Tuesday, December 07, 2010

The Amazing Vivian Zabel

Hello everyone,

Please welcome my guest today, the award-winning author Vivian Zabel. She is the author of Stolen, an emotionally charged, fictionalized account about the kidnapping of her two grandchildren.

"Based on a true story, Zabel conveys much of the agony and utter despair that is evoked from having a father steal his children from their mother." Karen Cioffi

When troubles and tragedies steal the joy and happiness from life,
a person has two choices: to rebuild and find a way to continue living or to give up.
Torri faces adversity after adversity and finds a way to reconstruct her life.
However, when the most drastic tragedy hits,
she doesn't know if she can continue or not.

The inspiration for Stolen came from the fear, frustration, and pain caused by two of my grandchildren being taken by their father. For over 12 years, we didn’t know where they were, if they were all right, even if they lived or not. Very scary.
I couldn’t make the book nonfiction because some details would open me up for lawsuits, breaches between people dear to me, or hurt someone else. The events and details I did use were ones that allowed the despair and heartache to show as well as the helplessness, without causing more problems. Some details were true: such as the scribbles on the wall, dreaming one or both the children were hurt, running to check beds which were still empty, etc. I kept journals where I wrote messages to the kids for about the first six or seven years. I can’t find them now, and I do wish I could. Also we had stacks of Christmas presents put back for them for the first five years. We finally began to give those presents to Faris’ and Yameen’s nephew and nieces. However, I still have the huge stuffed lion the two loved to use for a pillow.

In February 2007, I opened an email and read, “I think you’re my grandmother.” Finally, we knew the two lived.
Thank you so much for sharing your story with my blog, Vivian. Thank you too, for the opportunity to be entered into your contest:
3 Contests For Bloggers:
1. The host with the most comments from different visitors will receive a hard copy ARC.
2. Send Vivian an email with a possible ending to the novel and two winners will receive an ARC.
3. Anyone not hosting a blog stop but who promotes the novel will have a chance to win an ARC. (ARC means Advance Reader Copy). Just email Vivian with the url to the promotion.Email Vivian at vivian@viviangilbertzabel.com Note: Winners of hard copy ARCs must have a U.S. address. Anyone outside the U.S. who wins will receive a PDF ARC.
I wish you all the very best, Vivian!



Vivian Zabel said...

Thank you, Jenny, for hosting Stolen and me today. I hope after I do some promoting you'll have many visitors.

Christy said...

Wow! What an amazing story. I totally get why the book needs to be fiction instead of a documentation of the actual events. I can't imagine how difficult those years were for you and your family.

Vivian Zabel said...

Hi, Christy. Yes, there were some powerful reasons for writing the book and for making it fiction.

Thank you for stopping by.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Janny, thanks for bringing Viv's tour to your blog. As I read this, I'm thinking that the world's greatest truths have been told with fiction. Where would truth be without Chekhov, without "War and Peace." Oh, don't get me started! (-:

Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Blogging writers resources at Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites pick www.sharingwithwriters.blogspot.com

Vivian Zabel said...

Heheheh, I never thought something I wrote would trigger the name Chekhov.

J.R. Turner said...

Hey everyone!! So cool to see everyone here :) Thanks bunches for being part of this special day :)


Cheryl said...

I'm kind of hoping that the drawing is on December 15th, not August, or I'm really late to the game. LOL!

Great learning more about your book, Vivian. You have a nice blog, J.R. Keep up the great work.


J.R. Turner said...

Oy! Thanks for catching that Cheryl! I copied the wrong info--my bad ;) All fixed now.

Great to have you stop by today :)


Vivian Zabel said...

Yes,the drawing is Dec. 15. I don't want to wait until August.

Karen Cioffi said...

Still learning more. It's such a shame you couldn't find those notes you wrote over the years.

J.R. Turner said...

Vivian, had to make dinner for the kids but I wanted to pop back on for a bit and say hi again :)

This has been a great time. Thank you so much for being my guest!


Rena said...

I'm happy you were able to get this story written, Vivian. I know it was a long time in the making for you to get it out. I too, have had issues where family members simply disappeared from my life. It's tough.

Vivian Zabel said...

No, problem, Jenny. I popped out to take a nap. I find I have to do that from time to time. RA and Lupus as nasty hitchhikers.

I'm glad you were able to stop by, Rena.

Karen, I hope maybe some day the notes to the kids will float to the top of some box or pile.

Thank you everyone for commenting. Thanks, Jenny, for hosting me.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

That must have been the most wonderful email you ever read, Vivian. What an awesome feeling.

Vivian Zabel said...

Yes, Beverly, that email was one I was almost afraid to believe. I grabbed the phone, called my daughter, and replied to the email. We were all excited and afraid that someone was playing with us. That the email was from my grandson was an answer to prayer.

Lorrie said...

I can't imagine the pain, the heartache and the suffering all went through for so many years. What a tragic way to live, with the wonder, the fear, the not knowing.
Yes, it is a story that should be shared.
And thank you for sharing with us.

Vivian Zabel said...

Thanks for visiting us, Lorri.

The experience is one I wouldn't wish on anyone, that's for sure.

Anonymous said...

Vivian, I hope one day you are able to find those journals, so that you can share them with your grandchildren, if you so choose to. I'm so glad that the grandchildren are back home with the family. Everything I learn about STOLEN just makes me want to read it that much more.

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