I got to chat with the lovely Diana Anderson-Tyler about her new novel, Amor for Orchids. She told me about the inspiration behind the book and inspired me along the way.
What was the inspiration for the story?
Your readers are probably familiar with the writing adage, “Write what you know.” This novel contains a lot of what I know, either by personal experience or close observation of others. I’ve battled over-exercising and binge/purging. I lost my dad at an early age. And I’ve had my share of marital struggles, just like every other married person on the planet! As for Poppy, I’ve been blessed to know quite a few women like her, women whose wisdom gives them a sort of mystical, enigmatic air. Her rock-solid faith represents the faith of the strongest women I know.
What do you hope readers will take away from your novel?
Your question contains the answer, actually!” “Hope.” That’s what I hope readers will take away from the Orchids’ stories.
Each young woman faces battles that seem insurmountable: Unfaithfulness and disillusionment for Charlotte; depression and debilitating broken-heartedness for Marissa; stubbornness and cynicism for Elise. These are struggles I think most women can relate to, and struggles many of us succumb to because we feel we don’t have the strength and/or the support around us to combat them. It’s my prayer that the book will show readers the silver lining around whatever cloud is hovering over their heads, and to know that the sun – their breakthrough – isn’t as distant as they might think.
Who is your favorite character from the novel (I know, it’s like picking a favorite child)?
This is so tough! I think I would have to say Poppy is my favorite. There’s something Mary Poppins-esque about her that makes her almost magical. She’s a bit like Cinderella’s fairy godmother too, except instead of a wand, she uses hard-earned wisdom to enchant them, and instead of giving them beautiful outward adornments, she shows them the beauty within themselves that they never knew they had.
It was very fun to write Poppy too, as she’s the one with whom I have the least in common, so it was quite a challenge to capture her voice and make her seem real… I hope I succeeded!
What is the most memorable thing from your experiences writing this story?
The unexpected therapy! As I mentioned above, the three young women (the Orchids) each possess a piece of me, so fleshing out those pieces and getting “all up in my feelings” while writing about them was extremely cathartic.
There were several writing sessions that had to end early on account of tears…joyful tears, thankful tears, utterly indescribable tears welling up from deep within my soul. Revisiting my own battlegrounds and internal conflicts and drawing from them for things like plot direction and characterization made me realize the strength I’ve gained and the lessons I’ve learned over the years. You can’t help but become emotional when that happens!
Read on to learn more about Diana’s novel!
Amor for Orchids
Three small-town young women face big-time battles.
After suffering a heart-aching breakup, Marissa retreats into herself, over-exercising and depriving herself of food. When she takes on an acting role portraying a mysterious woman named Poppy, she realizes that to find joy again, she must fight for it.
Still reeling from the void left after her father died, Elise fills the space with short-lived thrills and flings, each leaving her lonelier than before. But when she meets Brady Bradshaw, the lead actor in a movie being filmed in her hometown of Bluebonnet, she finds herself drawn to something more than his charm and good looks.
The honeymoon phase ended long ago for Charlotte and her husband, who pays more attention to his phone and sports than to her. After meeting handsome, blue-eyed Wes, her imagination shifts from the fantasy world of her romance novels to reality. Will she strive to save her marriage, or will lust and apathy undermine what she knows is right?
Poppy McAdams calls these women the Orchids. Despite barely knowing them, this sage older woman assigns each a particular species of orchid, one that reveals what they struggle against and how to fight back victoriously. Her own life has been rife with hardship and heartache, but it serves the Orchids well as they learn to trust in God’s work.
A story of hope, inspiration, and life-changing belief.
Buy Armor for Orchids here.
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