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Priscille Sibley grew up loving the rocky coast of Maine, her family, and babies. Now a neonatal intensive care nurse, she has the privilege of caring for infants so small that they fit in her hand. She lives with her husband, three tall teenage sons, and their Wheaten terrier. The Promise of Stardust, her first novel, is an Indie Next Pick for February and Target’s February Book Club Pick.
The Promise of Stardust sounds absolutely riveting: When a tragic accident leaves Elle brain-dead, her husband Matt is devastated. Though he cannot bear losing her, he knows his wife, a thoughtful and adventurous scientist, feared only one thing—a slow death. Just before Matt agrees to remove Elle from life support, the doctors discover that she is pregnant. Now what was once a clear-cut decision becomes an impossible choice. Matt knows how much this child would have meant to Elle.
But Linney, Matt’s mother, believes her son is blind with denial. She loves Elle, too, and insists that Elle would never want to be kept alive by artificial means, no matter what the situation.
Divided by the love they share, Matt and Linney fight for what each believes is right, in a disagreement that escalates into a controversial legal battle, ultimately going far beyond one family and one single life.
The Debs are thrilled to welcome Priscille, who will be taking our Deb Interview today.
Tell us a secret about the main character in your novel — something that’s not even in your book.
It is difficult to divulge secrets. How about this? I never described my protagonist’s appearance. The only thing I said was Matt was six-two and in the epilogue I spilled that his eyes were dark. Although he often describes his wife, Elle, how he sees himself is irrelevant. The story opens with a call from the ER. Elle has had an accident that resulted in a devastating brain injury. Just as he agrees to take her off life support, he learns she’s eight weeks pregnant. So he as he remembers their years together (they’ve known each other their entire lives), he describes her from the time she was eight years old with white blond hair until the night before her tragic accident when she is backlit by the sun reflecting off the river – to when she lays dying. What she looks like matters to him. In my imagination, what Matt looks like depended on the day I was writing. I admit most of the time I pictured him with dark hair; but sometimes he was a redhead or a dark blond. He is a runner so he has an athletic build. He’s simply too concerned with his circumstances to think about what he looks like.
Talk about one book that made an impact on you.
I never had any inclinations to run off to join the circus, not even after reading Water for Elephants. If that was all the story was about, I would have said, “It’s a great book. But for me, the hook was the old Jacob, sitting in a nursing home years after his early adventures. There he mused about how his family thought they were treating him well by visiting but not troubling him with their problems. I had one of those aha moments Oprah likes to talk about. Asking the elderly for their input into the currents of our everyday lives shows them respect. Their wisdom enriches us. And it keeps them connected to the present. Sara Gruen’s book was brilliant. She entertained us. But more importantly for me, her insights changed how I interacted with my ailing mother-in-law.
Jean Valjean. I read Les Miserables before it was a Broadway play and found Jean Valjean’s story of redemption very compelling. I think he was always a good man, but he falls, and he rises, and he’s tormented by his internal demons over and over. It is never easy. The play is wonderful, the music is addictive, but the book is… amazing.
Where do you love to be?
I’m a Mainer, born and raised, currently living in exile. New Jersey has great things about it, but my heart belongs in Maine. I love to watch the surf crashing on the rocks. I’ve driven 8 hours to go “home” and sit by the water of my favorite lighthouse for an hour or two.
What time of day do you love best?
Dusk. I love the light at the end of the day, the pinks that color the tips of those crashing waves and the quiet that settles on the trees as the light fades.
Thank you for joining us, Priscille!
You can learn more about Priscille’s life and work on her website, by liking her on facebook, following her on twitter or doing whatever it is you people do on Pinterest. Buy The Promise of Stardust here or at your local indie.
And don’t forget to leave a comment below to get your chance to win a free copy courtesy of the author!