I am so excited today to share my interview with Rebecca Talley, author of The Upside of Down. This book deals with something that is very close to my heart. Some of you may know that I have a son with Down syndrome--which has completely changed my life. It has helped make me the person I am today, and I am so blessed to have my wonderful son in my life. I am so pleased to see a book that handles motherhood, and especially motherhood in light of having a child with Down syndrome, in a realistic and positive manner.
Kaylee: Hi, Rebecca! I'm excited to get to know you a little better. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Rebecca: I grew up in Santa Barbara, CA. I attended, and graduated from, BYU where I met my husband. He was the FHE “dad” and I was the FHE “mom.” We have been happily married for over 25 years and are the parents of 10 wonderfully creative and multi-talented children. We live in rural CO on a small ranch with a dog, cats, a spoiled horse, and a herd of goats. It took me a bit to adjust to the rural lifestyle after growing up in southern CA, but I love living in the country.
Kaylee: When did you start writing?
Rebecca: I started making books when I was a kid and I loved to write in high school, but I put writing aside when I got married and started having babies. I decided to get serious about it again in the mid-90s when the internet suddenly opened up a whole new world for me. I met other writers, took classes online, and read all I could about writing. I’ve been writing ever since.
Kaylee: What do you like to do besides writing?
Rebecca: Eat chocolate, ice cream, peanut M&Ms. I love to go to the beach and swim in the ocean, but I only get to do that once a year or so. I also love to dance to disco music. I’ve recently started doing Zumba, a kind of Latin dancing/exercise program—lots of hip shaking. I love to go on dates with my husband and I love to play with my kids. I’ve also started making jewelry and flower barrettes with my kids.
Kaylee: You newest novel, The Upside of Down, was released in January. What was the inspiration for this novel?
Rebecca: While I was watching the new version of Cheaper by the Dozen, I thought it would be fun to write a similar story set in an LDS household. Since I have a large family, I drew from many of my own experiences to create my characters and establish the storyline. I had lots of fun writing it, especially as I relived some of the funny things that have happened in our family.
Kaylee: What do you hope people take away from The Upside of Down?
Rebecca: I hope people realize that no matter who we are, none of us is spiritually invincible. We all need to rely on the Lord, in good times and in bad. No matter how desperate a situation may seem, the Lord can lighten our load if we’ll turn to Him. The atonement is for all of us. And, even in the midst of trials, we can have peace.
I also hope people will learn something from my book about Down syndrome and realize that underneath it all, we’re all children of God and we all deserve love and respect, no matter our chromosome count.
Kaylee: Where can we purchase The Upside of Down?
Rebecca: Amazon carries it and it should arrive in LDS Bookstores soon.
You can learn more about Rebecca at http://www.rebeccatalley.com/ and http://www.rebeccatalleywrites.blogspot.com/
Kaylee: Thanks for meeting with me! I have really enjoyed getting to know you over the past year and look forward to reading more from you.
Rebecca: Thank you so much for the interview.
More about The Upside of Down
Back cover blurb:
“Hmmm,” the doctor muttered.
Natalie wrinkled her forehead, almost afraid to ask, and said, “What does that mean?”
“You do know you’re pregnant, right?”
Her breath caught in her throat. “Excuse me?”
Her heartbeat thundered in her ears. “I’m what?”
Natalie Drake certainly has her hands full raising a large family, dealing with her difficult mother, and maintaining a relationship with her rebellious teenager. Just when things seem to be going smoothly, she finds out another unexpected surprise—she’s going to have a baby. Faced with so many challenges, Natalie must learn to trust in a plan that isn’t what she imagined and discover that every situation has an upside.