Can you tell us about your new book?
ON BLUE FALLS POND (Warner Forever, January 2006) is a story about loss and the different ways a person finds to heal. Glory Harrison left her Tennesse hometown after a tragic fire destroys her home and kills her husband and unborn child. But when her dear Granny calls asking her to come home because he eyesight is failing and she wants to see Glory's face once more, Glory heads back to Tennessee. There she faces the past she'd fled, including Eric Wilson, the firefighter who saved her life that fateful night.
Glory doesn't remember much about the fire or the days prior to it. When her memories are prompted by her return, she isn't sure what picture will come into focus if all of the pieces become clear. Eric Wilson, as fire cheif, ruled the fire accidental, even though he had doubts. An anonymous person is taunting Glory, accusing her of starting the fire that killed her husband. Soon, those taunts become much more.
As Glory's memory returns, she and Eric must both face that the past might not be what it appeared to be -- and find a way to a future together.
What was your favorite part about writing this book?
My favorite part about writing this book was exploring the characters. I tackled several character types that were completely new to me, including a toddler showing symptoms of austim. By having such diverse characters, I was able to really examine the different ways people cope with loss. And, Granny Tula came to life, one of my all-time favorite characters.
If this book was made into a movie, who would you pick to star in it?
Oh my, I've never thought about that. Let's see, maybe Sandra Bullock as Glory. I'm not sure about Eric ... someone who can do "conflicted" really well. Maybe Clive Owen, if he could manage a Tennesee accent! Granny Tula would need someone who could do a pragmatic and sassy woman in her early seventies, who is still fit enough to hike in the mountains. If you find her, let me know.
What are you working on right now?
Currently, I'm finishing up A KISS IN WINTER. It's the story of Caroline Rogers, a young woman who, as an eight year old, had been adopted into a rural Kentucky family. She has two younger siblings that have fallen under her guardianship after their parents die.
As the time approaches for the youngest sibling to finish high school and begin college, Caroline looks to begin her career as a photographer, traveling for a national magazine. But just when things should be coming together they start falling apart -- her borther is in trouble, her sister is becoming rebellious, psychiatrist Mick Larsen returns to town and threatens to steal her heart and tie her to a place she's ready to leave -- and someone is vandalizing all of the subjects of a calendar she's had published.
Mick has returned to Kentucky from Chicago, abandoning his career as an adolescent psychiatrist after he makes a fatal mistake. He and his doctor father are at odds over his decision, but Mick has spent his entire life trying to please his father and the results have been disastrous. He's now set on spending the rest of his life doing what he wants to do, run a farm. He's bought Caroline's old home.
Caroline is forced to ask Mick to help her figure out who is damaging the subjects of her calendar -- before the vandal attacks her December photograph, which includes both her sister and the farmhouse Mick lives in.
Where do you get your ideas?
My ideas begin very small, in snippets almost. Then I begin to ask "what if" and it grows from there. I write about small towns and families, you don't have to look far for something I've heard or read about to spark an idea.
What is the best advice you could give an aspiring writer?
My 25 year old son is currently writing his first novel, so I'm very practiced at this one. Read. Hone your skills. Read. Talk to other writers. Read more. And never, never, give up. This is a difficult business and success doesn't come overnight.
What is your favorite movie of all time?
I'm a movie addict. My current favorites are Shakespeare in Love and Braveheart (you can see I'm a romantic at heart).
There are so many! Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, Lightning, and Watchers, by Dean Koontz, Here Be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman, the Green Mile by Stephen King -- just to mention a few.
Favorite television show?
Currently "Lost" is just about the only show I watch regularly.
Too many, and too dangerous to admit.
If you were stranded on a deserted island with one person, living or dead, who would you like it to be?
Okay, is it a big island? If it's just a postage stamp, I want to be alone! If I can have my space, maybe ... my great-grandmother, she was resourceful, could eek a living out of nothing, and still have a great time.
If on that island you could only listen to 2 CDs, what would they be?
"Look on the Bright Side" by Blue Sky Goodbye and Better Than Ezra's "Before the Robots" -- Grandma Beaver wouldn't like them though.
If you weren't a writer, what would you like to do for a living?
I'd love to be a casting director or a location scout for movies.