Interview with Hallie Schaefer
C.C. > Hello, Hallie! Thank you for agreeing to an interview! I've had the privilege of reading some of your work. Is Rise your first book?
Hallie > My first novel. I published a children’s book a few months earlier!
C.C. > How awesome! I'm assuming you're the same Hallie Schaefer who wrote this beautiful looking book! And illustrated by you too! Who or what inspired you to start writing?
Hallie > I’ve always loved writing, but never sought to do anything with it. After graduating college, I met so many people who had amazing stories and I realized just how important sharing our stories is. That’s when I took seriously to it!
C.C. > I'm glad you came to that realization! If I my ask, what obstacles did you encounter in your writing, and how did you overcome them?
Hallie > Physical obstacles: work, small children, unreliable computers. Mental obstacles: Self-doubt. Still working on overcoming them, ha!
C.C. > I think we all struggle with self doubt sometimes. My husband is the reason I finally decided to publish, and he's there for me when self doubt creeps back in. I hope you have someone like that in your corner. If not, I'll tell you to keep writing! Upon reading your book, I realized Rise deals with some heavy subject matter. What do you hope readers will take away from the story?
Hallie > My book deals with human trafficking. Until college, I didn’t know it even existed. I wanted to write a story that helped readers see that this really does happen, and it could happen to anyone. I want the readers to understand that these are real people. But most importantly, I wanted those who have dealt with trafficking in any way, to know that there is hope and that God loves them, even when society is so quick to throw out labels against them.
C.C. > It's very easy to lose hope in difficult circumstances, and to believe that you are beyond redemption and love. That's a struggle for many people, and I'm glad to see you touch on that with human trafficking. There is nothing -- no sin, no lifestyle, no choices, and no situation that put a person beyond the reach of God's redemption and love. His arms are always open. I suppose you've kind of already answered my next question, considering human trafficking was something you became aware of in college, but what inspired the plot and characters of Rise?
Hallie > Plot, I’m not sure. It just came to me. The characters are all a blend of people I know personally.
C.C. > I think the best way to create a realistic character is to pull from the people and experiences you know. Now my next question is very important: marshmallows or Twizzlers and why?
Hallie > Marshmallows, as long as they’re on s’mores! Lol
C.C. > HA! I completely agree. Marshmallows are fantastic on s'mores, but little else. They're okay in hot chocolate, but only if there's no whipped cream and caramel. My next question is one that I'm sure many other writers would be interested in hearing the answer to! How do you tackle writer’s block?
Hallie > I love watching movies. It helps my brain relax and resets the “creative roadblock”.
C.C. > Interesting! If you had to choose between a physical book or e-book, which would you choose and why?
Hallie > 100% a physical book! I love holding the books, makes it feel more immersive!
C.C. > 6 months ago, I would've disagreed with you. But I've realized that reading a book I can hold in my hands is somehow, mysteriously, more enjoyable. Are you working on any other books right now?
Hallie > Currently writing the sequel to Rise. This will be released sometime before summer 2018! There will be at least one more in the series after that.
C.C. > You'll have to let us know closer to publication what the exact date will be. I doubt I'll be the only one waiting to read it! Aside from writing, what are you most passionate about?
Hallie > Human trafficking. Also, chocolate. Lol
C.C. > Well, chocolate is essential to life. I mean, that's a given. :) If you were teleported into the book you were reading right now, where would you be and what’s happening?
Hallie > Since most of my reading is for my toddlers, I’d probably be telling Baby Llama (Llama Llama Red Pajama) to chill out and go to sleep already. Haha I don’t get to do a lot of personal reading.
C.C. > Haha I guess there are worse places to be teleported to! What was the first book to ever move you?
Hallie > Miss Rumphius. I wanted to be her when I grew up!
C.C. > I've never heard of it, but that's going to be googled later! What is your creative space (the place or setting that sets your creativity ablaze)?
Hallie > Currently, it’s my desk in my children’s playroom. Lol BUT if I could choose, it’s be on a private beach somewhere on the east coast.
C.C. > a private beach would be nice! But be careful with your food. I once watched a band of seagulls carry off a man's entire container of French Fries because he turned his back... Do you have any advice for first-time or aspiring authors?
Hallie > There is no rule on how rough the first draft has to be! Just get it on paper, because your story matters!
C.C. > Wonderful advice, Hallie! Just dive in and see where it takes you. Thanks again for the interview, and I wish you the best in your writing adventures! And I hope someday you get to enjoy a book that isn't about llamas in red pajamas while relaxing on the beach!
Rise by Hallie Schaefer
Follow three women on a journey of life,
love, and loss as they find that even in the
darkest of places, there is hope. Dembe is
kidnapped from Uganda and trafficked into
the United States. Her resilience can only
take her so far on her desperate journey to
find her sister. Lauren is a hot-headed
runaway trying to make ends meet
on her own. Will her desire to prove herself
lead her to a dream come true or a horrible
nightmare? Julie has always succeeded in
life by working hard and playing it safe. Her
tendency to keep things familiar may just cost
her the love of her life.
Hallie Schaefer is an author and illustrator who is passionate about educating others on human trafficking and offering hope to those affected by it. Completing her degree in psychology at Grace College and Theological Seminary, she discovered her passion for people and their stories. Hallie resides in Indianapolis with her husband and three children.
To connect with Hallie, check out her social media sites: