Author Interview: Interview with Clarissa Rudolph-Hastings
About Clarissa Rudolph-Hastings
We have the pleasure to interview the author of two books – Clarissa Rudolph-Hastings. She was born in Las Vegas, New Mexico on August 12, 1964. She has undergone hardships in life. Her parents passed away “too soon,” and so she writes about healing from grief, sadness, and pain. Clarissa was four months pregnant when her mom died tragically in a car accident. Her daughter is named after her mom. Her dad died not too long after her mom, of a heart attack – or perhaps of a broken heart? He spoke about her often after she died.
Clarissa loves the stories her parents shared with her throughout her life, which she remembers from time to time and these stories sustain her through the trials she faces. When life gets hard, she remembers these stories, and her mind is filled with good memories – her heart, with joy.
Clarissa wears many “hats”, and her favorite one is being a mom and spends most of her spare time with her family. She laughs often with her husband of 32 years. She also enjoys reading, singing, walking, working out, and writing. She often says she has the best job in the world because she gets to work with little angels (children in Kindergarten through fifth grade). She is an elementary school counselor.
Talking About Her Book
What motivated you to write this book?
I have had a lot of trauma in my life and dealt with tragedies. When I wrote “The Healing Basket,” it was with my students in mind. I wanted them to build good memories to keep in a basket so they would heal from the heartbreaking experiences in their lives.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
My books parallel my life as although they are fictional, the characters have very real life experiences. I was an an awkward child like the main character Mary Grace. My mom used to take us to her dad’s resting place every Memorial Day and tell us stories about him. He died when she was 8 years old so we never knew him. However, he would come to life when she shared her memories. This is how I got the idea of “The Healing Basket,” where the treasures of life’s memories were kept by an older women. She then shared them with a little girl who had just begun creating memories, some painful ones. The woman teaches the little girl how to take grief in her life and build joy around the pain. The second book is when the little girl grows up and loses her mom tragically, in a car accident. She is now pregnant, without her mom, and discovers unopened letters in a hope chest. From her mother’s letters, she forms a bond with her own daughters and understands what she had been taught as a little girl. She realizes grief is a part of life as is death…
What was your favorite part of the book? Why?
I love the connections between the characters. We need people to help us heal. Sometimes when we are hurting we push people away, but these are the times we need people the most.
How long did it take to write a book?
It took me three years to write the first book and twenty-seven years to write the second book. The number twenty-seven is a significant number that has stood out throughout my life, so I had to finish it… twenty-seven years after my mom died.
How did books get published? Why did you choose to publish your book in this way?
I went through a Christian Publishing Company. In a way, they chose me. They love my books, so I feel they believe in my message of healing.
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