Sunday, September 26, 2010

My Interview with Author Annie Eskeldson

Q.Where are you from?

A. I was born in a small East Texas town called Atlanta. My family relocated to the tiny town of Gray, Texas when I was four years old. Gray is such a small community that it does not even have its own schools or post office for that matter. I commuted a 50 mile round trip each day to attend school in nearby historic Jefferson, Texas.
Jefferson was the riverport to the southwest and today is known of as the bed and breakfast capital of Texas. It is located on Big Cypress Bayou in the Cypress Valley of Northeast Texas. It is the County seat for Marion county. Named for Francis Marion, a Revolutionary War patriot who was known as the "Swamp Fox". Jefferson was named for Thomas Jefferson, and was conceived as a port city by Allen Urquhart and Daniel Alley, who saw its potential as the head of navigation when they prepared a plan for the town site in 1841.
When did you consider yourself a writer?
I have always felt a tug at my heartstring to take pen to paper and write. Even though I have published my first Christian children’s book entitled “Why Did This Happen to Me, Aunt Lou?” I still do not consider myself a writer, I think my own acceptance of that title will come with time. It all seems very surreal. But I am loving every minute of it!
What is your profession and educational background?
I graduated high school with honors from Jefferson Independent School District in 1999. I am a Baylor University graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology. I have 3 years of private Christian high school teaching experience. I have taught grades 7-12 in subjects such as IPC, Anatomy and Physiology honors, earth science, life science and even theatre. I have directed several one-act and full length plays such as The Importance of Being Earnest, Arsenic and Old Lace, The Ugly Duckling, Happily Never After and I Never Saw Another Butterfly.
I am currently a four year old preschool teacher at a local Christian preschool, and a staff writer for poetic monthly magazine.

Q. What is your mission?

A. I am on a one woman mission to spread the message of hope, healing and love offered freely to us by our heavenly father. My first work titled “Why Did This Happen to Me, Aunt Lou?” is especially near and dear to my heart.
I am an incestual molestation survivor. I survived 11 intermittent years of abuse at the hand of a distant family member. “Why Did This Happen to Me, Aunt Lou?” is written as a tool for parents of abused or traumatized children to help their children heal and understand that God is by their side.
This however is not my only message. I am currently working on a coordinating series of books all featuring my signature character Aunt Lou. Aunt Lou, as everyone knew her, was a caring, Godly woman who devoted her life to service and the Lord. Louise passed away in September of 2009, she suffered from Alzheimer’s disease.
The entire series of books will be titled Aunt Lou’s Kitchen and feature titles such as “Tell Me About Easter, Aunt Lou”, “Why Do Our Loved Ones Die, Aunt Lou”, and “Tell Me About Christmas, Aunt Lou”. I aim to help parents integrate God and scriptures into the everyday explanations they give their children.

Q. What inspires you to write?

A. My life experiences and my faith inspire me to write. As soon as I was born, God never left my side. He guided me through economic hardships, sexual abuse by a distant family member, an attempted kidnapping turned carjacking, and years of spiritual warfare.

While I choose to keep the details of my childhood sexual abuse private, I do very openly share my experience with the attempted kidnapping turned carjacking back in 2001.

It was October of the same year of the 9-11 terrorist attacks. I was still dealing emotionally with seeing the images of the attacks, and I was not aware of my PTSD at this time so I didn’t limit my exposure to the trauma.
I was walking to my car through an apartment complex parking lot, headed to school I remember I was going to wear navy blue addidas shorts that day, but I melted the athletic material with the clothes iron (should been a sign). So I changed. I remember that outfit in detail as well--Tommy Hilfiger flare jeans, a grey Baylor tee with a red and blue University logo and tennis shoes. Something told me to ride with my husband that morning, but I ignored the instinct.
As soon as I was outside, I saw him. He was far enough away that I felt safe, but close enough that I wasted no time getting to my car.
I remotely unlocked my driver side door, sat down, put my drink in the cup holder, threw my backpack across to the passenger side, and tried to close the door.
The weirdest sensation...my door wouldn't close. There was resistance. I turned and there he was. A black male about 200lbs and a bit over six foot. He had something sharp in his hand--I assumed it was a pocket knife. He threw open my door, put the object to my neck and said, "Get over". He wanted me to scoot to the passenger side and let him drive away with me.
My first instinct was to obey this large, angry man wielding a sharp object dangerously close to my throat, but then...RAGE!
I WAS NOT going to be victimized AGAIN! This attack took place no less than nine years after my sexual abuse stopped--that meant NOTHING! It was like it had happened yesterday, and I was TICKED!
I put my left hand on the horn of my car--it was early morning, everyone was home asleep and would come out ticked at the noise. I knew help wasn't far away. I leaned through the opening of the door and him and yelled with all my strength for JASON! He started jabbing and slashing at me with what turned out to be a broken glass bottle in a paper bag. I knew he would probably cut me, but not bad enough to kill me.
I looked up the stairs of the complex and there was Jason--tee-shirt, boxers and a very angry look.
I can only imagine what the attack looked like from his vantage point, but from mine I saw hope.
Jason has always brought light, truth and security to my life. The image of him-- and God's protection, gave me the strength and courage to somehow miraculously fight through my attacker and exit the same door he was blocking.
I distinctly remember having one hand gripped tightly to his shirt once. I realized I was now outside the car and he was inside all my anger and pent-up rage overwhelmed me for an instant and I wanted nothing more than to drag him out of the car, take a few shots at him and then let Jason finish him off. But yet again, God intervened and I let him go.
I watched him slam my car door, fumble for the keys and take off. Jason got to the car door about the time he closed and locked it. He beat on the window screaming words that I dare not repeat.
It was at this point that I realized blood was coming from somewhere. I didn’t know where or how bad. I just ran to a wall collapsed to my knees and screamed, "I AM BLEEDING".
Jason instantly left the car to drive away, and came to my rescue.
To this day I am certain that I had an angel in the car with me that day. All that shuffling and fighting and flailing, and I walked away with only a scratch on 3 fingertips, a slash through my shirt and my bra (but not to the skin).

PRAISE GOD FOR HIS PROTECTION!

Q. If someone wants to purchase your book, where would they find it?
A. My books are currently available thought my personal website at

http://auntloubooks.weebly.com

Direct from my publisher
$24.95 hardcover link to purchase: http://www.publishamerica.net/product94578.html
$9.95 Paperback link to purchase: http://www.publishamerica.net/product95017.html
My books are also listed at
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Why-Did-This-Happen-Aunt/dp/145123970X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1281538432&sr=8-1

Books a Million: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Did-This-Happen-Aunt-Lou/Rachel-Stolle/9781451239706

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