This week on Author on the Couch,
I conduct a session with
Becky is giving away an e-copy of A WIDOW’S SALVATION to one lucky person who leaves a comment.
Me: Tell me about an experience that had a profound impact on your life.
Becky: This question always has the ability to draw out stories from your visitors that were previously untold. Let me make my way over to the couch and I’ll tell you mine.
When I was 12, I was diagnosed with Juvenile Scoliosis. What followed was 9 months in a body cast, which extended from my chin to my hips. My Christmas was spent in the hospital, following surgery. Maybe that’s why Christmas has never been my favorite holiday. When I finally got the last cast cut off and the dead skin all exfoliated away, I had a follow-up visit with the doctor. He told me, in no uncertain terms, that I could never carry a child to term, so I should plan on a life without children. This was back in the day when the doctor’s word was the law, and we never questioned what he said. So from age 12 on, I had no expectations of a family of my own.
It took me years to recognize my dating patterns, but every time a man I was dating began to get close, I’d find a way to end the relationship, since I didn’t want to deprive anyone else of having children. I have since talked to a number of women who had the same skeletal issues as I did, and they were able to get pregnant and carry a child to term. I often wonder how my life would have been different if I’d questioned what the doctor said.
Me: A body cast… As a child… That sounds horrendous. And you’re right… There was a time when people never questioned their doctors. I run in to that today in my office with clients of a certain generation. <wink>
Childhood experiences are powerful. They have the ability to effect our worldview, our entire lives.
What personality trait of yours helps you most as an author?
Becky: Tenacity. When I decide I want to do something, I figure out a way to do it.
Me: What personality trait of yours hinders you most as an author?
Becky: Indecision. I constantly question myself.
Me: What was your high point as a writer?
Becky: My first book, THE RELUCTANT DEBUTANTE, was offered as a Kindle Daily Deal a few years ago. For a brief period of time (a few hours, actually), Amazon flew the #1 banner next to my book. It was a great night.
Me: As an unpublished author the thought of having that #1 banner next to my book gives me chills! What an awesome few hours that had to have been!
What was your low point as a writer?
Becky: My low point came recently, when I didn’t final in a contest. I decided I needed to up my game by a notch or two, so I signed up for a workshop, and I know it’s a cliché, but it changed the way I look at writing. A WIDOW’S SALVATION is the result of going back into the classroom again. I hope it shows.
Me: If you had to pick a mental disorder to have for only one day (purely for writer research purposes), which one would you choose? Why?
Becky: I’d pick Dementia/Alzheimer’s, because it’s close to home. Several of my aunts are afflicted with it, and a friend of mine wrote a chilling tale about a woman suffering from Alzheimer’s and how she was thinking. I’d love to have that kind of insight.
Me: How many books have you written? How long does it typically take you to write a book? What’s the most painful part of the writing process for you?
Becky: A WIDOW’S SALVATION is the 8th book in my historic Cotillion Ball Series, plus a novella about the parents, Charlotte and George. I have one remaining book in the series, about the youngest in the family, Saffron. It’s called THE FORGOTTEN DEBUTANTE and will be available in March 2016–if I ever finish writing it! In addition, I have three contemporaries available, but I’m better known as a historical author. I like to give myself four months to complete a manuscript, starting with a flash first draft. The most painful part of the writing process is after I finish the first draft and start going through the torturous editing process–over and over.
Me: Name a writing pet peeve of yours. Something that hits you like fingernails-on-a-chalkboard every time you see it. Why does it bug you?
Becky: The misuse of the word “it’s.” It drives me nuts, because it’s really so simple. Only use “it’s” when you mean it is or it has. Other times, use “its.” No exceptions.
Me: Your cover for A WIDOW’S SALVATION is simply beautiful!
Tell me about your novel.
In 1862 America, the Civil War has raged for twelve months. Pepper Fitzpatrick Brown’s heart was broken when her husband died with the first volley at Manassas. Now she’s a widow raising three young boys and plans to honor his sacrifice by volunteering at the army hospital.
When Colonel Elijah Williams can grab a few minutes to nap between his duties as head surgeon at MacDougall Army Hospital in the Bronx, his sleep is invaded with nightmares of the atrocities he’s seen. His life has narrowed to nothing but the bloody war … until he meets Pepper Brown. But her father is concerned Elijah doesn’t have the best intentions, and Pepper is fearful of loving and losing again.
It’s hard to find happiness in a war-torn United States, but these two stand a fighting chance—if they can save what’s left of their hearts.
Me: Share with us a favorite paragraph or two A WIDOW’S SALVATION.
Becky: I love this particular scene from the book since it sets up the entire story. And I think it captures some of the essence of Pepper–a gentle woman with a core of inner strength.
Pepper knelt at the grave and ran her fingers over the stone. Her voice broke as she whispered to her husband, “You’d be so proud of your boys, Michael. They’re becoming more like you every day. I wish you could see what fine young men they’re turning out to be. We all miss you so much, but we will do justice to your memory and forge a new path for ourselves. Rest easy. We’ll be fine.”
Pepper stood, wiped the tears from her eyes, and returned to the carriage, where she paused, taking one final look at the cemetery. Her breath caught in her throat. Nothing would ever be the same, and she had to make the best of it. She owed it to her sons, and to Michael’s memory, to carve a new life out of the ashes of the old. She was one of the first war widows in New York City, and as such, needed to set an example for the thousands of others who would follow in her footsteps. Things would never be the same, but being different could be equally rewarding. Possibly.
To Purchase A WIDOW’S SALVATION go to:
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If you are interested in being an Author on the Couch, email me at: email@example.com
*Check out this week’s Manic Monday Blog: You Are A Badass.*
Abbie Roads writes dark emotional novels featuring damaged characters, but always gives her hero and heroine a happy ending… after torturing them for three hundred pages.