Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Posts About Me 7

This is the seventh in a series of posts about me. I hope these help you decide my books are worth the read. I also hope they help save time for those who have no interest in my books. I know there's nothing more disappointing than expecting one kind of book and discovering what I'm reading isn't something I'm interested in reading. Not all books in a single genre are the same. Authors in the same genre are as different as football players on the same team and cupcake bakers. A lot of similarities but no two are alike.

The Silver Locket Sisterhood series. I saved this series of stories for last, except for the Holiday series. TSLS is the most difficult to talk about, for me. It's the most personal of all the series. I took major turning points in my life and wrote stories with the truths I know now but didn't know then.
The inspiration for the Silver Lockets came from the story, The Refiner's Fire, shared through emails and on FB. One of my dear friends was a part of the women's Bible study group and shared the story with me. I chose the symbolism of the silver heart locket and the photos inside. Carol Fiorillo chose beautiful lockets for each cover. I held off on my descriptions for the lockets until I saw the cover mock-up. I did have specific ideas for some of them, but mostly Carol chose what she thought fit from the information given to her on the Cover Art sheet.

Some of the events in each of the stories are true.

In Luck In Love, I worked in Yellowstone, at Lake Hotel, in 1983. I was on the second floor, the women's floor, of the Sandpiper dorm. Sara, the heroine was chased by a moose. Yes, that happened to me. No, there was no Luck for me. He was a "What if?" I had so much to learn. I didn't know anything about PTSD yet. I gave Sara and Luck the benefit of my growth and changes. I endeavored to be careful to not use anything not common knowledge in 1983.

In Mark's Grace, I brought to life a dream I'd had years ago. I dreamed the man who wanted to impress me decorated my home for Christmas. I didn't know how to accept the gift. It terrified me at first, and then charmed me. I couldn't imagine any man doing something like that for me. Writing it into the story allowed me to live the dream. The house where Mark and Grace live actually exists in Signal Hill. If I were independently wealthy, I'd live there. The dog story is mine. Mark was inspired by cover model Jimmy Thomas. The first time I met him I asked for a hug. He gives the best hugs. I don't know how he did it, but he managed to wrap his arms around me without making me feel trapped or even uncomfortable. The moment he hugged me, I knew I'd found what I wanted for Grace. By the way, Grace wasn't supposed to have her own story and then her story wasn't supposed to happen for a few more years. Characters have their own ideas. I endeavor to stay out of the way.

In Saving Lisa, I lived in Thailand, in '84 and '85. I was present at the Fourth of July celebration at the embassy in Bangkok. I expected Lisa, but I didn't expect Eric. He surprised me, pleasantly. I'm not a photographer, but my sister is, so I picked her brain frequently. I knew of the slave trade while I was there, but only peripherally. I learned more later, after I returned home. Heartbreaking. I did land myself in a precarious position on one occasion, and to this day think that but for the Grace of God... All the royalties go to Operation Underground Railroad.

In Finding Home, I flew to England for the summer of '86. The moment I landed in London, I felt like I'd come home. The joy of writing the book was re-visiting a beloved place, and more especially the people. I learned a lot about being gracious and appreciative. I had a lot to learn. I was treated with kindness by everyone. Becki worked for the airlines, and so did I. Ian lives in the flat I would have loved to have owned. It was down the road from where I stayed. I miss the people who treated me like their American princess and claimed me as their own. I did not properly appreciate it then; I didn't think I deserved it.

In Wings to Fly, Samantha and Jordan wrapped up my whirlwind life of travel. The dog and the horse were mine. Samantha gave me an opportunity to pull together so many of the things I learned through my counselors. A fun side note is that Samantha and Jordan's favorite place to eat is P.croissant, which is my favorite eatery. P.croissant kindly gave me permission to use them in my story. They've been open since 1983. What a perfect coincidence.

In many ways, The Silver Locket Sisterhood was cathartic. I was able to release a lot of painful memories as well as clarify my faith. I can't remember ever doubting Jesus as my Savior. However, learning to trust Him has been a lifelong battle. I have to remind myself that the real lack of faith has been in myself. I was able to build my faith along with my characters. My hope in writing the series and seeking publication is others will learn they aren't alone.

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