Hooking into a significant small event in your past is a way to open your heart and connect with your readers.
As I think about my upcoming book, I wondered how my summers past fit into my book. Surely it must.
I thought of three things immediately. (And you’ll have to read the book when it comes out (I am whispering, July 27) to understand.)
My father grew corn one year in our suburban backyard. Not a lot, a single row, I seem to recall. But I learned how corn grows that summer. I watched the stalks stretch to the sky. I watched the tassels form and blossom high above me. I was just a little kid. I watched ears of corn, first small but growing plumper every day until the yellow silk turned brown and dry. Then the corn was ready to pick. And I remember it was delicious—even if there wasn’t a lot of it.
My mother prayed the rosary every day for my nephew while he was serving in Afghanistan as a U.S. Marine. It seemed the most natural thing in the world for a grandmother (or a mother to do) and so Maureen’s mother’s rosary beads seem to be always in her hands.
My siblings and I often stayed out late on summer nights to look at the stars. Orion, the Big Dipper, the Pleiades and the occasional comet were our favorites. Still like to go out and see where Orion is. A shooting star is still a marvel that takes my breath away.
Summer memories are special ones. They often include friends, family and the freedom that only comes when you’re a kid freed from homework, spelling tests and math assignments. I’m not surprised some of mine found their way into DIVIDED LOYALTIES. They mark moments when my characters are cherishing those they love.