Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Shelly's Therapy Hour: Maria Hoagland

Today on the couch I have Maria Hoagland, author of Nourish and Strengthen. Welcome Maria.

Hello, Shelly. Or can I call you Dr. Brown?

You are most welcome to call me Dr. Brown, unless the State Medical Board shows up, then you can call me 'Beautiful.' 

Maria, your book, Nourish and Strengthen, is about a busy body who can’t seem to do everything and then gets smacked with diabetes to top it all off. Does that sound about right?

Actually, she’s just more of a busy lady than a busy body. Someone overwhelmed with everything going on in her life, just like many of us are—a new calling, problems with her friends, worries about her family. Then she gets dumped with a chronic illness.

Diabetes involves needles does it not?

Yep…bright, shiny, pointy ones.

Aren’t you a diabetic yourself?

I am. This feels like an AA meeting…Hi, I’m Maria, and I’m a diabetic…

Do you have needles on you right now?

On me and in me. Well, kinda. I keep a few spares in my purse, and I have an insulin pump connected to me at all times.

Is that legal?

Shh—[Looks around to make sure no one else is listening.] I don’t like to admit that I have a drug problem. Face it, I’m addicted. I’ve got to shoot up every day—with insulin, that is.

Be sure to keep them hidden, OK? Because I kind of scream when I see needles.

Sighs. Okay, I’ll try to play nice.

Nourish and Strengthen sounds like something that an LDS kid wants his food to do. Did you write this for an LDS market?

Yeah, now my twelve-year-old son giggles when someone says “nourish and strengthen” in a prayer. The book is definitely written for an LDS market, but I think women of any faith will relate to the issues of raising a family with young children, responsibilities at church and school, and relationships with friends.

So what does the title mean?

I think it can mean several things, but one of the most obvious is how Chloe changes through the arc of the book. Because of her illness, Chloe Taylor is almost obsessed with taking care of her body, but through the course of the book, she learns that she needs to nourish and strengthen both body and spirit equally to deal with the ups and downs of life.

Do you think that I could cure you today of your diabetes?

Don’t I wish!

What about your LDS-ness?

You’d probably have better luck curing my diabetes. You might even say I am stuck on being LDS and my faith is as important to sustaining my life as my insulin pump is.

Alright, how much would it take to get you to stop writing? I’ll give you half of whatever you pay me to treat you. That’s a hefty sum, you should consider my offer.

How about I double your fee and we schedule another session when I release my next book? You can try to cure me of my writing issues then.

So then why exactly are you here?

Well, Doc, you see, I have a problem.  I just published my first novel. I just don’t think I can sleep or quit worrying until I get the word out! It just might eat me up inside if I don’t! 

Then let me do some shouting for you.
There, are you cured? 

Ummmm.... yep. I feel so much better now.

Sometimes, I amaze even myself.

Thank Maria for not pulling out your needles during the session :)

You were a great sport to all my shinanigans!
Follow the fun Maria 

Nourish & Strengthen
Purchase link for eBook versions: HERE 
Paperback: HERE
Amazon: HERE

P.S. I just read a good review of the book HERE if you're interested in learning a little more.


  1. Shelly, you are a talented interviewer :)
    The book sounds great - thanks for the recommendation!

  2. LOL! Another fabulous therapy session. So glad you cured her. Book sounds fun. On my way to check it out.

  3. I sat with Maria and her son one day at the LDStorymakers. She is so nice. How exciting that she has a book out :)

  4. LOL! Love these therapy sessions! Keep em' coming! :D

  5. Love the session! Good luck with the book, Maria.

  6. Thank you so much, Shelly! It was great fun! I loved the questions :)


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