Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Therese Fowler talks about "Reunion" her new book.
Hello! I'm so glad to have this chance to “visit” YRR (thank you, Terra!) on the day my latest novel, Reunion, goes on sale. Although it isn't, strictly speaking, a romance, I think YRR's readers will really enjoy the book.
Because I'm relatively new on the scene (Reunion is my second book), people I meet who haven't yet read my first book, Souvenir, often ask me what my books are about. It sounds like such a simple question, doesn't it? The answer, though, is a little more complex. I write stories that are about family, about choices and consequences, about mistakes and secrets and redemption, and ultimately about love in all its forms. In the year since Souvenir was first out in hardcover, I've been compared to Kristin Hannah, Sara Gruen, Jodi Picoult, Nicholas Sparks, Anna Quindlen, Barbara Delinsky—and others, but you get the picture. That there's so much variety of story and style in that list tells me that I've done what I hoped to do, which is to offer a similar-but-unique option to readers who love these authors.
I grew up reading popular fiction and romance almost exclusively. I'm sure that explains why my own stories fit snugly into that same area. To get lost in a drama or tragedy or love story meant I could leave my own life behind for a while and live vicariously through the characters I read about. As a writer, I'm doing pretty much the same thing, only instead of the experience lasting a day or so, it lasts the better part of a year—and I have to make it all up as I go! My involvement, though, and my compassion for the characters I spend my days with, is every bit as intense and fulfilling as my best reading experiences were, and are, which I hope means I'm passing that same sort of experience on to my readers.
Reunion was such a pleasure to write because it let me imagine in detail what it would be like to be a world-famous talk-show host. Celebrity life has always fascinated me—at first because my early years were pretty rocky and the glamorous life looked so enticing, and then later because I knew there was so much going on behind the facade these otherwise-very-human people build to shield themselves from the hungry media and rabid fans. The choices my main character, Blue Reynolds, makes, and the consequences of those choices, are amplified by her fame. Yet she is as vulnerable as you or I—more vulnerable, really, because she lives her life inside a kind of bubble of attention and notoriety. Everything she does, including an attempt to reconcile with an old love, including her search for the child she gave up for adoption two decades earlier, including being attracted to her old love's adult son, is potentially fuel for the media's fire.
We all face, at one time or another, thorny dilemmas that trouble and test us. The challenge of determining what's right is exceeded only by the challenge of then doing that right thing once you've managed to figure it out! It's so interesting to me to put characters into tough situations and then see what comes of it. What bonds are broken, and what bonds are strengthened? Where is happiness, and how can my characters get there?
Ultimately I'm doing my best to give you a book you're glad to own—an engrossing story that's perfect for a rainy weekend or a day at the beach or for whiling away the hours on the deck of a cruise ship (which, I admit, I would love to be doing right now!). A lot of my readers say they bring their books to read while they wait in the carpool line, and that works too. Where do you do most of your reading?
Wherever that is, it's my pleasure to offer four signed copies each of Souvenir and Reunion to the first eight readers from the US or Canada who request one in the comments section, as my way of saying thanks for giving a new author a try. And thanks again to Terra for having me here!
International readers can buy Souvenir in French, German, Polish, Dutch, Danish, Norwegian, Japanese, and Portuguese (in Brazil)--and English (UK edition).