ASK THE AUTHOR: Angela Hunt
LATEST PROJECT: The Offering: A Novel (May 14).
PUBLISHER: Howard Books.
What is The Offering about?
The Offering is a story about a woman who agrees to become a gestational carrier in order to earn extra money for her family. But problems arise, so she has to make crucial decisions in the course of unfolding events. It’s a story about family.
Where did you get the inspiration for this novel?
My agent actually dropped the idea into my lap. Knowing that I have a keen interest in adoption and other life issues, she told me about a trend for military wives to serve as surrogate mothers.
What kind of character is the protagonist, Amanda?
She’s a young mother, a wife and an often-bewildered member of an extended Cuban family. Since her father died years ago and her mother lives in another city, she’s grateful for her husband’s family’s support.
How does her concept of family change in time?
She begins to truly appreciate family instead of taking them for granted. She has been “adopted” by her husband’s Cuban relatives, but she doesn’t really appreciate them until much later in the book. Finally she comes to understand that love, not blood, is what binds a family together.
Amanda is sometimes influenced by her dreams. Why did you use this device?
Dreams were perfect for this story because women really do have unusual dreams during pregnancy. The experience is common enough that many women dream the same sorts of dreams, so dreams were the perfect device to use in this story.
What research did you conduct for this novel?
Obviously, I had to do a lot of research on surrogacy, in vitro fertilization and Cuba. Fortunately, I’ve written other books that dealt with most of the elements of this story, so it was simply a matter of seeing how the landscape had changed, so to speak.
Did you draw on personal experience to write The Offering?
I am an adoptive mother who waited years for her babies to arrive, so a lot of this story felt very personal to me. The emotions were there, I simply had to tap into them—and keep some tissues handy.
What else would you say to Christian retailers as they promote The Offering?
Surrogate mothers—more accurately referred to these days as “gestational carriers”—are increasingly more common. Unfortunately, many people who investigate surrogacy aren’t fully informed about the process, particularly in the area of what happens in in vitro fertilization [IVF]. I have no problem with IVF per se, but all too often too many eggs are harvested, too many are fertilized and too many are frozen. These are tiny human lives, and we cannot lightly dismiss them. I’m hoping that this story will help people think about all the repercussions involved in these procedures. My book club just finished reading this book, and I was amazed at how the book touched those ladies, particularly those who have had some experience with adoption.