But the son she was meant to adopt was taken before she could hold him in her arms. It feels like she'll never stop mourning; even the move to this new town hasn't distracted her from the pain. How can she and her husband find peace? Is there any hope of a family in their future? And in the midst of all this . . . an unborn baby. Whose arms will hold him in the end?  

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Christian Book | Book Depository

swimming in the deep end blitz giveaway

(1) winner will receive (US only)
  • a print copy of Swimming in the Deep End
  • $10 Amazon gift card
  • Swimming in the Deep End water bottle
Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight November 9, 2018 and last through 11:59pm November 16, 2018. US only. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!