Hollow Book Giveaway and Interview with Jena Morrow
Jena Morrow’s memoir Hollow, An Unpolished Tale is an honest narrative about one woman’s struggle with anorexia nervosa. I loved reading this book, and heartily recommend it and its sequel, Hope for the Hollow: A Thirty-Day Inside-Out Makeover for Women Recovering from Eating Disorders. Jena is giving away a signed copy of Hollow. Thanks, Jena, for visiting, and talking about writing and motherhood!
1. What is the hardest thing about being a writer and a mom?
Two words: Time management. My peak time for writing has always been evenings, and as a mom who also works full-time during the day, my evenings are usually devoted to family time – and by family time, I mean helping my eleven-year-old with homework that would challenge a rocket scientist (clearly, I am NOT “smarter than a fifth grader”), cleaning up random household mishaps (How DID that jelly get on the ceiling, anyway?), etc. – and if I save my writing for after my son goes to bed and the house is clean, I will never write. So, it is an ongoing, ever-evolving challenge to schedule times to write – and then to “hurry up and be creative!” But, one day I will have the house to myself and I’ll have ample writing time – and I will miss the chaos. So I choose to enjoy the now.
2. What led you to write your book?
My first book, Hollow, is a memoir of my teen years and it tells the story of my struggle to overcome anorexia in an inpatient treatment setting. I always knew I would write books, and I think I just kind of felt like that one had to come first. It’s a story that had to be told so God could propel me forward from there to write about other things. The response I often hear from readers is that my story helps to deglamorize eating disorders; it keeps it real and tells it like it is, which isn’t pretty. And that was important to me, because just before I began working on the manuscript for Hollow, a dear friend of mine lost her life to bulimia at the age of twenty-nine. In the process of grieving her death, I remember saying to a friend, “Someone needs to tell the truth about these awful illnesses. It isn’t a lifestyle choice; people die.” And my friend pretty much suggested that I might be the one to tell that truth, by sharing my own story in a very raw, candid way. And Hollow was the fruit of that challenge.
3. What has changed since you’ve been published?
I now have a platform from which to speak, and I’ve had the honor of sharing my story at conferences and in workshops at churches and schools, etc, as well as on national radio broadcasts, podcasts, television, etc. It’s truly been amazing the places God has taken me – and the things He has asked me to share. It has allowed me to meet so many incredible people, both fellow writers and professionals in the treatment field. It’s always interesting to me the way authors are perceived, especially when we go out and speak; people tend to think we have it all together. For me, it has been rewarding and enjoyable to be able to go out and say, “Look, I’m just like you guys; I’m a total ragamuffin in need of a big daily dose of grace.” It seems to have a disarming effect on people, and I’ve had total strangers pour their hearts out to me at signings and on call-in radio shows, etc – and it’s very cool to be part of that kind of vulnerable, human interaction. It is truly an honor.
4. What is your favorite thing right now about motherhood?
Oh, wow . . . Well, my son, Jaden, is getting ready to enter junior high school after this Summer, so right now is a very fun and uniquely challenging season in my motherhood adventure! I absolutely love watching Jaden develop into a young man with his own individual opinions and convictions and beliefs . . . It’s fascinating to me how his personality is exactly the same as it was at age two, but he’s coming into his own and, essentially, becoming more of himself as he grows older. He and I are able to have tickle fights in one moment and have a deep conversation about faith or philosophy the next moment . . . I love it. Really, I think every age he has been so far has been my favorite! Also, he just cracks me up. Our house may not have a lot of “normal” happening, but it sure is a fun place to be sometimes; never a dull moment!
5. What does your kid think about you being a writer?
For the most part, I think he thinks it’s pretty cool. But I did have to enter into an agreement with him that I would run things past him before writing about him in a blog or an article, etc . . . Which I suppose is fair!
Jena Morrow’s debut book, “Hollow”, chronicles her nearly three-decade-long battle with eating and body image issues. In her second book, “Hope for the Hollow”, Jena takes readers on a thirty-day devotional journey to challenge eating disordered thoughts and beliefs in light of God’s Word. In addition to being a writer, speaker, and activist for eating disorder awareness and prevention, Jena works as the Alumnae Coordinator at Timberline Knolls in Lemont, IL, a premiere residential treatment center for women and girls battling eating disorders, substance abuse, mood disorders, self-injury, and PTSD. Jena makes her home in a suburb of Chicago with her son, Jaden, his pet snake Stephanie, and a mischievous cat named Prim. Follow Jena on Twitter.
For a chance to win the giveaway (a signed copy of Hollow):
1. Leave a comment ON THIS POST.
2. Tweet, share on Facebook, Pin, about Jena and/or my Mother’s Day daily book giveaway for ONE MORE CHANCE to win and leave another comment letting me know what you did (note, it’s just one more chance regardless of how much you share).
So that’s TWO CHANCES per person if you are so inclined!
Winners will be announced for each day (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday) on Mother’s Day and chosen randomly from randomnumber.org.
Please come back tomorrow to hear from Suzanne Kamata, editor of Call Me Okasaan.