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Interview with Pearl Ada Pridham

Pearl Ada Pridham is an award-winning women’s fiction author with a heart for reaching out to those impacted by teen pregnancy.

As she’s grown in her abilities and experience as a writer, Pearl has discovered a few things about her writing style.

“I like to write from experiences I’ve had or that I’ve seen others go through, turning them into stories of fictional characters,” she said. “I also like to paint word-pictures for readers so they can experience life through the eyes and feelings of my characters.”

Pridham lives in Nanaimo, located on the scenic Vancouver Island in Canada. When she’s not writing, she loves engaging in a range of other activities. These include reading, watching classic movies, traveling, walking along the beaches and trails of her beautiful island, shopping at farmers markets, cooking, eating out, and getting together with her family and all her interesting friends.

Pearl’s educational background includes college courses in English, Chinese, counseling, and psychology and a Master of Arts in TESOL. She has worked as a teacher to Speakers of Other Languages and as a peer counselor at Christian charitable organizations, including a crisis pregnancy center. This wide array of experiences, along with her faith, have had an extensive impact on Pearl’s writing.

Impact of Faith
“My faith in Jesus is integral to my life and shows up in my writing. The way I need Jesus is the way my characters need Him, too. We all make various blunders in life and get into different kinds of trouble, but Jesus is there for everyone when we’re ready to turn to Him.”

Impact of Teaching and Traveling
“Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages has been an interesting career. I’ve had students from many countries and cultures, and I’ve taught in Taiwan and China. Most of my teaching has been in adult education, but I’ve taught all ages. Getting to know all kinds of people from all kinds of backgrounds has enriched my life. Although my debut novel is based in my own country and culture, my teaching career has taught me a lot about people in general.”

Impact of Working at a Crisis Pregnancy Center

“I’m retired now, but I worked for several years in pregnancy centers. Initially I volunteered in a post-abortion support group. Interestingly, most of the clients were Christian women who’d had abortions many years before and been tortured with guilt ever since. It was rewarding to listen to their stories and walk through Christ’s forgiveness and healing with them.”

It was while working at a pregnancy center that Pearl first came up with the idea for her book, Something I Haven’t Told You.

Behind the Scenes of Something I haven’t Told You
Pridham wanted to present an inside look into some of the real situations that occur within the realm of teen pregnancy, especially in the Christian world.

“The characters in the book are purely fictional,” she assured, “but many of the situations are drawn from things I’ve seen and heard about. I wanted to show that, with forgiveness and support, a teen’s life needs not be ruined by this lapse in judgement. We all need forgiveness and support for one reason or another. Jesus is there for us as we lean into Him. He can make our lives beautiful despite our blunders.”

Pearl longs for people to understand that although teen pregnancy is a difficult situation, God still loves, forgives, and provides ways for things to work out as we follow His leading.

“It may seem there's no good way to redeem the mess we've made of our lives, but God can do it as we trust in Him and cling to Him. Rather than blaming and shaming, the church needs to enact God’s love, forgiveness, and kindness more than ever,” Pearl noted.

Something I haven’t Told You is mainly set in Canada, where Pridham lives, although she has changed some of the place names.

“I enjoyed describing scenes of the beautiful places around here.”

Although she pulled much from the lives of others, Pearl also relied upon personal experiences as she crafted the story.

“The main character is a lot like me in the way she thinks and prays. More of a loner than a socialite. Like me, she loves beach walks, ice cream cones, and books.”

One of the big themes throughout the story is trust and reliance upon God during tough times.

“Alison keeps going back to lean on the Lord in prayer through each period of discouragement and fear. Although she may lose sight of it for a while, He is there for her, working things out.”

Pearl hopes readers may become more inclined to lean on Jesus the way Alison does, drawing from His forgiveness, strength, and wisdom.

“I hope we can all learn to cultivate a thankful spirit for what we have in life despite our mistakes and blunders. I also hope readers can experience through the characters an inside perspective on various aspects of crisis pregnancies, not only the feelings and choices of the mother-to-be, but her family, church, and community.”

Author Life
Pridham learned a lot about the craft of writing while she was putting this story together.
“When I started, I thought that after teaching English for quite a few years, I knew how to write. I had no idea! But I enjoyed every bit of the process of learning, self-editing, and improving the story. It was so rewarding in the end.”

Finding Her Publisher: Pearl met her publisher, Cynthia Hickey of Winged Publications, at the 2020 ACFW conference which was held over Zoom because of covid.

“We had a 15-minute interview. My book wasn’t ready yet then, but in the summer of 2023, I contacted her again, and she accepted it.”

Most Enjoyable Aspect of Writing: “I like the quiet time spent sitting at my desk, the meditating and thought processes involved, feeling that I’m communicating with potential readers in the future. Perhaps those are reasons why most writers are introverts. When I’m with people I don’t always keep up with the conversation because I process my thoughts in my mind before speaking. Writing allows me to do that.”

Most Challenging Aspect of Writing: “As a pantser, I found myself stumped in the middle of the story. But I’m learning ways to overcome that.

Best Experience since Publishing: “I’ve had very positive feedback from readers. It’s rewarding and makes me feel that my intuition in writing has served me well.”

What’s Next? “I’ve signed a contract with my publisher for a series. So far, I’ve started working on two other novels with some of the same characters as the first one. I’ve also started on a Historical Fiction novel based on the lives of my parents, starting in the early 1900s.”

Interviewer Jenny Fulton is a wife, mother, author, blogger, and freelance writer. An enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, she grew up hearing stories from my dad about the supernatural workings on the Navajo Reservation. As a child, she collected angels and loved anything related to fairy tales. Her days are now mostly spent raising my three young daughters and writing as much as time and opportunity allows. Follow her at her blog, Heart Soul Mind.

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