My office is a converted attic in my New Jersey home. My desk is an L-shaped, rickety el cheapo from Ikea; I use one end for my computer, the other to lay out print-outs and books. While I was writing Pastors’ Wives, my KJV Bible often occupied this surface. I try very hard to keep my desk free of snacks, but somehow the pretzels and nuts just find me. The snacks are usually accompanied by cup after cup of green tea.
I’m looking at this picture and marveling that most things on my desk have zero functionality. I have a collection of pretty bookmarks, but in reality I’m more likely to use one of those magazine subscription cards to hold my place in books. A case that held my late father’s glasses; a calculator that succumbed years ago to an unfortunate run-in with green tea; notebooks completely, totally, every-last-line full.
See that green, patterned hankie propped in the back? It’s wrapped around a flower that grew in my grandmother’s garden. In the month before my mother died of cancer, my Buddhist grandmother told me to wave it around the house to keep Mom alive. My Catholic mother wouldn’t hear of such malarkey. But I kept the weed. I suppose I couldn’t bear to discard a totem that bore such desperate love.
Now that I look around, I see I’ve been hoarding totems that give me comfort and help me keep writing stories . . . and I hadn’t even realized it. Thank you, Tricia, for this wonderful exercise!
What’s it like when the man you married is already married to God? asks Pastors’ Wives, an often surprising yet always emotionally true first novel set in a world most of us know only from the outside.
Lisa Takeuchi Cullen’s debut novel Pastors’ Wives follows three women whose lives converge and intertwine at a Southern evangelical megachurch. Ruthie follows her Wall Street husband from New York to Magnolia, a fictional suburb of Atlanta, when he hears a calling to serve at a megachurch called Greenleaf. Reeling from the death of her mother, Ruthie suffers a crisis of faith—in God, in her marriage, and in herself. Candace is Greenleaf’s “First Lady,” a force of nature who’ll stop at nothing to protect her church and her superstar husband. Ginger, married to Candace’s son, struggles to play dutiful wife and mother while burying her calamitous past. All their roads collide in one chaotic event that exposes their true selves. Inspired by Cullen’s reporting as a staff writer for Time magazine, Pastors’ Wives is a dramatic portrayal of the private lives of pastors’ wives, caught between the demands of faith, marriage, duty, and love.
Lisa is holding an iPad Mini giveaway and hosting an author chat party on Facebook tomorrow evening! Enter the iPad Mini contest HERE and RSVP to her party HERE. You can also connect with Lisa on her website, Facebook, and Twitter.