Where did the inspiration for this novel come from?
Several years ago I mentioned to a friend that I’d figured out that I write my dream man into every novel I write. (I’m single. J) It wasn’t something I did intentionally but rather something I figured out after writing a few books. After that conversation I began wondering what would happen if a novelist did write her dream man into a novel and then became infatuated with him? It was the “what if?” question that becomes the seed of most novels. I detail my realization in the Reader Letter in the back of Home. Recently, I gave my newsletter subscribers a “behind the scenes” peek at that letter and both the origin of the idea and emotions it evoked in me.
Are any parts of the plot or characters pulled from real life?
Yes and no. My protagonist is novelist, so… But beyond our shared careers and our writing processes, her story has little in common with me or my life. At least, that’s what I thought as I wrote. But once the book was finished, I realized Melanie is more like me that I first thought. Or maybe I’m more like Melanie than I first thought. We both share a penchant for avoiding emotional pain.
Can you tell us about any research you did for this novel?
Melanie and her husband are the primary characters in the novel, but their neighbors also play a large role. Jill is Melanie’s best friend and her editor. She is harboring a secret that she fears is literally making her crazy. I did a lot of reading about mental illness—both its impact and the stigmas surrounding it. I found the research not fascinating and heartbreaking. I hope Home will shed some light on what is often perceived as a dark topic.
Who is your favorite character in the book?
I have two favorites: Dr. Elliott Hammond—the character Melanie creates and becomes infatuated with. And Craig, Melanie’s husband. Both are strong, wise men. As the mother of two adult sons it’s important to me to create male characters that represent the best in men—strong faith, integrity, and respect for women.
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