Sunday, April 15, 2012

Author Interview and Giveaway: Nali by Esther Henry

Welcome to author Esther Henry! 
A lover of languages and culture, she has made it her life's goal to help people understand one another. She has traveled to many different countries, live in the interior highlands of Papua New Guinea for 10 years, and live in Norway for a year. She is fluent in three languages, and is currently working as a professional Sign Language Interpreter for the deaf. She lives in Monroe, WI with her husband and two Devon Rex cats. 

Tell us a bit about your book, Nali!
It is a gripping tale about an isolated village deep in the heart of New Guinea, and one girl's struggle against tradition. Nali is a book that captures the lives of those immersed in a culture that controlled their everyday existence. While living in the interior highlands of Papua New Guinea for 10 years, I became fully aware of the plight of the young women of that country, and wanted to honor them by writing their story. Nali is a girl who tries to buck the ancient traditions, only to find herself deeply entrenched in them. Full of dreams, she is given to tribal elder in marriage and quickly learns that her girlhood dreams could be shattered overnight. Holding on to the hope for a better life, Nali is an amalgam of women across the globe who struggle against ancient custom and long for positive change.

What made you decide to spend 10 years in Papua New Guinea?
We were living in Tacoma, WA at the time one of our college professors from California called us up and asked if we would be willing to go to Papua New Guinea and start up a satellite school on their behalf. We agreed, left everything but the clothes on our backs and a few suitcases, and made the move. It didn't take us long to fall in love with the people and decide to stay. :)

How did you come up with the characters in the village in Nali? Are any based on villagers you lived with?
None of the characters were based upon any one particular person, although I did borrow a few names. Many of the situations in the book, however, we're based upon actual events witnessed (or personally experienced) during our time there. 

Did you write any other books before Nali?
Yes, I wrote a memoir entitled "Adventure in Paradise: Missionary Memoirs of Papua New Guinea." That particular book is quite sectarian, because I targeted a strongly religious audience when I wrote it. (I also might add that I was several years younger when I wrote it, and it isn't my best work.) It is available on in Kindle and as a paperback edition. 

Which author(s) do you most look up to and why?
I would have to say that Clive Cussler is perhaps one of my favorite authors. His ability to pump out good quality novels in quick order, amazes me. He also writes about strange underwater worlds and interlaces intrigue and global culture "above water." Love it! 

Which books do you feel are required reading for young adults?
Hmmmmm. 'Required,' I'm not sure. As far as modern literature, I would have to recommend literature that has a semblance of real life in its pages; fiction or non-fiction that educates and entertains at the same time.

Will there be a sequel to Nali?
Yes, and it is already in the works. My goal is to have it published by September of this year.

Now for some fun...
What is you favorite movie and why?
I LOVE MOVIES! Several are my favorites...trying to narrow it down to one...okay, you've stumped me. I will give you my top five, and in no particular order: (Can you tell I'm a sucker for a good chick flick? LOL)
-Return to Me
-The Italian Job
-Borrowed Hearts
-The Princess Bride
-Ever After

What is your favorite candy?
Skors candy bars, and malted milk balls.

Who is your favorite singer/band?
Sara Groves and Eva Cassidy are on equal footing with me. :)


In the deepest jungles, in the most remote part of New Guinea, a young girl is just becoming a woman in her small and close-knit village still undisturbed by the outside world. Nali dreams of changing timeless traditions in her village, of love, of her future which is about to be decided for her as the elders decide who she will be given to in marriage. Follow Nali as she begins her journey into life itself to see if all her dreams come true or if they will be shattered into pieces. (Summary from Goodreads)

Check out the book trailer...

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