What inspired you on this book?
I was sixteen when the idea came to me and that was thirty years ago! I was in school and bored. I don’t remember the class, but my mind just wandered off. The basis of the story came out of the blue. Over the years, the intricacies of it developed, but the premise remained the same. I love stories that involve complicated people. No one is a true hero or villain. Everyone is flawed. I wanted to write a story where the characters evoke strong reactions from the reader, whether positive or negative.
Why did you want to become a writer?
It’s not something I decided one day. I just found myself compelled to write. I have a vivid imagination, with stories and scenes constantly running through my mind as if I’m watching a movie. My only outlet is to put these tales to paper. I don’t believe people want to become writers. They just are. They must write. Writing is like breathing.
What was the hardest part of creating this book?
Putting it to paper. I wanted to give it justice, not just for me, but for the characters I created. The protagonist, Sophie Beaumont, is an alcoholic. For me to properly convey the emotions and mindset of someone in the throes of alcoholism, I needed to tap into my own dark times from years ago. I understand alcoholism firsthand, and I’m thankful to say I am now in my tenth year of sobriety. I am now a positive, happy person, so to go back to that negativity in order to write was difficult and painful. At the same time, it was cathartic. I have a deeper appreciation for how far I’ve come. Before I didn’t discuss it much, but now it’s become easier to own and celebrate my sobriety.
What do you hope people gain from reading it?
I hope people gain the understanding that we don’t always know what goes on behind closed doors. Yes, my story is fictional, but there are some themes in the book that happen in everyday life. It is very easy to make a judgment on a situation or person, without understanding the background story. How we interpret and accept our circumstances shape who we become. There are good people in life who mess up royally and pay a dear price for it. Do they learn from it and make amends, or continue the cycle? How long do people deserve to be punished before earning forgiveness?
When you were a kid, what were your favorite books?
The first book I ever learned to read was Dino and the Dinosaur. My sister taught me to read when I was four, so it holds fond memories.
As a teenager, I remember falling in love with The Scarlet Letter. It is my favorite novel. Again, it has complicated flawed characters that I love. Last month, I acquired an old edition of it written in Braille. I’m excited to have this addition to my reading collection.
What is your advice to people who are not excited about reading?
Writers tend to write about what they know or what they like. You would be surprised what influences one’s writing. I would look for writers who enjoy the same things as you. Social media is a great avenue for discovering that. Check out their author pages and you may find something that piques your interest.
I love classic rock and incorporate that in my novels. My characters have distinctive music tastes which add to their development.
Why should we buy your book?
If you are looking for a story that will hold your interest, this is for you. I purposely write my books in a conversational tone to make the reader feel as if someone is sitting with them and telling the story. If you also enjoy complicated, dysfunctional characters with uncomfortable storylines, I strongly recommend this book.