Resurrection in MayResurrection in May
Lisa Samson
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Just out of college, May followed her heart on a mission trip to Rwanda---but after witnessing genocide, she returned home, broken. Now living in near-seclusion on a small Kentucky farm, she learns that an old friend is on death row, refusing to appeal his sentence. Can she find the strength to reach out once again? 320 pages, softcover from Nelson.

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lisa samson align=The Christy-award winning author of 20+ books including the Women of Faith Novel of the Year Quaker Summer, a double 2008 Christy award nominee, Lisa Samson has been hailed by Publishers Weekly as "a talented novelist who isn't afraid to take risks." She lives in Kentucky with her husband and three kids.

Favorite Verse: 1 John 1:6 - From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. (Because it sums up the christian life; we walk with Christ so we can walk with each other.)

 Our Interview with Lisa Samson

Congratulations on you 2010 Christy nomination for the Passion of Mary Margaret!

Thank you so much. It’s always a pleasure to get a nod of approval from the readers who judge the Christys. I’m honored.

Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m well into middle age now and am starting, finally, to get gray hairs! Recently, I opened a tea café called Cuppa, here in my city. It’s been a real experience being a small business owner, one that, while exhausting (no more sitting in front of a computer all day!) is extremely rewarding. I’m married with three kids, ages 20, 16, and 13. We have chickens in the back of our city yard, and are really into the whole sustainability thing. Will raises gardens for food during the summer. We host people around our dining room table a lot.
What inspired you to write Resurrection in May?

You know what? I can’t remember! I think I was really wrestling with the whole matter of the death penalty, and writing this book helped me figure out what I believe as I put the story down.

Is any part of Resurrection in May factual?

Some of the settings are, for instance, the genocide in Rwanda. But how it played out in the village of my main character was mostly from my imagination, bits and pieces from accounts I read cobbled together in there as well. Truly, I couldn’t do what happened justice. I just tried to make it as honorable a telling as I could within the story I had chosen to tell.

How closely is Resurrection in May based on your own life experiences? 

Pretty much nothing in Resurrection in May resembles anything I’ve ever done, or any way I’ve ever been!

How did you choose the location for the setting?

I wanted to write a book placed in Kentucky this time, where I live now, instead of Maryland, where I’m from and where most of my books are set. I chose Beattyville because it’s a very depressed town yet with enough verve for what I needed.


How long did Resurrection in May take you to complete?

It was grueling! Over a year. Once I turned it in, the rewrites were so massive I needed another five months. (I’m saying this for the benefit of any writer reading this so they won’t feel so bad if they have to face the same thing!) There was a lot in this story I needed to discover as I moved along with the characters. I don’t do much plotting ahead of time so this takes time.

Do you have a favorite character in Resurrection in May? Why?

Claudius Borne. He’s an old bachelor farmer who takes my protagonist, May Seymour, onto his farm to help her heal after she survived the Rwandan genocide during a missions stint. He’s gentle and wise, but so innocent and inexperienced in the ways of the world, you almost have to feel a little sorry for him!

How much research did Resurrection in May take?

More than I usually do. I had to research Rwanda and what happened there in 1994 and I had to research what it’s like on death row and the various ways the death penalty is carried out. Do you know some states still have hanging as an option? (Not that anybody chooses it!) I also corresponded with a death row inmate for several months and he told me what life was like for him. It was really a sobering experience.

What were your favorite books as a child?

I loved The Secret Garden and especially The Little Princess, by Frances Hodgeson Burnett. And all the Little House books I owned were completely dogeared by the time I was in the third grade.

What other new projects do you have on the horizon?
I have three books left in my contract with Thomas Nelson, but I’m on a sabbatical for a while and am not even thinking about what the next one will be. I’m reading a lot, living life, and letting my brain rest a bit before I jump back in. I want to find a story that I’m dying to tell.

What message would you like your readers to take from Resurrection in May?

Don’t assume anything about anybody and let God speak to you when and where He will. He sometimes uses people and circumstances we never would think.


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