Welcome to the Author Q&A with Regina Timothy, author of Full Circle, an emotional powerhouse which chronicles various women’s lives following the 9/11 terror attacks.
In this Q&A, Ms. Timothy talks about writing emotional situations and what’s up next (maybe a sequel!).
Where did the idea for this story come from?
I’ve always loved books and movies with a strong female leads, especially books that highlight on the place of women in society. I wanted to be one of the million voices in the world that gives a voice to these remarkable characters.
When I began writing the book, I wanted it to be about three different women living in three different continents, and influenced by different cultures and beliefs. The idea was to bring the three women together later in the book and have them discover that despite their circumstances, they face the same trials imposed by society. Samia was the first character I invented. The more I wrote about her the more her story became complex and I felt she needed a lot more space than a few chapters to tell her story. So I decided to dedicate the entire book to her and follow her journey. I brought in Melisa and Susan, to help Samia tell her story and bring out the original idea of the book that despite their different circumstances, they faced the same demons.
Why did you decide to tell the story from such varied multiple perspectives?
I wanted to cover a variety of issues and felt it would be overwhelming and unrealistic to Samia if she encompassed all these issues. So instead I decided to bring in two other women with similar concerns to show despite the circumstances they were facing the same demons in the long run.
There were several very emotional scenes in the book. How do you approach them?
The book contains some difficult scenes that were hard for me to write because of the raw emotion experienced by the characters. In order to portray strong characters to the reader, the characters need to feel real – they need to live and breathe on the page. When I write, I sometimes get carried away. If my character is smiling, I smile. If my character is in pain you’ll find me wincing or worse. At times the emotions are too raw and I have to remind myself that I made the characters and the situations up. Occasionally when things are so intense, I take a break from writing to get into the right head space.
The book does end on a positive note – why was that important to you?
For me the book was all about hope. I needed to show that Samia did not suffer most of her adult life in vain. There is always a ray of hope even in the darkest of clouds. The book also centers on forgiveness, which was important to achieve before the book ended. It was important for all the Samia and the other women to resolve all the issues plaguing them by the time the book was ending to signify new beginning for all of them.
What do you want people to take away from this story?
Hope that no matter how bad things get there’s always hope for a better tomorrow. The world is becoming more multicultural with each day. People have very different views, beliefs and backgrounds. We need to find a way to be more accommodating despite our varied beliefs.
What are you working on next?
I’m currently toying with the idea of writing a sequel to Full Circle. I felt that we needed to get closure for both Adham and Jeremy who were missing when the book ended. I’m also working on a book centered on a young African woman who has been scarred by war and hopelessness. She was supposed to appear in Full circle but now she gets to have an entire book dedicated to her story.
What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Don’t talk about your writing, just write. Keep on writing. It’s the only way to improve and get to your goals – writing is a constant work in progress – you are always learning. Also, be patient and persevere. The road may be long and dreary but with hard work and perseverance you’ll get to your destination. Also take some time to learn the craft and the industry, and be willing to adapt accordingly.
For more information about Full Circle or Regina Timothy, please visit her website at https://reginatimothy.wordpress.com/