Today I have the privilege of having V. Joy Palmer as my guest. Thank you Joy for telling us more about your latest release: Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations.
Q: The cover is so perfect for the story. I love it! Can you talk about the symbolism in the cover (without spoilers)?
Joy: I agree with you – it is perfect for the story! Roseanna White (author, editor, and cover designer extraordinaire) nailed this beauty on the first try! *starry eyes here*
So – without spoilers – the most obvious part of the cover is the willow branches and leaves. One of the main settings in the story is at Apryl and Courtney’s grandmother’s house, and several really key scenes happen in the nearby willow grove. I love that this is on the cover! Additionally, willow trees are linked to recovery and healing, and they are known for their incredible flexibility. They are like the yoga gurus of trees, able to bend instead of break. I – in my totally biased opinion – really feel like this sums up the characters’ emotional and spiritual journeys. They are set in their expectations and paths in life, and then BAM! Life happens, pushing them to their breaking point. Sure, some small branches and leaves get blown away, but God’s unfailing mercy keeps them from breaking. And the love of a Father Who calls each of His children by name leads to their recovery and healing.
The next thing that I immediately noticed the first time I saw the cover was how the woman is playing with the leaves, and you see just a hint of a smile on her lips. I love the emotion that conveys because it is sooo Apryl! She may put on a tough exterior, but she is vulnerable and broken inside. Over the course of the story, Apryl lets her guard down and shows her vulnerable side as she opens her heart. <3
Melony: Yes! I had a good look at the cover after I finished the book and saw the significance even more clearly.
Q: At times, I wanted to shake both main characters. It’s funny how stubborn we can be. I loved how you gave us a picture of how patient God is with us. What was the best lesson you learned personally while writing Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations?
Joy: LOL! There were many times I felt the same way, but my heart is to write imperfect characters because we so NOT perfect! We screw up and make stupid mistakes. Sometimes we doubt, fail, and say – or think – harsh things. And we hold onto little lies that contradict God’s heart for us, letting them shape us. You can know God’s love and have wonderful support in your friends, family, and church, but until you’re willing to look those lies in the eye and confront them with God’s truth, they will continue to tug at your heart with their tiny hooks of pain. Without a doubt, that’s the best lesson I learned while writing Weddings, Willows, and Revised Expectations because I finally confronted some of those lies that shaped me.
Second best would be that seagulls are not to be trusted! 😉
Melony: Oh my goodness, yes!
V. JOY PALMER.
Joy Palmer is the author of Love, Lace, and Minor Alterations and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is also an avid blogger and co-founder of Snack Time Devotions. In her spare time, Joy is an unprofessional chocolate connoisseur/binger, and she loves acting crazy and drinking coffee with the teens she mentors. When Joy isn’t urging the elves that live in her computer to write, she’s hanging out with her husband, their adorable baby girl, and their socially awkward pets.
I was delighted to read this book and you can READ MY REVIEW HERE
Melony Teague is a freelance writer who believes everyone has a story to tell. As co-author of As the Ink Flows, she loves to inspire and motivate others through her written words. She writes Contemporary Romance with a dash of humor. Member of ACFW. Melony was born in South Africa and now lives in Toronto with her husband, their two teenagers, and two cats.