Saturday, September 21, 2013
Chasing Hope by Kathryn Cushman
1. Can you tell us about your latest novel, Chasing Hope?
It’s about a young woman with Olympic dreams and concrete plans for her future. She
worked hard, honored God, and did everything right. Then a devastating diagnosis took
everything from her. A few years later, she meets a young girl with unmistakable talent, but
who has definitely fallen short in the area of “doing everything the right way.” She also
desperately needs Sabrina’s help. It’s a story of the unfairness of life, chronic illness, and
looking to God for your hope, even in the darkest times.
2. Did you do any special research for this book?
Yes. A lot of this book is about running. I’ve never been a runner, but I took it up while I
was writing this book. After I sent in my first draft, my editor said, “I think you’ve done a
nice job of showing the pain of running. Can we have a little something about the joy of
running or runner’s high?” I basically said, “I haven’t reached that point in my research yet.”
3. This book deals with chronic illness in a young person. How did you make that realistic?
One of my daughters suffers with chronic illness and pain. There is nothing that Sabrina
experienced that my daughter has not experienced (actually, Sabrina had it quite a bit easier
than the true story). This is the one part of the story that I wrote with complete confidence,
because I’ve been living it for the past six years.
4. What is the over-arching spiritual theme for this book?
We often believe we hear God calling us to do something, but when things get hard, it’s easy
to decide we misunderstood God and quit. I paralleled the Children of Israel and their
journey to the Promised Land. We often put them down for being ungrateful whiners, but
the truth is, they went THREE DAYS WITHOUT WATER. God’s call doesn’t mean that
everything will be easy.
5. This is your 7th novel. Does it get easier with each progressive story?
No! Actually, one of the reasons I chose this particular theme was to remind myself that
God’s call doesn’t mean it won’t be hard. For me, it seems that each story gets a little harder
to write than the one before. It’s a constant and daily walk of faith to get words on the page.
6. This book also shows the importance of having someone who believes in you. Sabrina
became that person for Brandy, and Sabrina’s mother was that person for her. How
important do you perceive this kind of support to be?
I think it’s critical. One of my early readers described an underlying theme of this book
as “about being the person that stands between someone and the cliff when everyone else
looks away.” Sabrina experienced this because of chronic illness, and Brandy experienced it
because of acting out brought on by an unfortunate childhood. The importance of a “gap”
person cannot be overestimated. When the world gives up on a person, one small action can
make a huge difference.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR