Christian author Sarah Price has written dozens of books in different categories. For her women’s fiction, she often pulls from personal experiences. Her latest novel is Shattered Mirror (Waterfall Press). In this interview, she explains the painful inspiration for the new book, the personal experiences that drove the novel, and how her faith forms the core of her storytelling…

Sarah, your latest novel deals with some heavy themes. What inspired you to write Shattered Mirror?

Drug addiction and family dysfunctionalism effects every family. Unfortunately, many parents are immune to these issues. Or, rather, in denial.

When my oldest child became addicted to drugs, I was very open about our struggles. The reaction from people, including some family members, surprised me. Rather than provide support, we received promises of help that never came.

Some even turned their backs on us—as if addiction was contagious. When my son needed people to reach out and help him, those closest to him were not there.

I remember telling people, “Those billboards about drug addicted teens were not put there just for my child.” But they lived in denial that addiction could happen in their families. Drug addiction is not just an individual disease; it’s a disease that has impacted society.

I wrote this story to let people know that addiction is everywhere. It’s in high schools. It’s in homes. It’s the teenager who goes to church on Sunday but steals medications from parents’ bathrooms during the week. I also wrote this story to expose the lack of support from schools and society in general. Hopefully people will recognize themselves in this novel.

Most importantly, I wrote this story for other parents who are going through this. They are not alone. I hope this novel inspires other parents to fight for their children. Fight the schools to get rid of known drug dealers. Fight the courts when ex-spouses hinder treatment. Fight the insurance companies who send these children to sub-par treatment centers. It’s a fight to save our children. Nothing is more important than that.

The main character is college professor Kelly Martin. What was it about Professor Martin that made you want to put her in the center of the story?

A mother’s perspective is unique when dealing with an addicted child. We knew that son or daughter long before anyone else did. Our love for our children is enormous. I know that I fought very hard for my son, battling for proper care and treatment. The struggle is something I would not wish on anyone, but I know that I was not unique to this situation.

Through the eyes of the mother, the reader can see the pain, the heartache, the moments when defeat seems like a viable option. But, in the end, Kelly could not give up or she risked losing her son—and her daughter.

When a child is an addict, they are not the only victim. There is other collateral damage, especially siblings. They often get lost in the mix.

Fiona saw all that her brother went through and very few people even thought about her. It’s damaging to see your brother or sister going through such a trial. But people forget about them. They need someone to talk to, a person to listen to them.

Only a mother can see that.

Professor Martin is fighting to rescue her son from drug addiction and suicidal depression. What are the challenges of writing about these topics realistically while still serving the needs of the story?

Without doubt, I had to remove myself and my own experience from the story. I created new characters and focused on developing them as individuals.

Debra Weaver and her daughter create an interesting dynamic to the situation. In fact, the entire idea for the novel came to me when my daughter had friends overnight for a sleepover. One of the girls was on an anti-anxiety medicine and it fell out of her pocket. I found it and gave it to her, telling her that she needs to be careful when bringing this to other people’s houses.

BAM! The idea hit me like a lightning bolt. What IF my son had found it? What IF he had taken it? What is the worse-case scenario that could’ve happened?

From that incident, the rest of the story grew.

Would you share how your personal experiences fueled this novel?

Unfortunately, I lived much of the story. Of course, it’s a fictionalized version with a lot of different characters and situations included in it. However, having lived it, I relied mostly on my first-hand experience.

I dealt with the schools who refused to expel the drug dealers and merely wanted to graduate my son to get rid of him. I dealt with the insurance companies who fought sending my son to better rehabs. I dealt with people who stood in my way of getting him the help he needed.

And I dealt with the people who abandoned my son—and daughter—along the way. I dealt with the rehabilitation centers that wouldn’t update me because my name wasn’t on the insurance—and reimbursed my ex-spouse directly, rather than me! It was not fun.

But there was a positive side to surviving this terrible experience. Many people did support me and my family.

Some people who were judgmental in the beginning turned around. Other people were there throughout the entire experience, supporting me.

A few helped me fight for my son, especially my husband who, in hindsight, could very easily have thrown up his hands and walked away. Many other stepfathers would have, trust me. But he was my champion during the worse of the situation.

What are the ways your faith impacts how you approach storytelling?

Faith is something core to my storytelling. I write stories that I believe God wants me to share with other people. Many times when I’m writing, the words flow as if someone is guiding my fingers on the laptop. My ministry is through writing. If I can share stories with other people that help them—emotionally and/or spiritually—then I have done my job well.

My favorite verse is Jeremiah 29:11. When I was going through breast cancer, that was the verse that gave me strength. I know that God does not give us more than we can handle. Even the worse of experiences teach us invaluable lessons about ourselves and others. A “perfect” life does not exist and, frankly, if it did, no one would truly be happen.

To know true joy, you must have some tribulations, in my opinion. God walks beside us through these tough times, holding our hands if we ask. Only faith will get people through—faith that God is there and God will guide us.

I believe that is my guiding principle in writing: God is with me and God guides me.

Visit Sarah Price’s author page:

Shattered Mirror
Sarah Price
Waterfall Press

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