Breaking TWIG a Thought-Provoking Read

8 x 10 updatedby Deborah Epperson

Thanks, Heidi, for inviting me to be your guest today. I’m honored to share some thoughts on your blog about my book, Breaking TWIG.

Set in rural Georgia in the 1960s, Breaking TWIG is a coming-of-age novel about Becky (Twig) Cooper, a young woman trying to survive the physical and emotional abuse of her mother, Helen, a beautiful, calculating woman. Not even Twig’s vivid imagination, keen wit, and dark sense of humor is enough to help her survive the escalating assaults of Helen and a new stepbrother, Donald, but help comes from an unexpected source–Frank, her stepfather.

The first thing readers usually want to know is if the storyline is based on my personal experience? I am quick to say my mother was the polar opposite of Helen. My mother was loving, kind, and supportive. I had a large, wonderful extended family also, but it was my mother, Betty, who encouraged my writing. Mom passed away before Breaking TWIG was published, but she did get a chance to read it. The book is dedicated to her.

The second question I’m asked is what was the inspiration behind the story? Frankly, the idea stems from my college studies. I majored in biology and English and have always been interested in the issue of heredity verses environment in child development. Which one has the most influence on a child? At times, Becky (Twig) worries that she has inherited her mother’s “picker” ways and her gene for chicanery, but Becky also believes having one person who loves and believes in you is all a person needs to keep hope alive. Growing up, both Becky and Henry (a family friend) had one parent who berated and abused them, and one parent who gave them unconditional love and support. Helen had no such love or support system when she was a child. I wanted readers to think about how important the roles of unconditional love and a supportive environment—or the lack of these two influences—are in helping to shape a child’s development into an adult.

The largest writing difficulty was in regards to the changing relationship between Frank and Becky. It shocked some author photoreaders. I hadn’t planned that relationship, but as many writers have said — characters in a novel seem to take on a life of their own. Also, there are racially-charged words that are not politically correct in today’s society, but they were typical of the language used in the Deep South in this time-frame when traditions like segregation were colliding with Civil Rights, integration, and Vietnam.

My goals in writing are to remain true to my characters, and to tell a good story. A story that shows nobody is perfect, life is messy, and we all fail more often than we’d care to admit. But with faith, love, and perseverance, we can find the strength to continue toward our own truth with a bit more forgiveness and understanding for others and for ourselves.

Today, I’m working on a romance-suspense called Caddo Girl. It’s set in Louisiana in the 1970’s. After it’s completed, I’m doing a sequel to Breaking TWIG because so many readers have asked me to continue Becky’s story.  They have actually called me to ask if Johnny and Becky ever got together. I tell them I don’t know. My imagination hasn’t got that far yet.

Thanks for stopping by and have a blessed holiday season.~ Deborah

Thank you, Deborah, for sharing your writing journey with Breaking TWIG. I loved the book and I’m looking forward to reading your next one!

You can find Deborah on her Website, her blog, on Twitter @DDEpperson,  on Facebook, her e-mail, and the book is available in paperback and ebook on Amazon.

Published in: on December 13, 2013 at 6:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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