December 9, 2019

Photo of Clarissa Rudolph

Clarissa Rudolph-Hastings

Las Vegas, N.M. – New Mexico Highlands University alumna Clarissa Rudolph-Hastings’ novel, “The Healing Basket,” is headed toward becoming a movie.

“Writing for me is medicine for the soul,” said Rudolph-Hastings, a Las Vegas, New Mexico native who graduated from Highlands in 1998 with a master’s degree in counseling.

Trilogy Christian Publishing Company published Rudolph-Hastings’ “The Healing Basket” in 2018. It is an Amazon bestselling novel.

“A number of movie production companies are interested in looking at the movie trailer that Frugal Productions produced for ‘The Healing Basket.’ I’d like the movie to be produced in New Mexico if we can find a local production company,” Rudolph-Hastings said.

Rudolph-Hastings said her book, set in Northern New Mexico in the 1970s, is about a relationship between a woman named Nevaeh and a little girl, Mary Grace, who befriend one another.

“Mary Grace feels awkward in her small town and finds comfort in learning about the stories Nevaeh tells her using personal treasures in her basket– a ‘healing basket’ filled with memories of her life,” Rudolph-Hastings said.

Rudolph-Hastings said her book grew out of a personal family tragedy.

“My mom died young in a car accident when I was 29. Shortly thereafter, my dad died of a heart attack. I often say he died of a broken heart. I read many books after losing my parents. My goal has always been to promote healing. I wanted to write a book about how to heal from grief, loss and pain, so I wrote ‘The Healing Basket,’ Rudolph-Hastings said.

Rudolph-Hastings said the idea for “The Healing Basket” came from the stories her mother told her about her own father, who survived serving in World War II and then died working at a construction site when her mother was just 8 years old.

“We would visit my grandfather’s grave and my mom would tell us stories about him. His memory came alive and I felt like I knew him, even though we never met. My mom found healing while sharing her stories,” Rudolph-Hastings said.

Rudolph-Hastings said faith, hope and grace are important themes in her book.

“Faith is the essential substance of hope. Grace is the gift you give yourself and others when you forgive. My own faith has strengthened me profoundly throughout my life,” Rudolph-Hastings said.

Today, Rudolph-Hastings is a counselor for Albuquerque Public Schools. Previously, she taught math and science for 16 years in Albuquerque after earning her bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry from Highlands in 1992.

“I appreciate the quality education I received at Highlands University. I’ve faced many challenges in life and it helped to find a college where I always felt at home. My professors molded me into the professional author I am today,” Rudolph-Hastings said.

Rudolph-Hastings upcoming 2020 novel is titled, “Letters From My Mom, Long Since Gone.” Trilogy Christian Publishing will also publish her second book.

“In this book, Mary Grace from ‘The Healing Basket’ is an adult and finds unopened letters from her mother, who died in a car accident,” Rudolph-Hastings said.

Rudolph has another book in progress titled “International Anthology for Peace.”

“I met other authors though an international contest for writers in 2018. The contest inspired us to join hands and write stories about peace, the basis for the anthology,” Rudolph-Hastings said.