I will be guest blogging at the following locations:
Short Q&A for:
The Medic’s Homecoming
Book #2 in the Whispering Oaks duet
1. Where did you get the idea for the book?
A few summers ago, I had the good fortune of extra time and enrolled in a UCLA extension writing workshop: Deepening the Characters You Create. The instructor used personalized questions to help each participant create realistic characters with distinct histories, points of view, and value systems. The goal of the class was that we would use this gathered information to weave into our current or future story.
I had a vague idea about three siblings, two sisters and a brother, the Grady family. I planned to write a book for each one, and the workshop proved to be the perfect way to get to know them.
The hero in my current book is Lucas Grady, the middle sibling of the Grady family.
2. Can you share if there were any real-life inspirations for a particular scene or character in the book?
I mention this in the dedication for the book, where I thanked my son for loaning me his tattoos. I totally stole my reaction when I first learned he’d gotten them, and projected that onto Beverly, the Grady family matriarch. Kieran, the father, is the first to see the tattoos (it didn’t happen that way at our house, I saw them first) and goes into a rant about how Lucas was going to make his mother cry when she saw them. Before my son left for the service, I told him I’d cry if he got a tattoo.
This is the part I also bring into the book – Lucas’ well thought out reason for choosing the particular tattoo. Well, that was really my son’s reason for getting his tattoos. I totally used that for the book! I won’t share it here, but I hope you’ll read the book to find out. J After that I didn’t mind that tattoo anymore.
3. Do any beloved characters from your previous books show up in this one?
Yes! Since this is the Grady family continuing story, there are many recurring roles. Anne Grady, Lucas’ older sister, is around in the beginning of the book. She was the heroine of Courting His Favorite Nurse, book #1 in this duet. The parents, Kieran and Beverly are also in many of the significant scenes in this book. Of course Jocelyn and Lucas were both introduced in the first book, and so was Jack Lightfoot, the love of Anne’s life. It was fun having so many recurring and familiar characters in this book. Oh, and I can’t forget Bart, the family dog! He’s in both books.
4. What life lessons do Lucas and Jocelyn learn before they can find their happily-ever-after?
Jocelyn must get over not feeling worth loving. She realizes that all the cheerleading in the world can’t force Lucas to love her, and she must let go and let him step up for himself.
Lucas has to deal with a negative subconscious message that has affected him all his life – he thinks he’s a slacker. He also must deal with a double edged sword (in his mind anyway – not Jocelyn’s) If he goes away to school to better himself, he risks losing her. But if he stays in Whispering Oaks, he has nothing to offer her. Fortunately he realizes she loves him regardless of what he does. It’s him she loves, not what he’s accomplished.
5. Is there an underlying theme to the story?
Yes. Acceptance of who we are. Both characters must learn to accept who they are, and also accept that though they may not be perfect, they are definitely good enough to love.
A sub theme is – out of friendship blooms the truest love.
Right now The Medic’s Homecoming is out in the US, UK and Australia. Here are the assortment of book covers for the same story. I love all of them.
Until next time – make it a great one!