Most writers will tell you that inspiration happens when we least expect it. When our minds are untethered from the computer and allowed to roam free.
Thus is the case with my April 17th release. Three unexpected paths I took inspired WILLOW’S WAY…
The first was a trip to England, where we visited a region known as the Cotswolds. This area in southern-central England includes not only gorgeous countryside, but the city of Bath– home to Jane Austen. The region is known as an “Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty” in the UK–meaning an area designated for conservation due to its significant landscape value. As we toured the region, the writer inside of me knew someday this incredible place would end up in my one of my books. For more on the area, here’s a post I wrote about a national trail in the area called The Cotswold Way.
The second came in the very early stages of writing WILLOW’S WAY, while I still fleshed out my plot and characters. One of the children in my neighborhood came to play with our puppy (Milo) and gave me an excuse to stop working and go outside.
I relaxed and watched the pair playing. Then, like magic, I knew fictional character Owen Hughes (tour guide/grounds keeper) needed a daughter whose trusty sidekick would be a Petit Basset Griffon like my puppy. (here’s a post I wrote on the unusual breed.) It was a real joy writing the scenes with both Jilly and Henry (aka, Jillian and Milo). Jillian showed me how dogs and kids “get” each other, and Milo showed me that a pooch with personality is good in any book.
The third came from deep within. I have struggled my whole life with my weight. That number on the scale can take me down in an instant if it’s too high, and make me feel like a queen when it’s low. But as I get older, I’ve been thinking a great deal about seeing the best in myself–no matter what’s on the scale. The people who love me and the friends who like to be with me don’t ever change how they feel because of my weight. Up or down, they care about ME. Willow’s weight journey is a personal one that I am taking with my own self-acceptance.
I hope this gives you some insights into an author’s process. If you have questions or comments, I’d love to hear from you.
To celebrate the release of Willow’s Way, I’m giving away two-$25 AMAZON GIFT CARDS. Join the scavenger hunt (click here or on the image) for up to 22 chances to win!*
*No purchase necessary to enter or win.
If you’re interested in more about the book, a blurb is included below.
ABOUT WILLOW’S WAY
The breathtaking promise of the English countryside can lift even the heaviest spirits . . .
Willow Armstrong, the once-famous “Queen of Weight Loss” and president of Pound Busters, succumbed to stress eating after her divorce. Now the scandal of getting caught on camera binging on pizza, and the internet-wide mocking of her new curves, may destroy her career. Add in a business advisor who drained her finances, and Willow is out of options—until she learns she’s inherited a house in England’s most picturesque locale, The Cotswolds.
Willow’s trip across the pond to sell the property and salvage her company soon becomes its own adventure: the house, once owned by grandparents she never met, needs major work. Plus, single dad Owen Hughes, the estate’s resident groundskeeper and owner of a local tour outfit, isn’t thrilled about the idea of leaving . . . Yet as Willow proceeds with her plans, she’s sidetracked by surprising discoveries about her family’s history–and with Owen’s help, the area’s distinctive attractions. Soon, she’s even retracing her roots—and testing her endurance—amid the region’s natural beauty. And the more she delves into the past, the more clearly she sees herself, her future, and the way home . . .
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