Monday, July 14, 2008

Meet Tina Ann Forkner - Interview & Book Giveaway

Tina Ann Forkner PhotoA big welcome to Tina Ann Forkner, author of the wonderfully compelling novel, Ruby Among Us. Let’s meet Tina!


Tina Ann Forkner writes contemporary fiction that focuses on the intricacies of family relationships. Originally from Oklahoma, she graduated from CSU Sacramento where she lived for five years before ultimately settling in Wyoming where she now lives with her husband and their three children. Tina stays busy serving on the Laramie County Library Foundation board of directors in her hometown and writes full-time!


JA: Your debut novel is Ruby Among Us. Please tell us a bit about it.
TAF: Here is a description: Set in the lush vineyards of present and past Sonoma Valley, Ruby Among Us weaves a story of three generations of women and the memory that binds their hearts together. Journey with Lucy as she searches for a heritage long-buried with her mother, Ruby, in this stirring tale of remembrance and redemption.

JA: There’s a very strong thread of grace versus legalism in this book. Why was this particularly important to showcase?
TAF: I didn’t plan to showcase it at first, but as the characters developed it became an integral theme to the plot. I truly believe we are under grace, but one aspect of Ruby Among Us is that the characters struggle with a crisis of faith because they see religion, especially Christianity, as a condemning institution.

It is difficult for Kitty and Lucy to believe that God can extend grace without casting judgment and placing conditions on that grace. They can’t see how God would do that because they have had a negative experience with church and religion. Examples have shown that God doesn’t show mercy.

In the biblical story of the prodigal son, the father doesn’t yell at his son and demand an explanation for his son’s mistakes. He takes his son back with no conditions. So why do we sometimes act as if God’s grace is only big enough to cover some sins and not all? Kitty thinks she falls into the category of sins that can’t be covered.

TAF - Ruby Among UsJA: You do a wonderful job at exploring the complex relationship between mothers and daughters. What’s your favorite thing about the women you created in this story?
TAF: Thank you. Lucy, Kitty, and Ruby really took on lives of their own and I am sad the book is over. There is so much more about them I wish the reader knew. One of the things I love about them is how the thread between the three of keeps tugging even when they are mad at each other or in disagreement. I like how that thread keeps them thinking of one another and how their shared memories and experiences influence their decisions over a lifetime.

JA: What do you hope people take away after reading Ruby Among Us?
TAF: I hope they get lost in the world of Lucy, Kitty, and Ruby and fill satisfied and hopeful after they have read it. The book is about grief and redemption. Those are things I hope readers will be able to relate to.

JA: What’s next for you in the writing arena?
TAF: I have written a second book that is a stand-alone, but is related to Ruby Among Us. It comes out in May of 2009.

JA: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
TAF: I love to garden. I don’t do it very well (I live in cool, dry, windy Wyoming), but I try. I also love to spend outdoors with my kids and husband.

JA: What would people be surprised to learn about you?
TAF: Most readers might be surprised that I’m a Daddy’s girl. I write mostly about relationships between women, but I am really a daddy’s girl at heart.

JA: What authors inspire you?
TAF: Elizabeth Berg, Mary E. DeMuth, Amy Tan, Lisa Samson, Francine Rivers, among many others.

The writers who endorsed my book (you can see them on my blog) especially inspire me and I am so blessed they read my book.

JA: Last but not least, how can people keep up with your latest publishing news?
TAF: They can visit my website at and my blog at

Thanks for having me!

Thanks for stopping by, Tina. May God continue to bless your writing journey!


If you’d like to be entered to win a copy of Ruby Among Us just leave a reply to this blog. I’ll pick a winner at random on July 21st. Please leave an email address so I can contact you if you're the winner. (To prevent spammers from trolling for your email, please use this format with the brackets--you [at] yourmail [dot] com--or something similar.) Good luck!


tetewa said...

Enjoyed the interview, thanks for the opportunity. Count me in!

luv2read said...

Enter me in the drawing. spowell01(at)

Stacey said...

Ooh, please, pick me. :) This book sounds wonderful. Thanks.


kamewh said...

Great interview!

Tina said...

Thanks for hosting me Jennifer. I love your blog!


Kari said...

Thanks for the great interview!! Sounds like a good book.

Pamela J said...

I've been watching this book go to different blogs and have thought it would be a very good book to read. Please enter me in your drawing.
Pam Williams
cepjwms at yahoo dot com

Jennifer AlLee said...

Hey, Tina!

It's my pleasure. Glad to see all you ladies here. Ruby Among Us is really an awesome book.

traveler said...

Enjoyable interview. Thanks for this great giveaway. Book looks wonderful.

Alessandra said...

Great interview, and thanks for this opportunity! I'd love to be entered in the giveaway.


windycindy said...

I enjoy reading Tina's interviews. Her book about the grandmother, mother and daughter seems very intricately woven and very interesting. It is so sad when people have a bad experience with a church or religion. The cover of her book is lovely! Please enter me in your delightful book drawing. Many thanks, Cindi

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this interview. Impressed with thie great book. Lovely giveaway.

cpullum said...

Would love to read the book!!!
Nice interview!! Need a nice book to read outside when i am relaxing.

Carolynn W. said...

I have heard so many good things about this book, i can't wait to read it myself. Thanks for the chance to win! carolynnwald[at]hotmail[dot]com

Kat Bryan said...

Good interview. The way Ms. Forkner talks about the book certainly makes me want to read it.

Carole said...

I've been wanting to read Tina's book from the time it came out. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Jennifer AlLee said...

The winner is tetewa! Congrats and thanks to everyone who stopped by :+}