by: Staci Stallings
Some of you know me or know of me. Others may never have heard the name Staci Stallings until this very minute, and that’s okay. In fact, part of me likes not being known. One thing I do know is this: my readers probably know me better than most people who have ever met me in person—they just don’t know how well they really know me.
In my writing, the “real me” that I don’t show many people in real life often comes out. Many times that happens in very subtle ways that most people would never catch, and that’s good for me because although I’m not the mysterious type, I don’t normally shout from the rooftops who I am and why—except in my writing if you know how to read between the lines.
In real life, it takes very little for me to choose to help you. However, it takes moving the Grand Canyon for me to feel comfortable enough with you to really let you in to my world.
That is why my fiction release “Whisper If You Have To” is such a step off the sheer side of an emotional cliff for me. When this book came up in my heart and spirit to write, I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to be that real, even on paper, even if no one else would ever read it. I didn’t want to “go there.”
Trying not to spoil it, “Whisper” is about a young girl who, although she has different talents than I did, is very similar to me when I was that age. She is driven by forces she doesn’t really see or understand. She is constantly trying to be “enough” and knowing she will never measure up. She pushes herself harder than anyone should ever be pushed and then berates herself for not doing and being enough.
Worse, she has a secret that her family literally moved from their previous home to avoid and move on from. It is in that secret that readers will come to know many things about me and my heart. The details are different, but I have lived through what Alison has gone through in the book.
In fact, there are a couple of points in the book that her confessions and “going there” are as much me as her. The fear, the confusion, the not knowing where to go from here—those thoughts are my thoughts, those feelings are my feelings. And that scares me more than you can ever know.
When I first wrote this book, I gave it to two very, very close friends to read telling them that they were probably the only two people on the planet who would ever read it. They read it and loved it, but couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t want to put it out. That’s an easy one to explain.
It’s because I don’t want to let anyone in that far… especially people who might take my heart and twist it because the book doesn’t fit their preconceived notions about how this type of story should go. The details are different, but many things in the story are exactly how things “went” when I was dragged through this very same fire.
I cannot tell you more as that would spoil the story, but I will tell you… this one was hard to write. Many tears went into every page. I will also tell you that this one was even harder to publish, and I do so even now with great fear and trembling, and praying that others will be gentle with me because my heart is still very fragile in this area.
This one is me, and only because God is giving me the courage to reach out to help others going through this same fire am I even willing to put it out there. It’s in His hands now as it probably always was. I just hope that in your hands it gives God the space to teach you to love on a deeper level as the events in my own life did me.