About the Book:
Gaia's Gift is about Rachel Wells, who loses everything she cherishes in a brief summer storm off the coast of Florida.Haunted by the ghosts of her past and survivor’s guilt, Rachel turns her back on the world behind an impenetrable veil of pain.When she receives a gift from the sea and allows the world to intrude, Rachel learns too late that some gifts are not meant to be kept forever.
The Inspiration Behind Gaia’s Gift
Writing an adult novel was something I had planned for sometime in the future. Until the inspiration came four years ago, I had written for ‘tweens (8-13) and teens (12 and older). With six novels and a book of children’s poetry already published, I had begun planning another YA historical romance novel, a third book in the ‘tween fantasy series, and amassing enough adult poems to publish a book. Then I got the phone call from my granddaughter that would change my writing career.
I have tremendous respect for my granddaughter, both for her intelligence and voracious reading habits. Rachel, nine at the time, called, the words pouring out. “Granny, I have an idea for a book.” She was thinking in terms of a children’s story about this little girl named Abigail who gets stranded on an island and meets a strange woman who talks to animals. She spoke so fast, it was hard to take notes. Rachel went on to tell me more details, and in the background I heard her mother saying something about a book Rachel had just read. I figured it was an idea she got from the book, thanked her and filed it away in my mind.
Days passed and it started gnawing at my brain. I imagined it as an adult book about a woman who loses everything in a sudden storm while boating with her family off the southwest Florida coast. Grief and survivor’s guilt drive her to turn her back on the world and move to the deserted tip of an island. One day, after a storm she finds a child named Abigail washed up on the beach. Believing the little girl is a gift from the Earth Goddess Gaia, the woman keeps her. However, she soon learns that a gift from the gods exhorts a heavy debt. Except for the ending, which I allowed to develop on its own, the storyline engaged me. I set everything else aside and began writing.
It took three years to complete, because I was still writing other books and poems at the same time. I named the main character, Rachel to honor my granddaughter for the idea. After rewrites and four readers’ input, I found a small traditional publisher, World Castle Publishing that accepted the book.
However, now I had a dilemma. Rachel had just turned 13, and Gaia’s Gift was published in January 2012. There were some questionable adult scenes, so to cover myself, I asked her to wait for a few years. I should have suspected that would not happen when she immediately said, “Sure.” Grandmothers are foolish enough to believe anything, so I wasn’t really surprised when she told me it was the best book I had ever written. I’ll take that review any day.
Inspiration can come from anywhere, so pay attention and be sure to take notes.
Dr. Fran Orenstein
Gaia’s Gift is available on-line in E-book and paperback.
Fran Orenstein, Ed.D., award-winning author and poet, wrote her first poem at age eight and submitted a short story to a magazine at age twelve. Her published credits include a ‘tween mystery series, The Mystery Under Third Base and The Mystery of the Green Goblin, a fantasy series for ‘tweens, The Wizard of Balalac and The Gargoyles of Blackthorne, a ‘tween fiction novel dealing with childhood obesity, self-image, puberty, and bullying, Fat Girls From Outer Space, (Sleepytown Press), and two young adult historical romances, The Spice Merchant’s Daughter (Whiskey Creek Press), set in France and Prussia between 1685 and 1703 and The Calling of the Flute (Sleepytown Press) set in Lithuania in 1897.
Moving into literature for adults, prize-winning short stories and poetry have appeared in various anthologies. A book of poetry for adults is currently in the works for publication in spring 2012.
The World of Ink Network is currently touring award-winning author Fran Orenstein’s contemporary woman’s novel with paranormal overtones, Gaia’s Gift published by Word Castle in May 2012.
You can find out more about Fran Orenstein’s World of Ink Author/Book Tour at http://tinyurl.com/6wspudw
Blog Talk Radio’s World of Ink Network will air a special The Writing Mama show with host VS Grenier and producer Irene Roth. They will be chatting with award-winning author Fran Orenstein about her writing.
The special edition of The Writing Mama show will air live, May 14, 2012 at 2pm EST. Tune in at the BTR World of Ink Network at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/worldofinknetwork.
You can listen/call in at (714) 242-5259. (Note: if you can’t make the show, you can listen on demand at the same link.)