Birmingham, Alabama, fifteen year old Celeste Stanton’s life revolves around the strict religious upbringing of her aunt Ruby Stanton who has raised her since birth after her mother’s death. Her world consists of church and more church. But when the pastor’s son, Jordon Jackson, confesses his love for her, they become more than just friends. Her first sexual encounter, changes her life forever. Shelby is born. Becoming a mother at 17 would bring challenges not once but twice; Claudia is born eighteen months later; causing her to grow up faster than she could blink, but where there’s a will, there’s a way and she manages to survive with the support of her family, and best friend Joy. She experiences heartbreak, love and tragedy and learns that life is a constant; it never stays the same. To Begin Again is the story of life's lessons;it's a story of the sheer will to persevere in spite of what obstacles may be in your way. It's a story of learning that what we have been taught, no matter how much we felt we were being lectured and hovered over, it was for our good and it was all because of love. Celeste will find out all of those lessons and more.
To Begin Again is available on Amazon in paperback for $10.80 USD and on Kindle for $2.99 USD,link below or if you prefer an autographed copy, contact Christine Pauls directly for PayPal instructions:
Facebook: - https://www.facebook.com/christine.pauls.9
Q&A with the Author
1. What inspired you to write this book?
My mind was filled with my past. I thought if I put it on paper, it would be therapeutic. As I wrote, I felt relief. I hadn’t thought so much about it being a book, in the beginning, but I believed my words could help or inspire someone who read it, so I decided to make it a novel as an avenue to tell my story.
2. How did you come up with the title?
I had been blessed to overcome obstacles that I thought I wouldn’t or couldn’t. God had given me the opportunity to pick up the pieces of my life and start over. That is how I came up with the title “To Begin Again” .
3. Is there an important message in your novel that you want conveyed to your readers?
Yes. No matter what you go through in life, it is never too late to go after and achieve your dreams. I was 49 when I started writing this book. It turned out to be a major accomplishment in my life, which also catapulted me to do other things that I never thought I would be able to do, like become a homeowner for the first time, and travel to places I’ve never been. This whole experience gave me confidence. It made me realize I can do anything I put my mind to. Succeed or fail; I will always put forth the effort and try.
4. How much of your book is realistically based on the experiences of someone you know or events in your own life?
The majority of the book is based on my life experiences with a fictional twist.
5. If you had to do it all over again, what if anything would you change?
As far as my story goes, nothing. But there are a couple of things I would do differently, which I will be doing as I prepare for my second release. I plan on revamping my cover and make a few corrections on the interior. At that point, I’ll be satisfied with my product.
6. Who designed the covers and how does the design relate to your story?
My cover was designed by Author Samara King out of Illinois. She writes poetry and erotica. I met her on Facebook, when I was doing a co-hosting gig with my friend Author Joe Carter on Blog Talk Radio. We interviewed authors, played music, talked about current events and such. Even though we have never met face to face, Samara and I ended up being very cool. She offered to do my cover for literally nothing. I always pictured a silhouette of a girl. I was so set on it that I didn’t consider other ideas she showed me. In the end, she did what I asked for, thus the cover you see on my book. Over the past couple of years, and this second book cover which has been designed by an awesome graphic designer by the name of Maurice Scriber, I see that I need both book covers to be in sync. So, To Begin Again will have a new cover, a much needed revamping.
7. When did you develop an interest in writing?
I always liked to write. I can’t say it was a passion, but that is what I did when I wanted to express how I was feeling.
8. Do you consider yourself a career writer?
At this time no I don’t. I am an accountant full time and writing is what I do in my free time. I don’t want say it could never happen, but I would want to become better at my craft before that would be a consideration. But I’ll always write. The legacy I leave my children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, etc. is what I write for.
9. What other projects are you currently working on, are they in line with this first book?
Well, my second book, Belinda’s Song, I hope to release sometime this year. It is very different from my first book and is completely fictitious. But it does touch on the subjects of sexual abuse and mental illness.
10. What was your greatest challenge writing this book?
My greatest challenge was to finish it. I can’t tell you how many times I put the manuscript down, thinking it was crazy for me to do it, questioning myself as to who would want to read it, but I kept going.
11. Any life lessons learnt that you would like to share with our readers?
Never give up. Everyone that has read my book, have enjoyed the story. Some people say they could relate to what the character was going through, some were inspired, and some believe it could be a play or a movie.
12. Do you have any advice for other writers?
One thing for sure I have learned is do your research before tackling a subject matter you want to write about. Now my first book was about me, so it was easy to tell this story. Second, make sure you get a good editor. Someone who not only checks the punctuation and grammar, but evaluates and helps you create a great story, and always know, everybody will not like your work, no matter what you do. That is just the way it is. Never let that discourage you from writing if that is what you love to do.
I’d like to thank you for the opportunity to be a feature in your magazine. It means a lot to me and I hope there will be those out there who take a chance and give “To Begin Again” a try. I don’t believe you will be sorry.
About the Author
Christine Pauls currently resides in Wilmington, DE. Writing has always been a passion, but never realized until now. Finally, at the age of 49, she decided to embark on her literary journey. She completed her first novel, To Begin Again a short time after her 50th birthday, and this is just one of many creative stories she hopes to bring to life and share with the world. Christine is the youngest of twelve siblings and the proud mother of two loving daughters,a wonderful son-in-law,and two grandsons.
“The view expressed by the author does not necessarily reflect the views of FJN or any of its contributing editors