When I was a kid, the Boxcar Children was one of my favorite series. I went on adventures with them. I was fond of quiet Violet, amused by Benny. I admired capable, big-sister Jessie.
I savored the beauty of Prince Edward Island with Anne of Green Gables, the spunky orphan. I grew up with her as she matured and went to college.
As a young adult, I loved Father Tim and the small town of Mitford. I eagerly awaited each book in the series, curious to discover how the lives of my book friends would unfold.
During times of transition, when flesh-and-blood friends weren’t available, book friends were companions. When I’ve been sick, they’ve been a source of warmth and comfort.
Now I love the characters in the Copper Island Novels as much as my other book friends from over the years. Maybe more. After all, bits of me and people I love are written into them. I channel my emotions and explore questions about the messiness of life and faith. And I set the books in the Keweenaw, sharing the beauty that I experience with the changing seasons. The apple blossoms, the big lake, the snow.
Even though I’m the author, I still need to wait to find out what will happen to the characters in my series. I don’t know until I write.
I’ve learned much about the mechanics of writing since I started writing fiction, but the way the stories come together is part mystery.
While writing Across the Bridge, I awoke at night and scribbled ideas on a notepad next to my bed. Things popped up on my Facebook feed, and I thought, “That needs to happen in this book.” Then I was off to YouTube to listen to real people’s stories about Ancestry DNA and paternity, a theme in my third novel. I struggled alongside Marcella as she tried to make peace with the suffering in her life and in the world, thinking that if she could, then that might help me, too.
I have cried reading books many times—because I feel so much for the characters. But until Across the Bridge I hadn’t cried while writing, experiencing a scene unfold. I guess that’s because I have grown closer to these characters over the last five years.
I hope you love them as much as I do.
PS Across the Bridge is available now on Amazon in Kindle for paperback. If you like the book, please leave a review on Amazon. Reviews help people find it, and they open up opportunities for me to promote it.