Hi friends. I have been behind with these things for a while so please forgive me. So much working going on with writing these days, and I am glad of it. For today I am happy to introduce you to an author I met on facebook and she has a wonderful story to share about herself and her work. She is Tonya Ferguson.
About The Author:
Born and raised in Missouri, Tonya Ferguson is an Author, Singer, Songwriter, Recording Artist, and Life Changer. She paints landscapes of truth about real life struggles in the writing of her songs and books. Then she frames those landscapes by encompassing them with Eternal Hope, Steadfast Faith, Everlasting Courage, God’s Promises, Endless Encouragement, Truth and Healing for those who read her books or listen to her music. Tonya’s delivery takes you on a very personal, intimate, and healing journey, by sowing a “Seed of Need” into your life’s soil.
Tonya is no stranger to the pain and sorrow life can bring at times. She knows, all too well, the crippling condition grief leaves you in, as you face each morning without the sun. Her life, and every breath, was overwhelmed with grief, loss, and Caregiving on many sunless days.
As devastating as that was for her, she’s learned that she’s able to encourage and guide others, in a very intimate and unique way, because of all she has endured. Sharing who she is, where she’s come from, where she is now, and why she won’t ever quit, is what she does.
This is a new season in Tonya’s life. She’s learned the benefits of “Embracing Change,” and sharing those life changing and invaluable benefits with others is her life’s purpose. Through her Real, Relevant, and Relatable voice in her book, her music, one on one, and blogging, Tonya shares her wisdom and lessons she’s learned, allowing lives to be changed from chaos and pain, into peace and healing.
How long have you been writing?
Since I “write what I live,” I have been accumulating my writing material my entire life. But I’ve only been putting it down on paper, in one way or another, for the past ten years.
What was your life like before becoming an author?
I’ve always lived a very full and wonderful life. Before my life drastically changed, and I entered into a very dark, difficult, and dismal storm, I was perfectly content being a wife and mother. For sixteen years my family, both of my parents, my brother, my husband, and our daughters performed six nights a week in our own family country music show. Then in the blink of an eye my life was turned upside down, and inside out, and everything horribly changed.
Who or what inspired you to write?
I would have to say that my inspiration came from my desperation. First, I began writing music out of the desperation I was feeling, at a very sorrow-filled time of my life. There was so much loss, and so much grief all around me. I had to have something to do with it. I needed to validate the situation my life was in with something positive.
I began writing songs that expressed my feelings of what I was going through, what so many are going through. It was a way I could vent, and keep from exploding. When I started writing my book, at first I was writing it for me. I think I felt like it would help me make sense of the nightmare I was living in. I felt like it might help to start me on my healing journey if I saw it in black and white. By the time I finished writing my book, however, I was no longer writing it for me. In the end, I realized I was writing it for every single person who has, or will ever go through loss, grief, sorrow, or Caregiving. I wanted them to know they were not alone, and it did not have to destroy them.
Do you have a specific writing style or genre?
I’m not sure I can put a “label” on my writing, because I can’t put a “label” on me. Since I “write what I live,” I guess my writing genre could be considered, Inspirational, Memoir, and Self-Help.
Tell me about your latest book? What’s it about?
“to remember love” is a book based on the true story of how my family and I were forced to live our lives clinging to the edge of a jagged cliff, while battling a fierce, nonstop, thirteen year storm.
Look around you, and you will find someone that is a Caregiver, at least to some capacity. You couldn’t have said that ten years ago. Sadly, we are becoming a Caregiving Nation.
Being a Caregiver was the most difficult, thankless, exhausting, challenging, frustrating, heartbreaking, and loneliest job I’ve ever done. However, being a Caregiver also gave me the opportunity to give the greatest gift of “Unconditional Love,” and has left me reaping rewards that words just can’t describe.
What makes this story different, is not only do I tell the raw truth of the struggles I experienced during an unrelenting storm, but I also show the reader how I found my way out of the darkness of my situation and into the light of a new day. It will comfort and encourage anyone who has experienced any type of loss, grief, or is weary from laying down their life to put someone else’s life first, by caring for their every need.
“to remember love” will show you how to find your rainbow at the end of the storm you are going through. This book is an umbrella for you to hold on your stormiest days. I want my words to give a Voice to all the Caregivers, Compassion to all the Grieving, and Hope to all the Hopeless.
What was your favorite part of the book to write?
I guess my favorite part to write would have to be the end of the book. Coming to the point in my life where I could write that last chapter was monumental for me. It was such an accomplishment.
What was the hardest part to write?
The hardest part to write was every single word, on every single page. Because every word represented a heartbeat from my life I was living. I was living it as I put it down on paper, and I told the honest truth of my life. My life was hard, difficult, sad, frustrating, grief-filled, lonely, exhausting, and not my own to live for a very, very long time. But I was Blessed beyond words to have lived it, and to now share it with others who find themselves living that kind of life too.
What do you find most rewarding in writing a book?
I find it extremely rewarding that lives can be, and have been changed, simply by reading my book. This is an excerpt from my book, “to remember love,” and it just about sums it up perfectly.
“If the pain I endured on my journey can prevent someone else from hurting, then it was worth it all. If the road I walked can show others where to step and not step, then it was worth it all. If my broken heart is what brought about the wonderful Blessings God has poured over me, so I could Bless others, then it was absolutely worth it all.”
Do you have any other books complete or in progress?
Yes, I am currently working on two other books and I have been writing many new songs.
What are your future plans in regards to writing?
Since I “write what I live,” I will continue to write as long as I’m alive. I am compelled to continue to reach out to others and encourage them in their daily walk. No one should ever feel that they are all alone. So, there will be many more songs and books.
Are you listed on the major social networks like facebook, twitter, goodreads, etc…
Here’s where you can connect with me:
What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
My advice would be to do what you feel passionate about. Don’t let anyone, or anything, stop you from writing, if writing is something you feel passionate about. It doesn’t matter if what you write becomes a #1 Bestseller or not, do it. Because sometimes the writing is more for you, than it is for those who read it.
Outside of writing, what is your most favorite thing to do and why?
Spending time laughing and loving with my husband and daughters will always be at the top of my list. It keeps me grounded and keeps my priorities straight. If I had to make a list it would go like this:
2.Husband and Daughters.
3.Family, Singing, Playing Music, Writing Music and Books, Painting, and Helping Others.
Anything else you would like to add for future fans and friends?
Bottom line, life is NOT always easy. Sometimes we have to weather some pretty rough storms. What we need to realize is, it’s not HOW we come through the storms, it’s THAT we come through the storms that matter. My story is Raw, Real, Relevant, and Relatable. I tell the honest truth, and share all the colors of my journey. My journey was extreme and arduous. But most importantly, it was a journey that was wonderfully life changing, and one of absolute Victory.
I would love to come and meet with your group, organization, church, function, support group, public or private event, etc. I am available for book signings and readings also. If you need some inspirational music at an event please get in touch with me.
“We’re ALL in this “thing” called LIFE together.” ~tf
Thank you, Tonya. What an amazing story you have here to share and I appreciate this opportunity to introduce you and your work to my friends. Be blessed always.