As a wife and mother, I’ve had to learn my way in understanding the potential influence I can have on my spouse and children. It’s my job, and every day is a new day for discovering and encouraging those around me.
In writing fiction, I’ve often allowed my characters to dictate their consequences based on their actions. I consider myself a Christian author and my faith has played a huge role in my writing. I write for the euphoric desire and need to transfer spiraling thoughts into words that move people emotionally, physically, and spiritually. I love taking everyday life situations and circumstances that people encounter, struggle and conquer, and turn it into creative storylines because all too often, one’s faith in the Lord is challenged by worldly desires.
I published my first novel, a Christian romance titled Love’s Perfect Surrender, in May of 2014. It’s a story about a troubled married couple who lose the “us” part of their relationship after a failed miscarriage and stillbirth, until the miraculous birth of their daughter, born with a congenital limb deficiency. This child graces their lives, shaking their core beliefs in hopes of making peace and letting love in. It’s a story that took me nine years to come to fruition. I was happy and thought I found my genre and audience to write for. It is why I never expected God to nudge me into writing a fairy tale.
It was by chance how it all came about. It was the fall of 2012. As an additional writing exercise, I had entered a contest for an anthology to write a romantic fantasy story about the trials and tribulations people endure in making their dreams come true. I wrote the tale in two days. I titled it Petrella, the Gillian Princess. You see, I have two young daughters who love fairy tales and stories about princesses. This one was about a courageous young princess who escapes a world consumed by power, to follow her heart in search of true love. Unfortunately, my story wasn’t accepted, and so I placed the manuscript in a drawer.
In the fall of 2014, a few months later after the release of Love’s Perfect Surrender, I was editing a second novel in hopes for a 2015 publication. The writing business is brutal, as soon as one book is published—boom, another one has to come out, or you are forgotten.
I found the manuscript and started reading it to myself, and then to my daughters. They loved it and encouraged me to publish it. So, I hired an editor, and he edited it in the summer of 2015. I hired an illustrator in the summer of 2016, and after seventeen revisions and edits—this after two rounds of professional editing, I published the story in November of 2016.
I wanted the story to resonate with girls. This book interweaves themes similar to The Little Mermaid, Cinderella, Tangled, Sleeping Beauty, and Noah’s Ark: fairy tales that are familiar but with an added twist.
I strived to include the importance of:
- Teaching readers about standing firm in their faith,
- Not be tempted by greed,
- Understanding the consequences of forbidden love,
- How disobeying parents is wrong,
- Believing God’s desire for each us—his plans for us to prosper because we are worth it.
I hope I captured it, and that God is pleased with my work. Petrella is a princess that strives to stay true and “still be that girl” for God, similar to the life of Mary, the mother of Jesus.
Petrella, the Gillian Princess can be also be used as a discussion piece on the importance of making solid, moral decisions, and understanding the consequences that result from those decisions, as well as an effective teaching tool to help explain all the elements that go into making a story . . . a story.
It is meant to be enjoyed by all readers young at heart, but especially aimed at those children who read middle-grade fiction: 8 – 13 years of age. It’s a story of hope, bravery, and triumph.
I am currently doing a book giveaway through Goodreads that runs from May 16th – June 13th, 2017. I have an audiobook that I recently published as well. The narrator, Jo Nelson, has taken the story and truly brought it alive with her British accent, one where the reader can easily be transposed to a different time period.
Like Petrella, I plan to stay true to God’s plans for me and write stories that inspire and move people to continue to do the work that HE desires for each one of us.
“Still that Girl” by Christian singer/songwriter Britt Nicole: this is Petrella’s story anthem.
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Copyright 2017 Chiara Talluto
About the author: Chiara Talluto is an avid reader, philanthropist, conservative, and energetic outdoors-type who dreams of owning a Harley and one day riding across the country feeling the wind whip across her face and tangling all of her brown hair. But until then, she is content on being a stay-at-home mom raising her two active young daughters and practicing wife to her wonderful and supportive husband. When she’s not writing, you can find her reading, writing in her journal, and playing mommy to her kids. She lives with her family in the western suburbs of Chicago, IL. Her motto: Live, laugh, and cry. Visit her website at ChiaraTalluto.com.