Breathing on Her Own by Rebecca Waters

Posted by on Oct 31, 2014 | 9 comments

Breathing on Her Own by Rebecca Waters

Fabulous Fridays Author Interview

My guest today is Rebecca Waters, author of Breathing on Her Own, a Christian fiction novel. I know you will enjoy learning about Rebecca and what went in to the writing of this book. Last week, Rebecca’s husband of 43 years, Tom, went to be with the Lord following a tragic accident. Please uplift she and their children up in prayer during this difficult time.

Leave a comment by 11/6 for a chance to win a Kindle copy of Breathing on Her Own!

Welcome, Rebecca, tell us something about yourself and how you started writing.

First, let me thank you for inviting me to share today. I guess what you might find most interesting is that my writing journey began in second grade when my teacher told me I was a writer. Then in high school, another teacher affirmed I was a writer. So of course I went to college to become….a teacher. I wanted to be an encourager to others as those teachers were for me. But the seed was planted. I taught a lot and wrote a little until 2012 when I retired and became a full time writer.


Tell us something about your book.

Happily. Breathing on Her Own is the story of Molly Tipton whose faith is rattled when her adult daughter, Laney, is involved in a horrific carBOHO front cover accident. That Laney is seriously injured is one thing. That her best friend is dead is another. But the fact that Laney caused the accident while driving under the influence of alcohol is more than Molly can bear.


Why did you choose the particular theme in Breathing on Her Own? What were you trying to say to your readers?

The theme is about forgiveness and restoration. That happens to be the theme of my very all time favorite read….the Bible. Breathing on Her Own is a story about making your faith your own. I hope readers will engage in some serious self-examination after reading the book.


How do you “design” your characters?

I like to read books where characters are flawed. Like me. So I try to design believable characters with their own idiosyncrasies and character flaws. Molly is the “forever mom”—certain that she knows what’s best and trying to control everything. She worries what other people think and though she acts as if she has all the answers, she’s a bit unsure of herself at times.


What character in Breathing on Her Own is most like you? Was that intentional, or did it just come about in the course of the writing?

Oh, no! Molly! And after I revealed her flaws to you! But she’s my age and stage of life. I think I know her fairly well…how she thinks and reacts. I can’t say we are exactly alike. I certainly gave her a few quirks of her own, even though we have a lot in common on the meddling mom front. It wasn’t intentional, it’s what I know.


How do you go about researching and creating a setting, and how important is it to your writing?

 I really believe in researching the setting carefully or using a setting with which you are very familiar. The characters in Breathing on Her Own live in Cincinnati. They travel to Tarpon Springs in Florida for a short vacation. I live in Cincinnati and grew up near Tarpon Springs. I understand the weather, the food, and the activities connected to these locations. I think those elements make the story more believable.


If you could spend the day with a character from your all-time favorite novel, who would it be and what would you do?

 My all-time favorite novel? That’s actually a tough question. I have so many favorites. I’m going to choose to spend a day with Jodi Baxter from the Yada-Yada Prayer Group by Neta Jackson. Jodi and I have so much in common. We were both teachers, wives, and moms. We both have a heart for ministering to women in a diverse church setting. I think we would spend the afternoon at her favorite coffee shop in Chicago and “talk shop.” Get two teachers together and that always happens.


What was the greatest problem/challenge you faced in writing this book?

A few months after I began the initial writing of Breathing on Her Own, my uncle was involved in a terrible auto accident so similar to the one in the book it was chilling. As my uncle’s life balanced precariously between life and death for several months, I learned more than I needed to know about ICU and such, but I couldn’t put pen to paper about it. I had to take a hiatus from writing that year and it took me a month or two of rereading and rethinking to get back into the story once I returned to it.


Since you have a teaching background, which do you think is more important: to entertain or teach/inform?

Inform…or at least get people thinking. I grew up in a home where we didn’t so much as watch television without a set of encyclopedias nearby. A program would come on and someone would ask, “I wonder if that really happened?” Soon we would be looking it up and learning. Now of course, it’s my laptop, but any sort of entertainment brings with it “I wonder…” or “What if…” questions.

A very sweet woman at church asked me why I would choose to write fiction. She thought it a waste of time. “You should write Sunday school curriculum,” she said. I thought for a moment and reminded her that some of the best lessons taught and learned were bits of fiction to illustrate a point and connect with people in a way they could understand. “They’re called parables,” I shared. I certainly don’t mean to sound flippant or uppity, I just think God gives us gifts and talents to entertain in ways that can make people think.


What do you think makes your style of storytelling unique?

I don’t’ think my style is particularly unique, but I have been told by many (both face-to-face and through reviews) that my characters are very relatable and that the dialogue is believable. Perhaps it is not unique, but an area of strength.


Please share the first three pages of your book with us.

Chapter 1

Molly Tipton followed her husband through the wide glass doors of the emergency room to the nurse’s station. A male nurse, on the telephone at a desk at the back of the cubicle, didn’t look up. Molly’s heart pounded. She brought her hand down hard on the bell in front of her.

“We were told our daughter Laney was in an accident and brought here.” Travis’s voice sounded steady, but Molly saw his lower lip twitch. “Laney Tipton.”

“Camden. Alana Camden,” Molly corrected. Laney and Rob had been married for over ten years, but Laney would always be Travis’s little girl. At least to him.

“That’s right. Camden.” Travis rubbed his forehead as he turned to Molly. “How often have I done that?”

The nurse, whose nametag read “Howard,” typed the information into the computer. “That’s Camden with a ‘C’? Here we go.” Howard looked up. “Her husband is with her. If you’ll take a seat, I’ll check on her status.” Nurse Howard motioned to the plastic chairs lining the waiting room walls. He sounded calm. Maybe Laney was okay. Rob was with her. Travis guided her to the seating area as Howard disappeared through a security door leading to the examination rooms.

Molly reached into her purse for her cell phone. “Should I call Lissa?”

“Let’s wait. It’s almost two in the morning. There’s nothing she can do and we don’t even know exactly what happened.” Travis the practical. Travis the analytical. Travis the wise. Molly put her phone away. A moment later the security door opened and Rob emerged, weary and bent. Molly and Travis leaped to their feet to meet him.

“How is she?”

“What happened?”

Rob pulled his mouth tight. “They’re taking her to surgery right now.”

“Surgery? What kind of surgery?”

“They have to stop some internal bleeding.” Rob’s eyes began to tear up. “She doesn’t look good.”

Molly’s heart quickened. She forced herself to breathe. “Where are the kids?”

“At home in bed. My sister came over.”

“What happened, Rob?” Travis put his hand on the younger man’s back.

“You know Old Creek Road? Where the hill comes down and you have to make that sharp left turn? I guess she didn’t make the turn and slid off the road.” It was a dangerous road. Only last fall, a truck carrying milk from the local dairy farms had flipped over at the turn, killing the driver.

“I bet it was icy,” Travis said.

“What was she doing on Old Creek Road?” Molly asked. “That’s clear on the other side of town.”

“I don’t know. Laney called around eleven and said they were leaving River Rats. She was driving Tori back to where she was staying and said I should go on to bed.” Rob drew in a deep breath. “The next thing I knew, the police were pounding on my door.”

Tori! Laney said she was meeting friends after work. Molly had picked up the children after school and kept them for the two hours before Rob came home. But she didn’t know the plans had included Tori Johnson. She hadn’t even known Laney’s college friend was in town.

Tori was like of a female version of Eddie Haskell from Leave it to Beaver.Oh, yes, Mrs. Tipton, I believe that our primary concern our first year of college should be to focus on our studies.

The first time she’d picked up Laney for a long weekend home, Laney hefted a full laundry bag into the back seat, most of which proved to be the large shaggy rug from her room. “What happened to your rug?” she had asked.

“Tori Johnson happened. She threw up all over it.”

“I hope she’s not contagious.”

“She didn’t have the flu, Mom. She was drunk. She just walked into our room and puked all over my rug. She’s gross.”

Over the course of their freshman year, Laney’s attitude toward Tori had changed. Molly attributed it to Andrea, Laney’s roommate. Tori was like the Pied Piper, pulling Andrea and Laney to do her bidding.

“I think she just needed that first year to grow up,” Laney said.

Grow up indeed! It was just like Tori to talk Laney into driving her out to wherever she was staying without consideration for how far out of the way it would be. Or that Laney had a loving husband and two beautiful children waiting for her at home. Or that Laney would have to navigate unfamiliar country roads late at night with snow and ice everywhere. No, Tori hadn’t grown up at all. She was still the same selfish girl she had been in college. This was all Tori’s fault. Tori was the reason Molly’s precious daughter was lying on some cold surgical table having who knows what done to her. A shiver went up Molly’s spine. She hugged her arms around herself just as Howard reentered the room.

“Mr. Camden? You and your family can come with me upstairs. There’s a private waiting room outside the surgical suite.”

Molly and Travis followed Rob and Nurse Howard to the fourth floor. The room was small but more comfortably appointed with two soft brown chairs and a loveseat. A crucifix hung on the wall opposite the door, reminding Molly they were in a Catholic hospital. It also reminded her of what her friend Marianne called the power of prayer. Molly sat down on one of the brown chairs and shoved her face into her hands. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author Bio: Rebecca WatersRebecca Waters left her position as a professor of teacher education in December 2012 to actively pursue her writing career. She shares her writing journey in her weekly blog, A Novel Creation. Rebecca has published several freelance articles including two submissions in the popular Chicken Soup for the Soul books, Standard Publishing’s Lookout Magazine, The Christian Communicator, Church Libraries, and Home Health Aide Digest. Rebecca’s debut novel, Breathing on Her Own, was released on March 24, 2014 by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas.     Book Blurb: Molly Tipton and her husband are looking forward to retirement but Molly’s life suddenly spirals out of control when her oldest daughter is involved in a terrible accident. An icy road and a sharp turn leave one woman dead, another clinging to life. While two families grieve, details emerge that reveal Molly’s daughter was driving under the influence. As she prepares her daughter for the prospect of a vehicular homicide lawsuit, Molly discovers her oldest child is not the only one injured and under attack for past mistakes. If it is true time heals all wounds, what are we to do with our scars? 

Book Title: Breathing on Her Own

10 Digit ISBN: 1-941103-15-9

Publisher: Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas

Genre: Christian Fiction

Release Date: March 24, 2014

Book links:


Barnes & Noble:


How can readers find you on the Internet?


Book Trailer:

Facebook Author Page:


Google+: Rebecca Waters

Goodreads: Rebecca Waters,

Twitter: @WatersAuthor

Blog: A Novel Creation located at


  1. It was heartbreaking to learn of Author Rebecca Waters’ own personal loss recently. Our hearts go out to this talented woman and we honor her work. We hope other members of the literary community will support her at this time.

    • I know Rebecca will appreciate your expressions of sympathy when she can begin to get involved in things again. Thank you for your interest in her book!

  2. Can’t wait to read it.

    • Thank you for your interest in Rebecca’s book. Her husband was killed in an accident last week, and she is not able to respond at this time.

  3. This is a terrific interview! Thank you for sharing your journey with us, Rebecca. I’m intrigued already.

    • Thank you, for your encouraging words to Rebecca. I know she will appreciate it.

  4. I am excited to read this book. I love Rebecca’s analogy of writing fiction as weaving “parables”. This is so true!!

    • Thank you for your interest in Rebecca’s book. Her husband was killed in a tragic accident last week. She won’t be responding personally for a while.

  5. Thank you, NormaGail and readers. This has been the worst week of my life. The last few days I even wondered if i would ever write again, but now I see God’s hand in preparing me for the days ahead. My husband was a bicycle enthusiast. He lost control and hit a tree sustaining injuries leading to his death. This is hard. So very hard. Yet at every turn, I am reminded of God’s mercy. Thank you for your warm comments and interest in the book. And tonight…hold tight to one you love and whisper a prayer for me. Thank you.

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