Interview: Author Anna Alden-Tirrill

Update posted by Diane M. Robinson.

Sue at Kid Lit Reviews is ill with a fever, aches and pains, and a nasty rattling in her chest. The review for A Cat Named Mouse: The Miracle of Answered Prayer will be delayed.

Kid Lit Reviews would like to welcome Anna Alden-Tirrill, author of A Cat Named Mouse: The Miracle of Answered Prayer, which will be reviewed HERE!

Anna Alden Tirrill

A Cat Named Mouse: The Miracle of Answered Prayer is a middle grade novel. Annie, whose cat is named Mouse, will discover a lot about faith and prayer while searching for her lost Mouse.

Welcome, Anna. Please give us a short synopsis of your book.

Hi Sue, it’s great to be with you today.  I appreciate the opportunity to share with your readers about my book.  This book is the first in the Annie’s Adventure Series.  It is based on a true story.  Here I introduce Annie, a twelve-year-old seventh grader.  She tells us the story of how her tabby cat named Mouse went missing because a large animal pulled the screen out of the window where she was sitting.  Annie becomes worried because her cat had never been outside.  She realizes that Mouse was vulnerable to predatory animals, storms, and the high July heat.  Will Mouse ever return home?  Will she end up the victim of a coyote or some other wild animal?  Will she die of exposure or starvation?

Annie and her family speak about prayer and trusting God to bring Mouse home.  Annie and her parents ask God to keep Mouse safe and bring her home.  Then they pray for daily guidance and –follow His plan.  This is more than a classic animal tale, it provides elements of faith and hope that we all need at times when events are out of our personal control, especially when a helpless loved one, human or animal, needs heavy-duty help from a Source larger than ourselves. The book highlights such themes as prayer, thanksgiving, praise, faith, and trusting God in challenging times. In the end, there is a miracle that all of her neighbors acknowledge.

When did you begin writing and what inspired you? 

I started writing books for publication in 2005, but it wasn’t until 2010 when Mouse went missing that I began to feel a real “calling” to write.  That same year, I was finishing radiation and chemotherapy for breast cancer, and all of it combined taught me a lot about trusting God and leaning totally on Him.  I began to write the Mouse story, but it took a different direction at that time, and the result was that I wrote four devotionals for women.  These devotionals in The Secret Place Series (www.SecretPlaceSeries.com) contain all of the lessons God had taught me through the challenges I was facing, including my missing cat.  They are: Deep Calls Unto Deep, Enter His Gates, In My Sister’s Footsteps, and Songs in the Night.  As soon as I had completed the series, I felt that I was ready to begin my Annie’s Adventures Series.

My book about my sweet Mouse is the first, but since then I have also written two sequels, My Gray Stray —The Miracle of Loving-Kindness (www.MyGrayStray.com) (website coming soon) and My Paris Connection —The Miracle of Friendship (www.MyParisConnection.com).  (website coming soon)  I’m now working on the fourth in the series, My Riviera Connection — The Miracle of Truth (www.MyRivieraConnection.com).  The themes that I wrote in my devotionals are finding their way into my Annie series, but tailored for young readers.  They will all be available as e-books as well as paperbacks. A Cat Named Mouse is already available as an e-book and a paperback.

How did you prepare for a career in writing? 

Like I said, it began as a result of the challenges that I was facing and finding out over and over again that God is sufficient and His strength is available to each of us.  As I learned more and more about His grace and provision, I was encouraged.  And I wanted to pass this along to others so that they would also be strengthened and encouraged in their own lives facing their own personal challenges.  On a technical note, I have worked professionally as a journalist and as a managing editor for three newspapers and as a book editor for many years. So words have been in my blood for a very long time.

What is the best and worst part about writing a book? 

I guess when you write from your heart and your own experiences as I do, the worst part is having to live the challenges and hardships or whatever you’re facing.  It can seem lonely and you feel like you’re in a desolate wilderness or desert or even in a furnace. I wrote a lot about this in my women’s devotional series. But the best part is when you sense the Lord is with you and He will find a way for you to overcome.  He may not “solve” the problem, but He will see you through it and strengthen you. I have learned that a wilderness experience is for a season. It will end.  So, the best thing about writing is being able to share both the hardships and challenges and also the blessings and comforts the Lord brings. We ARE victorious in Christ and all of my books come to this same conclusion one way or another.

In A Cat Named Mouse, is the cat based on a real cat?

Yes, Mouse is very real and she is sitting right next to me right now.  She is my constant sweet companion and offers me lots of encouragement just by her presence.

What is the craziest thing Mouse has ever done?

The craziest thing she did was to be gone for twelve days and then reappear in a very unusual and miraculous way—a way that no one had expected.

Describe your writing workspace. 

I have an office in my house so it’s an easy commute! It’s filled with lots of inspirational items. I also have my desk, a sofa, and a chair—both overstuffed and comfy. On my desk I have things that inspire and touch me emotionally. Writing is all about emotions and mine are stirred whenever I look at my keepsakes. There is a photo of my beloved cat whom I adopted from the Humane Society and who lived with me for twenty years. Also a painting likeness of one of my current cats. I rescued him right before Christmas three years ago. He’s disabled from being abused by whoever owned him and then left him in the cold. He encourages me to not let anything get me down or stop me, but to keep on going no matter what. He is an overcomer!

Next is a card that the vet sent to me after my little Gray Stray (the one I wrote the book about) had to be put to sleep. He was an outdoor cat I took to the vet as he didn’t seem well and I wanted to know he had a clean bill of health before I brought him in the house with my other cats. I wanted to bring him inside to survive the brutal winter weather. He didn’t make it as he was sicker than anyone imagined, but he will live on in my heart and in my book. He taught me a lot about how God wants us to give His loving care to all of the “strays” in our life—those who feel they don’t belong or who are sad, lonely, or alone.

Also on my desk to inspire me is a photo of me when I was Annie’s age. It was taken when I lived in Paris, France as a young teen. In it are my friends to whom I dedicated my last two books. It helps me to get in touch with the young girl I was so I can write from Annie’s point of view. My editor recently said, “You are Annie.” Such insight, but Annie is a lot smarter and more insightful than I was at that age!

Did you collaborate with your illustrator?  Are you happy with the results?

I love the illustrations in all of our Annie books.  Yes, I collaborated closely and I am very pleased with the outcome.  We would recommend them highly to anyone. And with 190 illustrations in A Cat Named Mouse, I didn’t have to get a second mortgage on my home to afford them.

What is next for you? 

I’m working on the next in the Annie series, My Riviera Connection.  It’s full of suspense and intrigue, but suitable for a young reader.  For a whole month, I visited friends in the summer in their home on the French Riviera when I was thirteen years old and I draw a lot on my time there.  But Annie’s adventure there is a lot more exciting than mine was. I’m really having fun working on it.  Their French villa was in a town called Grasse, which is known as the perfume capital of the world. The book has to do with international espionage. The message of the book is that God values Truth. No matter what, we are to speak for and live for the Truth. Even when there are consequences, we weigh them and then move forward on the side of Truth. The benefits will come in their own time.  Truth always wins!

Is there anything you would like to say?

I’m just glad to have this opportunity to share from my heart with your readers. You have a wonderful ministry and service and we are all enriched by it and by your hard work and the sacrifice of time, talent, and effort. God bless you and God bless all of your readers.

Thank you Anna.  If you would like to learn more about Anna Alden-Tirrill, visit the links below.  Tomorrow, Anna’s middle grade novel, A Cat Named Mouse: The Miracle of Answered Prayer, will be reviewed. To read the review, click HERE! (after midnight tonight).

cat named mouse

Website: http://catnamedmouse.com/

Publisher : http://whitecottagepublishing.com/index.html

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/712483.Anna_Alden_Tirrill

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/anna-alden-tirrill/2b/a87/40a

 

4 thoughts on “Interview: Author Anna Alden-Tirrill

  1. Oh! Ms Morris! I’m so sad to hear that you’re so sick! I hope you get better soon. This is a great interview and sounds like a very nice book. Poor Mouse! And poor Annie! I’m praying that they have a happy reunion! I guess I’ll have to check out the book and find out!

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  2. The author is very insightful. I love her insight:.’He taught me a lot about how God wants us to give His loving care to all of the “strays” in our life—those who feel they don’t belong or who are sad, lonely, or alone’

    I have four dogs that all came from shelters. They needed homes and as I live in the country, I could give them loving homes.

    The power of prayer is also very true. Thank you, Sue, for introducing me to this wonderful woman.

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  3. What a wonderful interview. Anna is very inspiring. The Annie books sound a little like Nancy Drew with a spiritual foundation. Perfect for that age group, where faith is sometimes an uphill climb.

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