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Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Genesis of a Book - Finding Hope by Emma Carlyle

The Genesis

I’m a news junkie. Most of my plot ideas have arisen in part from newspaper article I’ve read. I start playing the “what if” game, adding elements from my own personal experiences or those of others I know. Such was the case with Finding Hope, a Romance Writers of America Golden Heart finalist that’s now available as an ebook.

The idea for Finding Hope came to me after reading about a fertility doctor in Virginia who had used his own sperm to impregnate the eggs of his in vitro patients. My cousin had gone through many years of unsuccessful fertility treatments at that point. When her insurance refused to pay for another treatment, she and her husband adopted a baby from China. But what if my cousin had become pregnant and years later she and her husband discovered he wasn’t the biological father? That “what if” led to other “what if’s” which I won’t give away here because I don’t want to include any plot spoilers. Let’s just say, I gave the factual story a few very unique fictional twists.

I’ve also been deeply touched by our troops overseas, especially those who have given their lives to keep us safe. I’ve often wondered about how their young widows have coped with the loss. So I sent Hope’s husband off to war where he’s killed in action.

In addition, I put some of my own experiences into the book. I have a degree in graphic design and illustration. My husband is an architect. I made Hope an artist and Ben, my hero, an architect. Write what you know, right?

For me, Finding Hope was an extremely emotional book to write. Even though I’ve infused it with touches of humor (how can you not have humor when you’ve got three-year-old triplets in a book?) there were many places in the book where I cried as I wrote the scenes. I still get teary-eyed when I reread parts of the book. If you like romance that tugs at your heartstrings, I hope you’ll give Finding Hope a read. If you do, I’d love to hear from you to find out how you liked it.
Hope Morgan was always the good girl, doing what her conservative parents expected: she gave up her dream of going to college, became a secretary right out of high school, and married the boy next door. When Hope is suddenly widowed, she finds the courage to pursue her own dreams. Twelve years later, after working full-time and going to school at night, she obtains her degree and is offered a position at a prestigious architectural firm.

That’s when her long-exiled libido decides to resurface, and Hope finds herself falling head-over-heels for Ben Schaffer, her married boss. What Hope doesn’t realize is that Ben’s marriage is less than ideal. Within days of Hope starting her new job, Ben’s wife walks out on him and their three-year-old triplets–the same day the nanny lands in the hospital. When Ben can’t find a last-minute replacement, Hope agrees to step in as a temporary nanny, not the best decision she’s ever made, given her raging hormones.

Ben is fighting a battle with his own hormones, but an office romance is the last thing he needs or wants. However, neither he nor Hope are a match for three very determined three-year-olds on a mission to find a happy ending.
Emma Carlyle is the pen name of award-winning author Lois Winston. As Emma, she writes romance, romantic suspense, and chick lit. As Lois, she writes mystery, women’s fiction, romantic suspense, and non-fiction. Kirkus Reviews dubbed her critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.”
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Rosemary Gemmell said...

Great post, Emma - love the premise of your novel!

Rose Anderson said...

Thanks for coming today, Emma. It sounds like a story of hope. Lovely premise. Best luck.

Jane Leopold Quinn said...

You didn't just take one idea from the news or your life, you took many ideas and wove them together. A fascinating story and gorgeous cover. Thanks for coming, Emma!

Lois Winston said...

Thank you, Rosemary, Rose, and Jane!

Rayne Golay said...

A very moving story, a must read.

Anonymous said...

Sounds very interesting! Great interview!

Lois Winston said...

Thanks so much, Rayne. I'm glad you enjoyed the book.

Victoria Adams said...

Fascinating- where the story came from and how you morphed into your book.

Gemma Juliana said...

I love the way you braid all the strands together, Emma. I'm a "what iffer" as well and it can be fun to follow the thoughts and see where you land. Wishing you successful sales - lovely cover.

Kaye Spencer said...

This story sounds like at least a 1-box-of-tissues-story. ;-) I'm not a news watcher/listener, so a lot of times, a picture or a passing comment spawns my stories. Have added this story to my list of winter reads. :-)

Lois Winston said...

Thanks, Victoria, Gemma, and Kaye!