Chasing Hope by Kathryn Cushman – Interview, Guest Post & Giveaway

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Chasing HopeChasing Hope by Kathryn Cushman

A Personal Drama of Shattered Dreams and Second Chances

A talented runner fully committed to Olympic dreams, Sabrina Rice’s future was shattered by a devastating diagnosis. One forfeited scholarship and several years later, she has new goals and dreams that have nothing to do with running–something that’s become far too painful to think on.
Until the day she sees Brandy Philip running across the community college campus, easily outpacing security. Sabrina immediately recognizes world-class speed, and it’s all the more painful that it belongs to a teenage graffiti artist. When a chance encounter brings the two young women together, Sabrina becomes Brandy’s best hope for staying out of juvenile hall. Soon, Sabrina begins to feel an uncomfortable nudge that her new life is just about to be toppled…that God may be calling her to minister to this talented but troubled girl.


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kathrynAuthor Kathryn Cushman

uthor Kathryn “Katie” Cushman is a graduate of Samford University with a degree in pharmacy.

She is the author of five novels, including Leaving Yesterday and A Promise to Remember, which were both finalists for the Carol Award in Women’s Fiction.

She is also the co-author of Angel Song with Sheila Walsh.

Kathryn and her family currently live in Santa Barbara, California.


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If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future? 
Future. I think there are some lovely buildings, and clothes, and lifestyles in the past, but I’m too hooked on modern conveniences to move the other way!

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

Baskin Robbins “German Chocolate Cake”. It is the best ice cream ever, and they only carry every now and then.
What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
Cold pizza. I don’t do this very often, but I love it.
Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
Because you will  be entertained while getting a new perspective on endurance, chronic illness, and perseserverance—even when all seems lost.
Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
I’m in the first draft stage for my next book. It’s about a young woman who finds out that everything she has believed all her life has, in fact, been a lie. It’s her journey to find truth and learn to trust again.
What inspired you to want to become a writer?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve known I wanted to write “someday.” In 1993 I read The Revelation by Jean Grant, and I knew then that I wanted to write Christian fiction. That book was very powerful for me.
What is your dream cast for your book?
Sabrina–Jennifer Lawrence
Koen–Riker Lynch
Brandy–  Hayley Kiyoko
If you could meet one person who has died who would you choose?
Queen Esther. I’d really like to know whether or not she wanted to be chosen as queen. There are obviously lots of perks, but I would hate to be married to a man who could order a new bevy of concubines anytime he wanted. Still, did she love him? Did he love her? These are things I would really like to know.
What was your favorite book when you were a child/teen? 
Anything Nancy Drew
Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book or any of your characters?
The Chariots of Fire theme song
What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
Be willing to accept critique / criticism and make changes accordingly.
How do you react to a bad review?
I finally took Tamera Alexander’s advice and have stopped reading reviews. However, before that, there was a lot of chocolate eating and moaning involved.
Who or what inspired your last book?
My daughter. All of the health challenges that Sabrina experiences are things that are all too real in my daughter’s life.
What’s your biggest challenge as a writer? How did you overcome it, or how are you working to overcome it?
First drafting, and writer’s block in the middle of it. Once I’ve gotten the first draft finished, I enjoy revising, but I always want to quit during the first drafting process. It’s a daily walk of faith to put words on the page during that time.
Do you like the spotlight or lurking in the shadows?
I’m definitely a shadow lurker. This makes certain aspects of publishing a bit challenging for me, but there are also many aspects suited to my personality type.
I do a lot of writing in my sunroom. It has a nice view, but  I also have occasional visits from this little roadrunner who lives nearby, and most recently a little bobcat (who left before I could get his picture).
road runner
This or That
TV or Movies? Movies
Hot or Cold? Cold
Black or White? Black
Night owl, or early bird? Early bird
Print or Ebook? Print
Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate
Regular or Diet? Diet
Coke or Pepsi? Coke
Horror or Romance? Neither
Action or Drama? Both
Pizza or Pasta? Pasta
Skittles or M&Ms? M&Ms
Sweet or Salty? Salty
Summer or Winter? Fall
City or Country? Country
Harry Potter or Twilight? Twilight
Gum or Breath Mints? Mints
Spontaneity or Planning Ahead? Planning ahead
PC or Mac? Mac
Beach or Pool? Beach
Shoes or Sandals? Sandals
Cats or Dog? Both
Apples or Oranges? Apples
Cause or Effect? Effect
Heads or Tails? Tails
Facebook or Twitter? Facebook
Truth or Dare? Truth
Text or Talk? Text

Introvert or Extrovert? Introvert

Character Interview
If you could meet one person who has died who would you choose?
My character Sabrina’s answer: Eric Liddell. He was the runner who inspired the movie, “Chariots of Fire”. He was one of the most famous athletes from Scotland, yet he chose to go serve as a missionary in China in more or less obscurity. He also gave up the opportunity to run the 100 yard dash in the Olympics— the only event he was believed to have a shot of winning—because they were going to run one of the heats on Sunday. He stuck to his convictions in spite of how difficult it must have been to let go of the dream. In the end, God rewarded him.
My character Brandy’s answer: Rahab from the Bible. She was a prostitute, which I gather was considered even worse then than it is now. But she still somehow found love and managed to have what I guess was a pretty good family, because she was the great-grandmother of King David. If there was hope for her, maybe there is hope for me, too.

Favorite Movies
Ever After
Soul Surfer
Lord of the Rings (all 3 of them)
Pride and Prejudice (with Colin Firth)
Steel Magnolias

Foods you wish you could  eat and never gain a pound

French Fries
Potato Chips
Chocolate pudding
Chocolate ice cream
Hershey bars
Almond Joy
Guest Post

How I came to write Chasing Hope

“Mom, my knees are killing me.”

My daughter was fourteen when this comment marked the beginning of what would become a lifetime battle with rheumatoid arthritis. And months missed from school due to life threatening infections brought on by the strong immune suppressants she took for her arthritis. And rude comments made by people who, in no pain themselves, couldn’t understand why she didn’t run the mile, or sit on her knees, or put her foot into a stirrup without the assistance of a step.

I knew someday that I would incorporate some of her experiences into a novel. I waited until enough time had passed from the really hard parts before I began to seriously consider it, and I waited even longer until she gave me the okay to “sort of” tell a story like hers.

In Chasing Hope, Sabrina Rice was a dedicated runner, dreaming of Olympic glory and then life as a missionary. She worked hard—harder than anyone else—and did all the right things. And then an insidious disease took her dreams from her.

Brandy Philip, on the other hand, is a troublemaking teenager, doing everything the wrong way. No one ever used Brandy’s name and the terms hard worker or good kid in the same sentence. But she was fast. Really fast.

Because of family connections, Sabrina becomes Brandy’s best hope of staying out of Juvenile Hall, by agreeing to train her three days a week. But Sabrina can no longer bear to even watch running, much less does she want to help this ungrateful, graffiti-artist punk. And who could blame her? This is completely unfair. Then again, who knows what secret pain someone else is carrying?

This story is their journey as they work through their issues with each other, God, and the unfairness of life. It’s about learning to put one foot in front of the other when you’re not sure you can do that anymore.

On a personal note—I’ve never enjoyed running, but decided I should sign up for the local summer 5k series as part of my research. I trained and ran, and ran and trained, and never got much faster than sluggish. When I sent in my first draft, my editor said, “I think you’ve done a good job showing the pain of running. I need you to show a bit more of the joy of running and maybe runner’s high.”

My answer was, “I haven’t gotten that far in my research yet.” And quite frankly, I never did. Thankfully, I know several runners, and they were most helpful with their feedback.

One of my reviewers said, “This story will speak to anyone who has ever struggled to find their feet after the death of a dream, anyone who has ever tried to keep going when everyone else has given up on them…” And that is my prayer for this novel, that it will be an encouragement to someone else like my daughter.

Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 10/17/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the publisher. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


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  1. Thank you so very much. This is very welcome right now. 🙂