about-face tonia-martin tabitha-bouldin
book review, celebrate lit, giveaway

When is the best time for About Face?

About Face, Rest, and Intents and Purposes by Tonia Colleen Martin: Author Interview, Tour, and Giveaway with Celebrate Lit.

About the Book

Book: About Face, Rest, and Intents & Purposes

Author: Tonia Colleen Martin

Genre: Illustrated Poetry

Release Date: 2019 and 2020

The terrible accident happened too long ago to remember the specifics. Having lost what she doesn’t remember owning, it takes the miracle of crossing paths with Hush, Shush and Silence, to reveal the truth. The shock of realizing she struggled to maintain an identity never meant to be hers, floors her. From a position of surrender, the surface of her tears mirrors who she has always been but hasn’t seen and does not know. Unimaginable possibilities, surprising choices and thrilling freedom ensues.

At the core of all anxiety is mistaken identity. About Face invites readers to consider who they might be apart from other people’s expectations and who they might become.

Click here to get your copy of About Face!

A perennial gift book for the stressed and beleaguered. Falling into the growing category of children’s books for adults, Rest: An Invitation to Freedom, lures readers out of frenzied productivity into a state of peaceful contemplation. Written for exhausted high achievers, this story is suitable for office lobbies, coffee and bedside tables.

“The heart of Christianity is a myth which is also a fact. At its best, the fairy story or fantasy is far from being a flight from reality; it is, rather, a flight to reality.”- JRR Tolkein

“The trumpet of imagination, like the trumpet of the Resurrection, calls the dead out of their

graves.” – GK Chesterton

“Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” — C.S. Lewis

Click here to get your copy of Rest: An Invitation to Freedom!
Intents & Purposes

This story took longer to live than to transcribe. For daydreamers, truth-seekers, joy-feeders, and those longing to let your heart instruct your mind, this little book is for you. Falling into my own stylized category of children’s book for adults, Intents and Purposes, chronicles the path of a life abandoned by disconnection and loneliness as it moves to the threshold of hope and contentment.

Both text and illustrations are mine. Although countless versions reside in my constantly reconfiguring memory, this compilation seems to be its truest version.

Click here to get your copy of Intents and Purposes!

Author Interview:

What makes your main characters tick?

The main characters in my three little gift books that you will soon be receiving in the mail are all struggling with the same thing: Making Meaning of Their Lives. They want to discover who they are, why they are so lonely, what they are meant to do. They want what everyone wants: To Be loved, to participate in meaningful work, to speak the truth without being punished and to be protected from evil.

What was the highlight of writing this book?

In all three cases, the highlight was the first exhilarating pass at the texts. The stories came fast and furious and then then sculpting, carving, illustrating, arranging, editing and formatting took forever. No exaggeration: YEARS.  I think perhaps 4 years to get them all done. Actually, much longer. I lost track. 

Did you have an “aha” moment where everything came together?

Actually, I had many, many “Aha” moments and  then right on the heels, an “oh, no” moment. The “aha” moments pushed for further clarification so I had to circle back and make sure my message had continuity. 

Are you working on your next book already?

Well….not exactly, I have 2 fiction novels I am marketing. I have a 3rd book wanting to begin itself, but I am stalling. It’s not a wise decision. I think I should just jump in and start, but I’m not feeling strong enough to combat the self-defeating resistance that keeps pressing for “proof” of my stories being meant for others.  One full-length novel: Blood Exodus is under consideration at a traditional publishing house. The other, The Frankincense Tree, is an upmarket novel of approximately 82,000 words.  Cloe Knowles, a 36-year-old reclusive artist travels from Northern California to Yemen with her mentally ill brother, Elijah, after receiving word of her father’s kidnapping. They arrive to news of his death and Cloe is struck with a mix of sorrow, shock, regret, and anger. For years, she’d been waiting for her father to return and help her with the increasing responsibility of Elijah’s care.  

What authors would you say influence your writing?

C.S. Lewis, Frederick Buechner, Wendell Berry.

What famous author do you wish could be your mentor?

Frederick Buechner.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Paint and garden.

What’s your favorite writing snack?


When did you write your first book?

The first book I wrote was Blood Exodus.  It garnered considerable interest from publishers in the 90s and was a stepping stone to my book, “The Color of Grace: Thoughts from a Garden in a Dry Land;” (published by Baker Books in 2000 under my previous name: Tonia Triebwasser) but was subsequently derailed by the massive book marketing fluctuations.

How long, on average, does it take you to write a book?

Too long. YEARS. I can’t even answer.

What has influenced you the most as a writer?

Frederick Buechner’s work and a deep deep conviction that God speaks to me as I struggle to put my stories into words.

Do you write in one genre or several?

Poetry, Fiction, Non-fiction.

What genre would you choose to write that you don’t already?

I’d like to step into magical realism and become great at it. I love Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s short stories and also Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane.  If I could write a book like The Ocean at the End of the Lane I just might float all the way to heaven and never be seen again. Wouldn’t that be nice?

About the Author

I earned my MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts, received the Hallberg Award for Art; Best of Show, Blue Line Gallery, Membership Medley; published in The Arts in Religious and Theological Studies; Ruminate Magazine; Metonym; Sierra College Journal.

More from Tonia

They are ready! Finally! These three illustrated books are condensed chronicles of various phases of my spiritual development. Over the years, I’ve learned that the deepest matters of the heart seem to be resistant to the confines of words. Images aid in the capture of emotions, but even still, the heart is shy. It runs from impatience and requires a concentration of listening and a suspension of judgment.

Each one of these books hovers over distinct territories and touch down in depths most avoid. I struggle to put my experiences into a kind and beautiful package, hoping to lure readers into places of feeling many might avoid. Not realizing they would be officially released during this unnerving pandemic, I am now so grateful for the message of hope that invites readers into possibilities and faith in our merciful Father of Lights who brought all things into being and is, even now, administering Peace to those who simply ask and expect. For those who suffer in the unknown, as I have and often do, I invite to include the reading of these missives of encouragement and their distribution of the message of Hope hidden in their pages.  They were written to uplift you on the days when you can find no words for your longing, no relief for your uncertainty and a deep desire for encouragement.  I am eager to get them out in the world.

Blog Stops

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 19

Texas Book-aholic, September 20

Beauty in the Binding, September 21 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, September 21

For Him and My Family, September 22

For the Love of Literature, September 23 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, September 24

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 25

Tell Tale Book Reviews, September 26 (Author Interview)

Artistic Nobody, September 27 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Ashley’s Bookshelf, September 28

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 29

Sara Jane Jacobs, September 30

Through the Fire Blogs, October 1 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, October 1

Emily Yager, October 2


To celebrate her tour, Tonia is giving away the grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.



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