Sally is special to me because she helped me with my book signing last spring, out of the kindness of her heart. As I've gotten to know her a bit better, it became obvious that kindness is integral to her life.
Her first children's book, The Two Trees, about a boy on the autism spectrum, was released April 1, 2015. She is also a contributor to Hot Apple Cider With Cinnamon (2015), 7 Essential Habits of Christian Writers (2015), the bestselling Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas in Canada (2014), and Organized Obstacles: An Underdog Anthology (2014). Sally's two CDs, Red & White (2013) and Turn the Page (2012) both contain songs that were shortlisted for The Word Awards, Canada's largest and most prestigious awards for those writing from a Christian perspective.
Okay, now I get to ask a few questions:
1. What was your inspiration for Beneath That Star?
This story is based on a song I wrote for my 2013 Christmas CD Red & White. The song itself was inspired by my reflections on the biblical passages that prophesied or documented the birth of Jesus, which I read as I prepared to write songs for my album. As I meditated on these passages, I began to think, What if there were others who saw the star the night of Jesus’s birth? And what would be their back stories? Thus was born the character of a young woman, to whom God appears in a dream and calls her to follow the star when she sees it. In-depth details of the character, who I eventually named Saray, came when I started writing the manuscript for the book.
2. What is its take-away message?
There are a few! First, God really does see and care about each one of us. Second, it’s okay to seek a life/career for yourself that may be “out-of-the-box”. This is an especially important message for young women--one I followed myself--and why I dedicated the book in part to my nieces. And finally, as referenced in the concluding Scripture quoted in the book, God has something immeasurably more wonderful for us than we could ever ask or imagine; we must put our trust and faith in Him and try not to do things in our power.
3. Tell us a bit about your writing routine. Do you have set hours? Do you get dressed first? Do you travel for research? Where and when do you do your best work?
I work best when I have a nice block of time at my disposal. I don’t have a set routine, but it does help to make a decision the day before that, for example, I will be dedicating that morning exclusively to writing. I do most of my writing at my kitchen table, where the sunlight streams in through the windows.
I am currently working on manuscripts for two more children’s books. These both have a nature theme; both are based on my observations on the wildlife that inhabit the storm pond near my home.
4. #1 on your bucket list:
To make a decent living doing the things (writing, music) I love. Tied with singing with The Tenors! (Dream big, right???)
Just for fun:
1. Coffee or Tea?
Neither! I have never been a coffee drinker, and I rarely drink tea any more. I’m a water girl through and through!
2. Snacks: Sweet or Salty?
Both! However, since I lost almost 40 pounds, I’ve drastically cut back on salty snacks such as chips. I still have my sweet tooth, though. I have cut out chocolate because caffeine increasingly bothers me, so I indulge in white chocolate, gluten-free cookies, or frozen vanilla yoghurt bars.
3. Dream vacation
I still love exploring Canada. My dream vacation would be travel in an RV from coast to coast, possibly dipping down through the US southwest of my home province, Saskatchewan.
Saray longs to be a shepherd like her three older brothers. But when God speaks to her in a dream to look out for and follow the bright star, what she finds underneath it is of far greater value than anything she could ever have imagined.
Beneath That Star is an uplifting story for all ages about obedience, patience, trust, healing, and above all, God’s immeasurable love for each one of us.
"As she sat there, eyes closed, she felt the light in the room slowly change. Her eyes snapped open. Light was streaming in through the window!
Saray stumbled outside. There in the night sky, was the brightest light she had ever seen. The star!
For one moment, Saray didn’t move. Then, heart thumping with joy, she went back inside to get her crutch and set off to follow that star."
This story is set at an extraordinary time in the hill country near the tiny town of Bethlehem, in an ordinary home, featuring a slightly crippled young girl. Saray dares to dream of becoming a shepherd someday, but her injury and planned future make her dream seem impossible. So while she knows the God of her people is real, she wonders if He really cares about someone as insignificant as her.
Beneath That Star is a story of hope and joy. Illustrated by Sarah E. Nickel in a simple, cartoon-like style, this book would make a wonderful gift for children and any person who enjoys a sweet, new take on the first Christmas.
I was given an e-copy of this book by the author in return for my honest opinion. Beneath That Star earns four stars. Recommended.
One last thing. Where can we find this and your other products?
All of my books and CDs are available for purchase at http://sallymeadows.com/store. Beneath That Star is also available in select bookstores, Christian bookstores, at amazon.ca, and amazon.com.
Sally’s Christmas CD Red & White is available in digital format and/or as a hard copy at http://sallymeadows.com/music, http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/sallymeadows2, amazon.com, and amazon.ca.
Thanks so much, Sally! And thank you, dear readers, for visiting. We'd love to hear from you. <3