Books · Heroine Interviews · West Virginia

SRP Heronie Interview: Abigail Van Buren Masterson from Raspberry Beret

Today on the Self-Rescue Princess, I’m talking with Abigail from the novel Raspberry Beret written by Lisa McCombs.

raspberry beret1. What made you want your story to be told?

I just want everyone to know that even when life seems unfair good things happen. My dad died before my little brother was born so Mom decided to educate us by travelling around the state and appreciating what God has given us. Because we were always moving around I never had a chance to make a friend like other girls my age. That was really okay because I had my journal to write in. This year I made a real life best friend, though, and I am happy, happy, happy!

2. In your life, what has empowered you?

I really don’t think I am very powerful, but this year I got the idea to start a club at school for kids who do not feel like they belong. It’s really been fun and I cannot believe how many students have joined. TAGU stands for Teens Against Growing Up. That’s exactly how I feel sometimes. I think being a kid is much easier than dealing with all those teen age things like dating or getting a job. So, I think realizing how important my life is right now.

My mother was diagnosed with this silly disease called multiple sclerosis right after we moved in with my grandparents. I was really scared, but she is so awesome. She gives herself a shot every day and went back to college to finish her education. And she still has time for us. I want to be just like her.

3. What are strengths and weaknesses?

I like to read, so I guess that would be a strength. Sometimes I get depressed (at least I used to) so I supposed that’s a weakness. I like school and my English scores were so good that I was selected as one of only two seventh graders last year to be accepted in the eighth grade French class. So, I guess that’s strength, too. I never had a boyfriend until this year and I’m not always sure he’s always my boyfriend. Is that a weakness?

4. Describe what being a self-rescue princess (a strong, confident woman) means to you.

Wow and viola! This is a good question and I feel so honored to be considered a “self-rescue princess”! This is so cool. I think my mother is definitely someone to fit this description. When my father died she was still pregnant with my little brother but instead of looking for someone to take care of us, she cashed in the insurance money that he left her and moved us around the state of West Virginia so we could learn to appreciate where we live. When she found out she had multiple sclerosis she didn’t give up. She buried her pride and took us “home” to live with her parents who she hadn’t seen since my dad died. Then she started her MS treatment and without  batting an eye she went back to college to finish her degree. She never complains about her disease, even when she can’t get out of bed in the morning. I think I want to be like my mother when I grow up…just without some weird disease.

5. What one advice/wisdom would you like to pass onto young women?

Be more like my best friend Jesse James. She’s different…like, she has a strange accent and she wears dresses and bobby socks all the time…but she doesn’t let all the teasing get to her. Even when Ex-Head cheerleader Sheila gives her a hard time, she just ignores it and goes about her business. I think this makes Sheila try even harder to give us a rough time, but Jesse doesn’t get involved in all the drama that Sheila’s friends create. I admire her for that. Jesse, not Sheila.

6. Favorite quote or Bible verse.

I don’t think it’s a Bible verse, but my mom always says “God doesn’t throw us more than we can catch”. I like that.

7. If your story had a theme song, what would it be?

There are too many great songs out there to choose from. I just love music. In fact, I don’t think life would be so great without music.

8. Will you be continuing your journey in written form? 

Raspberry Beret is actually the second book in a trilogy focused on the same heroine. The first book Abby, was written as a student-issued challenge. When a seventh grade class challenged me to write 30 pages a week for an entire semester, I accepted their dare and ended up dedicating this book to that class. The third installment is calledOpening Pandora’s Box and is actually the result of a collaborative effort between me and one of the original members of that seventh grade class. I did the writing and he spent most of the summer before his freshman year in high school proofing, editing, encouraging, and cracking the whip.

9. Is there anyone in your life (friend, family member) who will be sharing their life? 

Actually, Christina, I think that my brother Joey has a story to tell one day. He is so freakin’ smart. He was double promoted after the first grade and he helps me with my math homework all the time. He’s such a brainiac. I can really imagine him writing the next great American novel!

NOTE: The author has told me that Abigail’s tale will be free on Amazon from November 25th to the 27th. You can download a copy at this link: Raspberry Beret by Lisa McCombs.

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