Title: Finding What Is
Author: Tabitha Vohn
Date of Publication: September 29, 2013
Genre: contemporary NA
Willie has always lived an unconventional life. Surrounded by the sensual, ethereal images of her artist-mother, she fantasizes about the half-wolf, half-human, but all-gorgeous face that stares out at her from her mother’s wall, and drinks in her mother’s stories of past lovers and adventures. She shares her home with a man who calls himself “uncle” (who stalks her through the house, naked). Her closest friends are a band of misfits who’ve forged their own way in life-including Xavier, who has carved his name in her soul- and her heart is torn between him and a college professor, a fellow artist who wants more than a student-teacher relationship.Willie stands on the brink of womanhood poised to follow in her mother’s footsteps, with a gleaming future as an artist looming before her, and a maturity beyond her years that has enabled her to be the protector and caretaker of others, a mender of wounds. But as a devastating illness rips her mother from her life, Willie is left bereft of a home and of a sense of self. Guided only by her instincts, Willie wanders from her Professor’s arms to the home that Xavier shares with his live-in girlfriend Nicole (who insists that they can “share”). Her path becomes a search for peace, for family, for a love that’s real, and for her place in this world.Finding What Is chronicles the journey that we all must take-to find ourselves, to reconcile our past, and to get back to that place we once called home.
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I asked Tabitha to tell me how the cover design went (because it certainly struck me) and here's what she has to say about it!
The model on my cover is actually a former student of mine. We kept in touch via Facebook after she graduated, and she’s been doing freelance modeling since then. Bryn was a special student. I remember she once sent me a private message about a late assignment, and instead of the ubiquitous explanation that most teachers are used to hearing - computer froze, lost power, etc. Bryn chose instead to write me this incredible poem about all of the meaningful moments that had more valuably consumed her time. Her response was yes, I didn't do the assignment, and it was damn worth it! I really admired her candor and the beautiful way that she delivered it to me. She is unique and proud to be, and I identify with that.
As I was writing the novel, I knew that I wanted my main character Willie to be a strong, independent young woman. She has to pick up her life in the midst of watching the most crucial pieces of it slip through her fingers like sand, through no fault of her own, and I needed her to be courageous in order to survive. Also, Willie is an artist who’s raised by an artist, so she’s extremely comfortable with her own sexuality and self-expression. Ironically, these traits also remind me a lot of Bryn.
I was searching istockphoto for head shots of models with face paint, because body painting is one of the arts that play a prevalent role in the book. Around the same time, Bryn posted the photo that is now the book cover on Facebook, and I decided that she had to be the face of Willie. Thankfully, she and her photographer were gracious enough to allow me to use the photograph.
About Tabitha Vohn
Tabitha is a pen name. Her creator is a certified bookworm, thanks to the countless fairy tales, Bible stories, and nursery rhymes she was read as a child, and the Gothic, Romantic, and Contemporary novels she enjoys today. She has earned a B.A. in English and a M.A. in Teaching, and currently teaches high school English.
On Writing, Tabitha says, “I strive to write the type of stories that I enjoy reading. Ones that question those blurred lines between love and lust, between good and evil. Ones that make us question human nature while simultaneously seeing the beauty in it as well.”
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