As an author, I often get asked why I wrote a particular book or where a specific character came from. I love that question because it is fascinating how I pull the different aspects of my life in creating a novel.
In my latest novel, Far Away, the story is so much a part of my own life that there is only a fine line between fiction and reality within the pages.
The story opens on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire. In the book it’s where the two main characters meet for the first time as teenagers. The lakefront grand home belongs to the character Noah’s, grandmother. This particular summer, is where it feels like life is just beginning for Noah, but for the visiting Spiro, it very much feels like the end.
In my own life, the characters Noah and Spiro, are bits and pieces of me during my own childhood, split into two characters. I have fond childhood memories of spending the summer with my grandmother on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee. My brother Kenny, and I would visit her during the summer without our parents. Although Kenny and I weren’t twins like Noah and Nathanael, we were extremely close.
The original draft of Far Away was called the Visitor. It was originally a short story, and the entire story took place on Lake Winnipesaukee. In the end, Noah and Spiro were split apart by their parents. I never published that story because it didn’t have a happily ever after (HEA).
As young adults, my husband and I took a long vacation to Greece. On the tiny island of Santorini, I remember falling deeper in love with my husband. I knew I loved him when we left the States, but there was something magical that happened between us during those weeks on the island. When we returned, I crafted a short story surrounding our Greece trip.
In writing Far Away, the challenge was how to combine those two stories, that wouldn’t work for my romance audience, into a love story they would enjoy reading. In doing so, I also wanted to stay true to who the characters were, so blending four characters into two was challenging.
In Far Away, Noah is a very complex individual, fighting some dark demons. He is also this amazingly bright and gifted person that the world just doesn’t know what to do with. The scene where Noah returns home, after being kicked into a mud puddle by a bully, and tells his brother what happens, is not entirely all fiction. In reality, this is me, sharing a moment with you of my early life and my relationship with Conrad, my big brother. Conrad, may you rest in peace and know that I am forever grateful that you were always my ally.
Just like my brother’s love, I cherish your support and always glad to call you my friend. So, until next time, please stay safe my friends.
If you enjoyed this post, make sure you sign up for the newsletter, and never miss another blog again.
Doug Mattheis says
As always a beautiful post. As for Far Away it is a very beautifully written tale of poetic genius, loved every letter of every word. Knowing the authors own experiences are woven in makes it that much more joyous. Great picture of you in Greece, think I will go next year, hopefully this mess will be safely behind us. This year Dollywood!!!!! Peace, love, and joy my friend
Bryan T. Clark says
Oh Dollywood is totally on my bucket list!
Bryan T. Clark says
Oh Dollywood is for sure on my bucket list!