Here’s a few more of the questions asked at the Book Launch Party for my novel UNDERWATER, and the answers (and announcements) I
wish that I’d should have given (and made):
En premier (first):
The novel is dedicated to my mother, Sally, who was a guest at the party. She knew how nervous I was speaking in front of the large group, and fortunately, she reminded me to announce the book’s dedication to her. I did, but here’s what else I should have said…
I dedicated the book to her because she’s been so supportive of my writing. Years ago, when I mentioned my idea of writing a book, I told her that I was thinking about writing a novel based on my year in France.
“Do it!” she said. “It’s not too late!” When MAKE THAT DEUX was published, no one was more proud of me than she was – and no one’s asked me more about the details of UNDERWATER, and when it would be released! Thanks, Mom.
Several people named in the book’s Acknowledgments were in attendance at the party. But who (besides other authors) reads the Acknowledgments page?* So I wished I had recognized them, and explained how much they helped. From pacing and plot to the smallest story details, their input was invaluable!
Enfin (finally), les questions:
Where did you draw your inspiration from for this story?
I drew on some of my own life experiences when writing the story.
My husband and I were “underwater” on our first house in the late 1980s, before being underwater was cool. We moved across the country for a new job in the midst of a declining real estate market, a side effect of the Savings & Loan crisis. We had no choice but to (seriously) downsize and do our best – and to start all over again. No one came to our rescue, and one thing we learned was that it’s much easier to upsize than to downsize. Much easier.
But we did it. We lived not just within our means, but way below them, for several years. In short, we did “Dave Ramsey” before Dave Ramsey was cool.
More than a decade later, after building a new home in the Midwest, we left the area, again for a new job. We sold our house at a loss. Downsizing followed, but we recovered more quickly this time.
When I began writing UNDERWATER, I knew the premise, the protagonist, the villain, the storyline…and I knew the feelings of despair, desperation and stress connected with a house underwater.
I thought that I could write about those feelings through the eyes of fictional characters, and about the havoc that the situation wreaks in all of their lives.
What books have you read recently, and what do you like to read?
I read a range of fiction and some non-fiction, including biographies. I like everything from suspense to coming-of-age stories and romance. I also like historical fiction and classics. And I usually like anything set in France, which includes presque tout – almost everything – by Peter Mayle.
Earlier this year, I read Stephen King’s 11/22/63, and his book written for authors, On Writing (a bonus was an appendix of good books to read). Another great book I read was Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand.
For the answers to some other questions about UNDERWATER, such as how I selected the title and characters’ names, see FAQ – UNDERWATER.
* Take a look at my Acknowledgments page (it’s short!) to find out more.