ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Joyce Magnin is the author of The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow. She is a mom and a grammie, and enjoys video games, needle arts, cream soda and football, but not elevators. And she is the caretaker of a neurotic parakeet who thinks she's a chicken.
JA: So how does it feel to have your debut novel also be part of Abingdon’s new fiction line?
JM: I'm honored and thrilled to be included in such a cast of talented writers.
JA: The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow is about what happens in the town of Bright’s Pond when Agnes seems to receive miraculous answers to her petitions. What sparked this story in your mind?
JM: That is one question I've been dreading because I really can’t answer it. I can't pinpoint the moment when I thought, I'm going to write about a woman who apparently performs miracles. I hope that doesn't sound like a cop out but she evolved over several weeks.
JA: You also explore the relationship between Agnes and her sister Griselda, who narrates the story. What is your favorite characteristic about each of these ladies?
JM: Griselda wants everyone, especially her sister to be happy. Self-sacrifice is Griselda's word. Agnes is a skosh more difficult, maybe because I knew all along why she was praying but if I had to choose one characteristic I'd say loyalty.
JA: What do you hope people take away when they finish reading The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow?
JM: Soli Deo Gloria. To God alone the Glory. And maybe a craving for pie.
JA: What’s next for you in the writing arena?
JM: I'm working on my next novel for Abingdon—Charlotte Figg Takes Over Paradise. It involves a sacrifice also. But different. What's fun is that some of the people you meet in Bright's Pond will show up in Charlotte.
JA: On your website, you say you’ve had the writing bug since third grade. Was there a special person in your life who encouraged your passion to write?
JM: My third grade teacher, Mrs. Nichol. She was the one who told me I had a gift, yep, even at nine years old. And there have been other cheerleaders along the way, teachers, friends, Marlene Bagnull was hugely responsible for helping me along the way, my friend Pammy, Nancy Rue, Lisa Samson... oh boy many others. Maybe my father. Sometimes I think I got my storytelling ability from him.
JA: The current theme of my blog is The Year of Dreams. If you could realize one life-long dream right now, what would it be?
JM: You mean besides the book? I always wanted to live in Scotland and write stories in a little cottage near the water. That would be cool.
JA: Last but not least, how can people keep up with your latest publishing news?
JM: Folks can visit me on my website, joycemagnin.homestead.com, my blog, joycemagnin.blogspot.com, and on Facebook and Twitter.
ABOUT THE BOOK
The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow is the story of an unusual woman, Agnes Sparrow. No longer able or willing to leave her home, where she is cared for by her long-suffering sister Griselda, Agnes has committed her life to the one thing she can do—besides eat. Agnes Sparrow prays and when Agnes prays things happen, including major miracles of the cancer, ulcer-healing variety along with various minor miracles not the least of which is the recovery of lost objects and a prize-winning pumpkin.
The rural residents of Bright’s Pond are so enamored with Agnes they plan to have a sign erected on the interstate that reads, “Welcome to Bright’s Pond, Home of Agnes Sparrow.” This is something Agnes doesn’t want and sends Griselda to fight city hall. Griselda’s petitions are shot down and the sign plans press forward until a stranger comes to town looking for his miracle from Agnes. The truth of Agnes’s odd motivation comes out when the town reels after the murder of a beloved community member. How could Agnes allow such evil in their midst? Didn’t she know? Well, the prayers of Agnes Sparrow have more to do with Agnes than God. Agnes has been praying to atone for a sin committed when she was a child. After some tense days, the townsfolk, Griselda, and Agnes decide they all need to find their way back to the true source of the miracles--God.
WIN THE BOOK
If you’d like to be entered to win a copy of The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow, just leave a reply to this blog. I’ll pick a winner at random on August 25th. 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!