Every so often I'll get an email and it says This book is about "fear" or "loss" or "healing" or "hope" or "love". And it's interesting to see which books mean what to a reader. All my books are about all those things, but each series is heavier on a single theme. It's why I put my characters through so much. If they had easy lives I don't think their stories would have as much impact.
I get sad when readers say mean things about my characters, because I love them. Do not doubt it. Recently, I had someone calling Chrissie all kinds of not nice names and it hurts like when they call your child names.(which is silly, I know, but that's how it's works for an author). Another lectured me about how I know nothing of love. These books are not about love; she posted in heavy CAPS everywhere in a variety of different wording. That one hurt, too, but not for the reasons some might think. Part of why each "Girl's" story is so dramatic is because I've coupled it with who she is and her thoughts, and the overarching goal of that is to inspire compassion. Too see inside my characters and maybe judge ourselves less harshly and those around us. That what we see in someone's life isn't the sum total of what we can know by observing them, so maybe we should all take a breathe, pause, and be less quick to judgement.
One thing I definitely love about the world of fiction is I don't have to wait a whole bunch of time for the kids to grow up. Poof, open my laptop and it's time for Krystal to come of age. And as her story is woven with Madison Rowan's I get to get to know Maddy--and you do too--in her parts of The Girl in the Mirror. But then, none of us will really know until it's time for her to tell her story in The Girl of Sun & Sand. Ah, but then that's the theme of my books. "Face to Face we know in part, even as we are known."
Well, it's a quiet day and I'm off to our Lake House for some quiet in nature and hopefully to finish off the last of what I have to to release The Girl in the Mirror. Then I'm on to another book. Another story. Another fictional daughter as I live in the real world with my real daughters.
Last Sunday I was having a late birthday lunch for my husband on the river and my shell-bell brought a friend, and we were laughing, and she said something and I paused to tap into my notepad on my phone really fast. And she had that look, the oh no I gave mom an idea look, because she's used to me grabbing up the gems of her life for my books. Sometimes it's a phrase she says. Or a unique way of seeing relationships quintessentially her generation. Sometimes it's a book. A series. And sometimes its a universe.
I got an email this morning asking me if there would be more books because this reader loves my series. I laughed. New books. Of course, love is an enduring hope and challenge, and each generation recreates it and makes it new. And so do my daughters, real world and fictional. And I'm sure, when old enough, my grandchildren will as well.
As ever I wish you peace.