Friday, April 4, 2008

SPECIAL GUESTS: GEOFF CHASTAIN & SHANNON AUSBROOK

interviewed by Genene Valleau, author of SONGS OF THE HEART

AUTHOR: Shannon, you were a virgin when you first met Geoff, right?

SHANNON: Well, most guys are intimidated by a girl who can throw a softball at almost 90 mph.

GEOFF: I didn’t know you could throw a softball or that you were a virgin.

SHANNON: I didn’t want you to know. I wanted you to think I was sophisticated.

GEOFF: You were sexy as hell. If I had known...

AUTHOR: If you had known, what would you have changed about your first meeting?

GEOFF: I wouldn’t have been intimate with her. The first time should be special --

SHANNON: LOL! And I would have become a thirty-one-year-old virgin. If we changed our first meeting, maybe we wouldn’t have gotten together fifteen years later.

AUTHOR: A lot happened in those fifteen years.

SHANNON: I became a physical and music therapist for kids who have been abused or were born with disabilities.

AUTHOR: And suffered a miscarriage.

SHANNON: Yeah. I would change that if I could.

GEOFF: We could have had a child together. I’ll always regret that I was so callous all those years ago.

AUTHOR: You both had some rough times in the fifteen years before you met again. Geoff, you found out about a daughter.

GEOFF: Mandy. For too short a time, she was the light of my life. I tried to give her everything I didn’t have when I was a kid.

SHANNON: You built M’s Playground for her. An incredible facility that you opened up to other kids with disabilities.

AUTHOR: Your daughter made you promise not to let the music die when she died.

GEOFF: That’s what led me back to Shannon. Seeing the work she was doing with kids and music therapy gave me the perfect idea to honor that promise to Mandy.

AUTHOR: So you set up a music therapy program at M’s Playground.

GEOFF: Gambling that Shannon would see reason and come run it for me. *grin*

AUTHOR: SONGS OF THE HEART begins when you meet for the second time. Where were you at that point in your life?

GEOFF: Grieving my daughter and trying to fulfill the promise I had made not to let my music die. That seemed nearly impossible since I hadn’t touched a keyboard or written a song since she had died two years earlier.

SHANNON: Grieving takes time. After I miscarried Geoff’s child, I was determined my career would help children in some way. That’s what led me to a job at Talmidge Center for Children with the promise of setting up a music therapy program of my own.

AUTHOR: The fundraising event for that program is where you met again.

GEOFF: I choked on a song and Shannon saved my musical butt by stepping in and singing with me.

SHANNON: And then I ran. I thought I had left the past behind and it terrified me that seeing Geoff made me feel like a teenager with a crush on a rock star again.

AUTHOR: Yet you worked through the heartache of the past and found the music of love again.

SHANNON: I wasn’t sure we would make it.

GEOFF: I knew all along you’d see things my way. *grin*

SHANNON: The physical attraction was never a problem.

GEOFF: Want to see if that physical attraction still works?

SHANNON: I like the way you think.

AUTHOR: Wait! You’re supposed to draw the winner of the Romance Basket...well, never mind. I’ll do it.

10 comments:

Genene Valleau said...

OK, we're back with Geoff and Shannon to answer several questions posed by Larenda.

First, for Geoff: What three traits would Shannon use to describe you?

Geoff said...

Well, I hope loving is on that list. *grin* Shannon is also very aware of my sensitive side. She’d probably also toss in creative.

Genene Valleau said...

And for Shannon: What three traits would Geoff use to describe you?

Shannon said...

Oh, wow! He’s too kind to say “mouthy,” so he would probably describe me as having strong opinions. I think he would also say I’m passionate -- about him and about anything I undertake. One more, right? Loyal -- no, that makes me sound like a boy scout. Well, yeah, let’s stick with loyal.

Genene Valleau said...

And a second question for Geoff: Who are your heroes?

Geoff said...

My heroes are kids who are challenged with disabilities or imperfect families, but still pursue their dreams.

Genene Valleau said...

Thank you, Geoff. And one more question for Shannon: What is the best thing about working with children to help them heal?

Shannon said...

My answer is very close to Geoff’s answer about heroes -- it’s helping kids pursue their dreams.

Genene Valleau said...

Geoff and Shannon, thank you both for visiting with us. We're going to take a break and be back at 4:00 a.m. to talk with Jasper and Mitch.

See you then!

Larenda said...

Geoff and Shannon thanks for answering my questions.