AUTHOR Q & A
Q: Give us your background, if you would.
A: Well, I am a New England native, Vermonter, but Boston is my favorite city in the world.(London is a close second. You guys are NICE over there). I grew up in Vermont, graduation from the University of Vermont (after spending a semester at the South Australian College of Advanced Education. (Yes. I hate winter so much that I spent time in the Southern Hemisphere to avoid it. I am not kidding). I spent 5 years living on the North Shore (North of Boston) before relocating to Florida because…I hate winter. I later earned a law degree. In New Hampshire. This confirmed that I really hate winter in New England.
Q: Are you Liz Gardner?
A: No. She is a work of fiction. I wrote some of my experiences and parts of me into her for the purpose of being able to describe things, but no, Liz Gardner is not me. Ty Hadley is also a figment of my imagination.
Q: Where did this book come from?
A: When I got the idea, I was tired of “love stories” and fairy tales that began with the couple meeting and ending immediately after a declaration of love. Why was it always YOUNG lovers? Why didn’t we get to see how things worked? If Prince Charming turned out to have flaws like he drank or “love at first sight” wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, how did Snow White/Cinderella/Sleeping Beauty handle it? What if the one who needed rescuing WASN’T the princess? , “Titanic” was still fresh in pop culture and that relationship ended with Jack’s death within hours of discovering he loved Rose. It bugged me. Rose went on after Jack and had a life complete with a loving husband and family (her granddaughter was on board the research vessel with her and ended up marrying James Cameron). I started thinking about a scenario where the couple has lived their life together, it’s at or near the end (maybe) and someone might have to decide to end life support for the other. They’ve been through better or worse. Jack and Rose and the countless youthful couples in Barbara Cartland and Harlequin Romances haven’t been tested.
Q: So what did you do?
A: On my way home from working in Boston, I stopped at a store and bought a “composition book” and some pens before I got on the bus. I started writing. I started with the scene that I’d been most focused on in my mind (If the reader of this post hasn’t read the book, I will not provide a spoiler). What was funny is that the other regular riders of Concord Trailways got involved. If I wasn’t writing, I’d get at least 3 people asking me “Why aren’t you writing?” I think I filled at least 3 notebooks. I still have them.
Q: Your leading couple is not in their twenties.
A: No, they aren’t. I got sick of heroines not aging past 29 years and 364 days. People fall in love in their thirties and beyond. They’ve lived. They’re complex. They’re not under the rose petal ceiling of thirty years. But they have lives and personalities and feelings and experience that deserve to be explored. Thirty is not the end of life. I think Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey have lived to regret “I hope I die before I get old.”
Q Where did you get your names?
A: Gardner and Hadley are the names of two towns in Central Massachusetts.
Q: What about Beanie?
A: (Smiling) Beanie. Yeah. He is based on my late cat, Toulouse. Loosey was the life of the party. He would open doors on cabinets, he liked Chinese spare ribs (any kind of spare ribs, actually) and he understood, “Get your furry ass out of there.” I miss him.
Q: What about the other characters, Angie, Vinnie, the Judge?
A: Figments. As part of my legal education, I observed court proceedings and there were one or two judges who enjoyed their power and indulged their eccentricities.
Q: Why are Salem and Wellesley locations?
A: Salem is one of my favorite places, like Boston. I lived in the next town, Danvers and spent as much time in Salem as I could. Like Boston, it’s a blend of history from the seventeenth to the twenty-first centuries. It has its quirks and its charms. Wellesley is one of the wealthy bedroom communities in the Boston metro area. It is home to a lot of movers and shakers. Wellesley seemed like a logical choice for Ty’s home.
Q: So what do you want people to take away from the story?
A: I want readers to enjoy what they’ve read.
Q: Is this all there is to Liz and Ty?
A: Oh, no. The story WILL continue.