Today, we welcome author, Miriam Thor to the blog. Let's get to know her and the characters she's created.

Tell us about your hero and heroine. What makes them likable?

Ally Griffin is headstrong and soft-hearted. She stands up for herself and those she cares about, no matter what. Even when Ally is struggling herself, she does her best to be there for her family and friends.

What makes this book special to you?

Listening to the Rain is special to me for several reasons. It is the first book I ever wrote and my first full-length novel to be published. I first had the idea for this story when I was in high school over a decade ago, so the characters have been near and dear to my heart for a long time. During the story, one of the characters becomes deaf, and the family starts learning American Sign Language (ASL) to communicate with him. As a sign language interpreter, that topic is personal, which makes the book all the more special to me.

What books have most influenced your life?

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott has had more influence on me than any other fiction book. When I read it in middle school, The Lord used the character, Beth, to show me the value of humility and focusing on helping others, rather than solely on my own ambitions. The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine also influenced me and my writing. It was one of the first fantasy novels that I truly enjoyed. Fantasy is now one of my favorite genres to read and write. Specifically, the last words in The Two Princesses of Bamarre are the title. It was the first book I ever read where the author did that, and I have emulated it in some of my writing, including Listening to the Rain.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging when it comes to your writing?

When I write, it usually takes an hour or two for the words to truly start flowing. That makes it very difficult to write on days when I cannot dedicate several hours to it. Since I work full-time at a school, that makes writing during the week challenging. I do almost all of my writing on the weekends or during the summer. It is also sometimes difficult to persevere through the first hour or two until the words start coming more easily.

What is the spiritual takeaway for your reader?

God is trustworthy, no matter the situation.

What is your heroine's main character flaw?

Ally's biggest character flaw is that she is self-centered. At the beginning of the book, her main focus is finding a way to gain praise and recognition for herself.

What makes your heroine heroic?

Ally is always willing to stand up for herself and those she loves.

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