1. What was your inspiration to write this book?
The seed of this story started as a short story in creative writing in college. It was barely recognizable from the story you see today, but Jennifer's visit to see her Aunt Sarah and meeting a strange boy on the beach remain the same. Over time, I made Jennifer older, wiser, more thoughtful. And over time the mystery haunted me. Why is she there? What happened? Why is her mother so upset? For years I said, "Was it...? Or did she...?" I felt like a detective looking for the story. Every lead I tried was wrong. Until I discovered Claire's pain and realized I solved the mystery. I think that is why I can write Jennifer's feelings of discovery. I just wrote how I felt when I finally got the answers to all line up after years of trying.
2. What is your biggest frustration as a writer?
Where do I start? Self doubt, obviously. I say obviously, because that is my overriding emotion as a writer. I am just skilled enough to know when I stink. And my writing can really be off-base sometimes. I'm just blessed/cursed enough to KNOW it. I can spend hours looking for that one word. Fixing that one sentence. I walk around trying to nod at the right places in conversations but really my brain is on a street in Maine trying to hear what Nathan just muttered. I'm always re-running the movie of my stories in my head to see if I missed anything. I am never quite free... when I write, I get stuck in the words. Does that make sense to anyone?
3. If you had to confess one secret thing about life as a writer, what would it be?
Writers are the bravest yellow-bellied scaredy-cats you will ever meet. They pour out all their talents, thoughts, hopes and dreams onto official paper and then officially hand it out to complete strangers everywhere. That takes guts, people. And then they curl into the fetal position, have a good cry and wish they could slip into a coma before anyone reviews it.
4. What do you want people to take away from your story?
I want people to walk away feeling more thoughtful and intelligent. I want them to feel proud of themselves for pondering some of those big life questions. I want them to feel comforted in the cadence of the words. I want them to feel a part of something wonderful in this hard-scrabble experience that is humanity. I want them to feel endless.
My Review of Regina's Book:
In addition to the descriptions, I loved the way that a reader could either peruse for pleasure, or delve deeper into the intellectual oomph of intense literary dissections and philosophy. Book club discussion leaders for this book could use the “lines” as discussion starters for their groups. (And I'm excited to have picked my book for my book club choice this year!!)
Underneath the elegance of words and the intrigue of ideas is a story exploring love, hurt, and trust. I am thrilled that I stumbled across this book and had the opportunity to read it. Okay, so truth be told, I didn't really stumble across it, several writer friends of mine recommended it, so I had to download it just to check it out and it was totally worth it.
I'm amazed by her self-publishing success story, which has taken quite a turn this week. I will let you discover her fabulous news on her blog. And a few more links: To "Like" her Facebook page. To buy her book on Amazon. Her website.