Nineteen-year-old Patrick wonders for decades if God has forgotten all about him or if he's being punished for some terrible crime or sin over a lovely forty years trapped in an empty home. But when Sara Oswald, a strange woman with a mysterious past, buys his house, old feelings reawaken, and a new optimism convinces him that she's the answer to his prayers.
Things are never simple, though, especially when she begins channeling the memories of his life and death in her writing.
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MY REVIEW DELAYED
My review will be forthcoming. This book is high on my TBR but unfortunately I am quite behind schedule. I apologize for the inconvenience and hope to catch-up by the end of March, at the latest.
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Tell us about a favorite character from a book.
I love Patrick, my main character, not just because he turned out to be just a sweet guy in general, but because it was so fun to research things associated with him.
Patrick was nineteen when he died in 1970, so he definitely has attitudes that reflect the time period – women were joining the workforce more often, and women’s rights were at the forefront, along with issues relating to the Vietnam War. It was interesting to do the research on those things as well as the clothes and language.
And introducing Patrick to more contemporary attitudes and technology was really exciting – nineteen is an age where you’re open to change, but how does that relate to someone who’s been dead for forty years?
Tell us about your next release.
My next release is a follow-up to Between Seasons. There are some things intentionally left unexplained by the end, and the second novel in the series explains the dreams Patrick has as well as the ending and the consequences of that ending (I’m having trouble not giving anything away!). I’m in the outlining stages right now, so it probably won’t be available until the spring. I’m looking forward to writing more about Sarah and Patrick.
Who is your favorite author?
I have quite a few! I love John Irving, my favorite of his being A Prayer For Owen Meany. The plotting is convoluted and fantastic, and the characterization is so rich I can see and hear Owen Meany clear as day. I also love Kurt Vonnegut and Christopher Moore – both are quite different writers, but I appreciate the easy comedy and the unique ideas both of them are known for. Lastly, I love James Morrow, a writer who is technically classified as science fiction, but writes these amazing books that focus on religion in unique ways.
Do you have critique partners or beta readers?
I take the critique partner/beta reader process really seriously. When I write, every chapter goes to a group of 4-6 people (depending on who’s available) for review. Some of them are writers and some are readers with a great editorial eye. They rip it apart, send it back to me, and then I revise. When I’m done putting a chapter back together, it goes to my critique partner. Usually only after all that do I feel like I might have something good on my hands.
It’s important to me to get that level of feedback – most writers just can’t be objective enough about their own work to see when something isn’t working, so it’s necessary for improvement.
Do you listen to music while writing? If so what?
Music was a huge component of writing Between Seasons, primarily because Patrick was a music lover and really missed music during his forty years alone in the house. The music of his teen years was a pivotal time in music history, so my playlist was full of The Doors, The Guess Who, Neil Young, and The Rolling Stones. And then to add to it the kinds of music Sarah would like gave me a broad range of musical styles and tastes. There’s a really great scene in the novel set to a song by Clarence Carter called “Slip Away,” so when you get to that part, I highly recommend you find it on YouTube or Spotify or whatever to set the mood.
I don’t always listen to music when I write, but for Between Seasons, it was vital.
What was the scariest moment of your life?
I was at an abandoned prison on a tour quite a few years ago now — maybe ten years — walked through an exhibit on confiscated jailhouse weapons when something pushed through my body. Sounds kind of weird (and it was), but what felt like a semi-solid wind hit me in the chest, wafted through, and exited out my back. It hit me hard enough that I stumbled backward and had to hang on to a doorframe so I didn’t fall. I thought maybe I’d had a heart attack or a hallucination or something, and I tried to blow it off even though my poor heart hammered on my ribs . . . probably a product of all that immediate adrenaline flooding my system. Later when I was changing my clothes to go to bed, though, I couldn’t pretend it hadn’t really happened: I had a bruise on my chest in the exact spot I’d been struck.
Really scary – most of my experiences with ghosts have been really mild and not scary at all, but that one was. I currently live with a ghost (a man who appears on my stairs every once in a great while), which inspired Between Seasons.
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