Saturday, March 2, 2013

Interview: Fisher Amelie and Ian and Sophie from Vain

Three Chicks and Their Books wants to thank Fisher Amelie, Ian and Sophie for doing this interview.

Three Chicks:  Fisher, You wrote such an amazing work and you were able to write a brilliant love story that included some disgusting facts and situations that are currently happening in Uganda. What made you want to write about this particular topic?

Fisher: Three years ago, my hubs and I were sitting on the couch like the lazy gits we are, flipping channels and we stumbled across this interview with Sam Childers, the Machine Gun Preacher. Not many know who he is but the impossibly yummy Gerard Butler portrayed him in the film of the same name. The film was…okay. LOL! Anyway, the interview was nothing short of devastating. It exposed Joseph Kony and the Lord's Resistance Army, their deeds and goals and we both walked away from it a little damaged. Immediately after, we decided to give a little money to the organizations opposed to Kony and it appeased our consciences for a little while but the images of these broken and beaten children would stay in my mind. I knew not a lot of America was aware of who Kony was, not even the infamous "KONY 2012" video really put into words or images of just how terrible Kony is. So, last year we began sponsoring a little boy and his family in a dangerous part of Uganda. His story would forever brand itself onto my heart and soul. He is the reason I will forever fight for Kony's capture. He is the reason I focus on Uganda. He is the reason I wrote this book.

Three Chicks:  So how have things been going for you all of you?

Fisher: I'm supaaaaa'! *Turns to Ian. Tries not to slobber too badly. Slowly turns head away from Ian. Inches hand near Ian's thigh. Grazes it. Sophie non-chalantly slaps it out of the way. Fisher begins to whistle.*

Ian: *coughs* Things have been going well. Masego keeps us busy.

Sophie: Great! And yes, busy is good. Also! *claps* Mandisa lost her first tooth yesterday! She was so cute.

Ian: She really was. And Sophie's dad's visiting too. In fact, he stuck a twenty under her pillow and I had to explain to Mandi what it meant.

Fisher: You had to explain to her what cash was?

Ian: *eyes Fisher strangely* No, I had to tell her why he put the cash under her pillow. She didn't know what the Tooth Fairy was. None of the kids did.

Sophie: We've decided to carry on the tradition but instead of cash, we'll do little toys.

Fisher: Nice.

Three Chicks:  Ian and Sophie- We are so very happy to see you two together. Things were iffy there for a bit, right?

Ian: You live where we live and things can get kind of scary, unsure. It's fickle. So when Sophie boarded that plane with Pembrook, I thought that was it. I thought that everything I loved would always leave me, that I needed to get used to that. It was a way of life. I thought I couldn't have gotten any lower so I let her go but when that plane left, a thick, sharp pain inundated my chest. My legs felt weak. My heart had left on that plane and I knew almost instantly that my threat to her was as solid as Lake Nyaguo and that I was going to fight for what I wanted. I'd never wanted to fight for anything more than I did for Sophie. So I did.

Three Chicks:  Ian, how are your brother and Imogen doing?

Ian: He's doing so well! Thank you for asking. They just found out they're having a…ow! Soph, why'd you elbow me?

Sophie: Maybe Simon might not want the sex of his baby being revealed just yet?

Ian: Ahh, I see. Okay, sorry, girls. No such luck. I-

Fisher: It's a boy!!

Ian: *Looks at Fisher with wide eyes* Fisher! Why???

Fisher: *Shrugs shoulders* Meh, I write the stories. I'm in charge, baby...Yeah, see. Me. I'm the "decider"! *stands* I'm the master! The puppeteer! Dance for me puppets!!!

Ian and Sophie: *Mouths agape*

Fisher: *sits back down. Twiddles thumbs*

Three Chicks:  Sophie, coming from an extremely privileged upbringing, at what point did your stay at Masego change you and when did you realize it?

Sophie: I was, sort of, already changing before I left for Masego. I just hadn't recognized it yet. In fact, it was a foreign, odd feeling and I fought it furiously. I fought it until I saw the faces of Masego. That was the moment I knew I would never be the same again.

Three Chicks:  Another one for you Sophie: Honestly, were you completely disgusted with the living conditions at Masego and the deformities of some of the children?

Sophie: With the living conditions, no. They were doing the best they could. The children were fed, bathed, and schooled daily. They were really doing very well considering but, truthfully, I was taken aback by the deformities. My heart bled for them. It took some time to get used to them. I kept treating them as if they were broken but after awhile, suddenly the unwhole children became whole through their laughter and personalities. I no longer saw the missing arms and legs. I saw them for what they were. Children.

Three Chicks:  Ian, when you first met Sophie, you didn’t care for her. Was this because you come from similar background and that you had a lot in common or that you immediately found her attractive which pissed you off?

Ian: *scratches back of head sheepishly* I'd be lying if it wasn't a little of both. Honestly, seeing Soph for the first time was like getting hit with by a mack truck. No one and I mean no one could look over how absolutely stunning she is but her beauty was tainted by what I knew of her. I'm ashamed to say, I didn't think her worth my time. I couldn't have been more wrong.

Three Chicks:  Sophie- This is going to be a difficult question, and difficult for all of you to hear, and we mean no disrespect but how has Karina’s last words affected you and have they changed you?

Sophie: *sighs* Karina's last words were the most impactful of my life. They were fearless words, they were powerful but most of all, they led me to the life I live now. They have influenced me into the most beautiful life one could possibly imagine. Karina was love and so were her words.

Three Chicks:  Fisher, How is Charles doing? Will there be a novella on his and Karina’s story?

Fisher: Charles is not the same Charles and I don't believe he'll ever be again but he is still a man worth knowing. He is kind, strong, and faithful to Karina's memory. He is one of the greatest men I know…A novella, you ask? That's a great idea. *Puts that idea away for later*

Three Chicks:  Sophie, you were able to break this rich kid cycle, do you think it is possible for others? Especially for Spence? He seemed to be an okay guy, your only true friend that cared for you, aside from Pembrook.

Sophie: I most definitely think it's possible for others but the only way to do that is to realize that life is more than what surrounds us. Life is not happy with quantity. Life is happy with quality. Embrace that philosophy and it's suddenly easy not to own the latest trend.

Three Chicks:  This is for both of you. How are things going at Masego? After the death of Karina has it changed?

Sophie: Karina was our life force and it took us all a very long time to come to terms with her leaving. We were forced to move on when we didn't really want to. We were all so angry, so sad, but with time, the anger and sadness turned to happy memories of Karina. The children began to laugh again, Charles would emerge from his cabin earlier and earlier to start his day's work and eventually we could say her name without bursting into tears. Now, when I say Karina's name, I can smile and remember her as she was meant to be remembered.

Ian: And Masego is looking fantastic. We're done building and we've hired fifteen more staff members but the best change of all is we can accommodate so many more children. Life has gotten more hectic but so much happier.

Three Chicks:  Fisher- The current situation in Uganda- how are you planning to bring more attention to it in the States? These people are in desperate need of the everyday things we take advantage of. Are you receiving any support?

Fisher: I wrote VAIN for the sole purpose of shining light on just how awful Kony is, that Uganda is just one site of Africa's longest war and that he contributes to the already staggering number of children orphaned in Uganda, which is a over a staggering two million. I wanted to be subtle about it, though. I wanted to present the facts and let people form their own opinions and I wanted to do it in such a way that readers would still enjoy the story. Action is as simple as Dingane so deftly explains it that night after the village slaughter. And that action is left up to the reader. I do try to nudge my readers a little, though. At the end of the book, there is a link to a lovely charity run by a very young, very generous and adventurous woman named Renee called Serving His Children. I thought about putting in a link to a more well known charity called Amazima but since Serving His Children is less known, I decided to encourage readers to consider them. Although, I also encourage reading about Amazima's founder Katie Davis. My Lord does that girl kick ass.

Three Chicks:  Fisher- we want to thank you all so much for introducing us to such wonderful people and bringing to light a serious issue that many turn a blind eye to. THANK YOU!

Fisher: I want to thank you all so very much for having me. I'm so honored to be featured!

Ian: Totsiens!

Sophie: Kwaheri! Nimefurahi kukutana na wewe!

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