When Tonya “T.I.” Lowe needs to take a break from the real world she grabs a book.
“I love to read and often read more than 100 books per year,” she said. “Some people go to the TV for a break from reality. My break is reading.”
Because of that love of reading and a love of writing, Lowe recently penned her own novel with the title Lulu’s Café.
The story is about an orphaned young woman who knows too much about scars. After years of foster and group home instability, Leah Gabriella Allen falls into an abusive 10-year marriage. On a journey out of the abuse after almost losing her life, Gabriella finds herself in an unexpected southern home which is none other than Lulu’s Café in Rivertown.
Lowe said Lulu is a petite charismatic southern belle with a strong unshakable faith.
“She wisely takes on the challenge of helping the young woman heal her broken body as well as her shattered spirit,” she said. “I relate a lot to Lulu and would like to think we are very similar.”
Lowe said the idea for the book came after hearing stories of abuse from family and friends.
“They all told me they felt trapped in a situation and couldn’t get out,” she said. “I wanted this book to show them and others in the same situation that you can find a way out. I want this book to inspire people and show women that they don’t have to put up with abuse in any way.”
Lowe’s book is available on Amazon.com through the Kindle app for $3.99.
Since its release, Lowe said it has had more than 2,000 downloads.
“The biggest compliment someone can give me is that they got lost in the book,” she said. “I love a good book that envelopes me into the setting and the character and I hope my book does that for people.”
Thirty-nine people have given the book five stars on the Amazon.com review page.
“I hope to get the book published in hardcover soon so having that many downloads and that many reviews in such a short time really helps,” she said. “It gives me and the book credibility when a publishing company is looking at it.”
It took Lowe six months to write and publish the book while also caring for her mother who was dying of cancer.
This isn’t the first time Lowe has published a book.
Ten years ago she wrote a story called Coming Home Again about a woman who had suffered sexual abuse as a child and how it molded her life in a negative way.
“She thought that God had made a mistake when he made her, but as the book goes along she learns that God doesn’t make mistakes. There is evil in this world and we can’t let the evil things dictate our lives.”
She also writes plays for her church, and poetry.
Even though she writes about horrible abuse scenarios, Lowe said she has never been abused.
“Some people may think I have been from the way I write my books, but I have been blessed with a Christian, faithful man named Bernie,” she said. “I have just seen the way abuse affects others and it speaks to my heart to create these stories of survival. I hope to inspire them to turn to those they love to get through it and reach out for help.”
Lowe is a full-time mom to two children, 12-year-old Nathan and 7-year-old Lydia.