I’m delighted today to be interviewing the author of Destiny, Cindy Ray Hale, today on the blog. She took the time out of the busy life to answer a few of my questions about Destiny. musicals and writing.
Title: Destiny (The Destiny Trilogy #1)
Author: Cindy Ray Hale
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult, Christian Fiction
Publication Date: 5th November 2013
Rating: 3 stars
Synopsis (from goodreads):
Destiny Clark, a young Mormon girl living in Tennessee, is wildly infatuated with Isaac Robinson, the headmaster’s son at her Baptist high school. When they’re cast together in the school’s production of Les Misérables, Destiny is horrified to find that she has to be publicly humiliated by acting out her true feelings of rejection onstage.
As their rehearsals begin, Destiny realizes the unimaginable: Isaac has developed deep feelings for her despite their religious differences and the fact that he has a girlfriend.
But will they be able to find their place amongst the backbiters of their ultra-conservative world?
Weaving around Destiny and Isaac’s alternating viewpoints, Destiny is the first book in a series inspired by the characters of Les Misérables and explores heartbreak, self-discovery, intolerance, and love
- What inspired you to write Destiny?
My own life. I was a young Mormon girl who went to a Baptist school. My parents both converted to the Mormon Church before I was born, so that is a bit different, but still similar since Destiny’s family converts when she’s eight. When I went to the Baptist school, just like Destiny, I faced a lot of persecution. I had girls tell me they weren’t allowed to be more than casual friends with me because I was a Mormon.
- All the characters in your book are very spiritual people. Is religion and faith very important to you?
Absolutely. Religion is a huge part of my life. I was born and raised Mormon. I never missed a Sunday or Wednesday night meeting unless I was sick and contagious. On top of that I went to four years of seminary (church classes) before I started my day at the high school.
I went to seven years of school in a Baptist school where I listened to prayer before each class, memorized a Bible verse every week for Bible class and attended chapel twice a week. That was just the Baptist side of things.
That’s all the religious side of things. To me religion is the outward expression of an inner faith. If I didn’t believe deeply in God and Jesus, that the Book of Mormon is scripture, that Joseph Smith truly was called of God, I wouldn’t do any of that stuff. All of it would be purely social. I know people who go to church because they’re expected to or because all their friends are there or just because they were raised going. That’s not me. I go even when I’m on vacation or if I don’t know anyone and I’m scared to go. I go because I need to be spiritually fed.
That doesn’t mean I think I’m perfect or better than other people. No way. I’m still as guilty as the next person. I gossip. I’m prideful. I judge others. I disrespect my husband. I yell at my kids. But every day is a battle between good and evil, and I’m struggling with everyone else to make it a day where good wins over evil.
- Are there any similarities between you and Destiny?
Yes. Destiny is described to look like me when I was 15. Brown hair with natural curl that frizzes up when it gets humid. Bright blue eyes. Small chest.
Beyond her appearance, she acts like I did, too. Shy, obsessing over Mr. Popular, strong in her faith.
- I loved all the Les Misérables references in Destiny. Are you a musical person yourself? Which musicals are your favourites?
Yes. I was in an elite choir in high school called the Madrigal Singers. Our choir director was just like Mr. Byrd. I’m sure I didn’t do him justice as a choir director. Mr. L was the most amazing choir director in the world. I’m not kidding. He was awesome. Just like Destiny I was an alto and my audition pretty much went exactly like hers except my mom was there and it was in the summer before the year started. But other than that the scene was written straight from my memory. Everything she thought and felt was how I thought and felt that day.
I still enjoy singing now. I’m in the church choir, and I’m always singing around the house.
I have a piano, and I used to teach piano lessons before I was a writer.
You can read more about it at http://cindyhaleauthor.wordpress.com/about/
- What books do you think have influenced your life the most?
The Help by Kathryn Sockett That book taught me to find the humor in even the most serious situations.
Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. I know it gets a lot of bashing online and that it’s not perfect, but it really did teach me to love reading again. Like me, Stephanie Meyer was a Mormon stay-at-home mom with little kids. I figured if she could get famous, why couldn’t I? Anything can happen, right? Why not be inspired to reach for the stars?
- What are you currently reading?
Right now I’m listening to Life After Theft by Aprilynne Pike on my phone for when I’m doing the dishes or taking the little one to the park. I have Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen playing on CD in my car for road trips down to my family in Chattanooga and running errands. Also, I have a paper copy of Scarlet by Marisa Meyer that I’m almost finished with. I’ve been reading it for an hour before bed each night this week.
- Are you working on anything now?
Yes! I just started a clean romance for NaNoWriMo. I’m shooting for traditional publication this time around.
- Do you have anything specific you want to say to your readers?
Thanks so much for reading my book! I hope you like Destiny. Regardless of how you feel about it, please take the time to fill out an honest review on Amazon. If I did something wrong, I’d like to know what it was so I can make it better next time.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions. I think I have a new found respect of your characters after having read your responses and have a bit more insight now into why they may behave like that do!
Purchase the novel from:
Wife. Mother. Writer. Cindy Ray Hale lives in Murfreesboro, Tennessee with her husband and four children. In addition to being a writer, she’s an avid reader and a social media junkie. She starts her morning by writing with a freshly-blended berry spinach smoothie next to her. She’s obsessed with Les Misérables, playing the piano, and stalking up-and-coming musicians on YouTube. Destiny is her first book and will be available for purchase November 2013.
There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of Destiny. Here is what you can win:
– A Destiny Swag Pack:including a signed copy of Destiny, a Destiny keychain, a t-shirt that says “I heart Destiny,” a Destiny bookmark.
– a $25 Amazon Gift Card
– Camp Boyfriend Swag pack.
Click the rafflecopter link below to enter.