By Rebecca Talley
(I'm attending the LDStorymakers Conference and just sat across the table from Joyce when it suddenly hit me that I hadn't posted my blog for today. Good thing I sat by Joyce!)
Although I missed the ANWA conference a few weeks ago, I'm sure it was wonderful. I thought it would be fun to interview one of the presenters, Tristi Pinkston, about her new book, Season of Sacrifice. Tristi is a very talented writer and all around great person. I'm excited to read her book.
Can you tell us a bit about your new book, Season of Sacrifice?
Season of Sacrifice is the true story of the Hole in the Rock pioneers
who colonized the southeast corner of the state of Utah. My
great-great-grandfather, Benjamin Perkins, engineered the passage of the
wagons down the cliff face, forming the Utah landmark. I have his journal
and life history, and was able to draw from those to create a moving, yet
historically accurate, depiction of the event and the things that happened
You decided to self-publish. Can you tell us why?
Benjamin was commanded in his patriarchal blessing to practice polygamy.
When he and the other Saints reached the Bluff area, it was made known to
him that he should take his wife's sister as his second wife. This caused
a huge amount of tension in the family, and this portion of the book
contains some of my best writing ever. Regardless of that, the LDS
publishers aren't able to publish books that contain polygamy at this
time. It's a topic they just can't touch, even though it's historically
accurate. After submitting this book to several publishers and having
them say the same thing, essentially "We like it, but we can't take it" I
decided to go ahead and self-publish the book so it would be available to
my family members and all those who are interested in the story.
Do you have advice for anyone considering self-publishing?
Go about it very wisely. Self-publishing can give an author a bad
reputation because many self-published books have not been edited well and
don't have very good covers. When a reader has only experienced this type
of self-published book and they hear of another book that has been
self-published, they aren't inclined to think very highly of it. This is
a shame because there are many very well-done self-published books on the
market, but those that aren't so well-done have given them a bad name.
If you're going to self-publish, make sure you either know what you're
doing or you work with someone who does. Edit. Proofread. Edit again.
Make sure that every element of your book is as good as you can possibly
make it. Be professional and package the book professionally.
What was the inspiration for your book?
I've had access to my family history books for years, but one day in about
2003, I sat down to read them again and was struck by the enormity of what
these pioneers did. I was especially touched by the trials Sarah,
Benjamin's second wife and my great-great-grandmother, endured. I knew it
was a story that had to be told.
What's the central message of Season of Sacrifice?
The messages that exist aren't overt, but they are evident in the lives
of the characters. We see the importance of doing what you know is right.
We see devotion to the Lord, faith that He will guide us through, no
matter what the obstacle and how the odds are stacked against us. We see
examples of utter obedience, even when that obedience causes you pain.
Most of all, we see courage.
Why did you feel so compelled to write this story?
I am a firm believer in the spirit of Elijah, how the hearts of the
children will be turned to their fathers. My heart has been turned. I
want everyone to know how truly incredible these pioneers were, how they
accomplished something that modern engineers have said they couldn't
accomplish even with all today's technology, and how they did it all with
the Lord's help.
Where can we purchase a copy?
Season of Sacrifice is available at www.tristipinkston.com.
Thank you so much, Tristi. I hope you enjoyed getting to know Tristi better.