Readers have been curious about how I came up with the concept for Chasing Amanda, and if I have future plans to write a follow-up story. I’m going to try to answer these questions without revealing too many spoilers for those who have yet to read the book.
I tend to write about things that scare me. Chasing Amanda was born out of fear. Early one morning, I was running down White Ground Road (a secluded rustic road that is mentioned in the book), and my mind began to wander. White Ground runs between two hundred acres of woods, with very few houses and even fewer cars that travel its path. I find deep woods to be creepy in any setting, whether they’re out in the open, like the woods described by the Adventure Park in Chasing Amanda, or in a secluded area, such as White Ground Road.
As I ran, I began to creep myself out. I thought about how easily a person could be brought into the woods and simply disappear. That thought took me to the next, which I won’t reveal, but which led to Tracey being abducted, and where she is taken. It was a small skip from there to thinking up hidden personas for my characters. Small towns are ideal settings for secrets. You never know what goes on behind closed doors, even in towns where everyone believes they “know” everyone else.
I prefer to write from a personal standpoint, from character’s perspectives that I can relate to, which is why I made Molly a mother, and gave her the history of having seen a kidnapping without realizing it’s what she’d seen until it was too late. As a mother, I wanted to explore the haunting of the lost child, and how it might impact a woman/mother in that position. Chasing Amanda blossomed from those dark thoughts.
I am toying with a second Molly Tanner novel, where she might work with the police to solve other cases. If I decide to write another Molly Tanner novel, then I would likely be able to explore Erik’s abilities in a deeper fashion, and allow him to grow into a man right before the reader’s eyes.
I find Erik to be a very unique character, a boy on the cusp of manhood, though not quite ready to relinquish the umbilical chord. At that age, boys want to separate themselves from their parents. In Erik’s case, he’s finding impossible to do. He tries desperately to hold onto the belief that he can escape his DNA—the Knowing (the paranormal ability his mother has dealt with her whole life). His abilities are too strong to ignore, and he must confide in and rely on his mother, if for no other reason then to understand what he has seen. I’d love to delve into his character and see how he handles his gift.
Right now, however, I’m completing my next novel, Come Back to Me (working title). Come Back to Me is a tragic International love story—don’t think romance, though. Although there is romance in the book, I believe it will fall into the commercial women’s fiction genre.
Below is a sneak peek at Come Back to Me. I hope you enjoy reading it, and, as always, I love to chat with readers, so feel free to contact me to visit your book club or discuss my books with you.
Tess Johnson has it all, Beau, her handsome photographer husband, a thriving business, and a newly discovered pregnancy. When Beau accepts an overseas photography assignment, Tess decides to wait to reveal her secret—only she’s never given the chance. Beau’s helicopter crashes in the desert.
As Tess struggles to put her life back together and deal with the pregnancy she can no longer hide, a new client appears, offering more than just a new project.
Meanwhile, two Iraqi women who are fleeing Honor Killings find Beau alive in the middle of the desert, his body ravaged. Suha, a doctor, and Samira, a widow and mother of three young children, nurse him back to health in a makeshift tent. Beau bonds with the women and children, and together, with the help of an underground organization, they continue their dangerous escape.
What happens next is a test of loyalties, strength, and love.
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This article was originally written for Mary Rose, My Book Buddies.
Mary, thank you for having me on as a guest today. As always, it’s a pleasure to work with you, and I appreciate your support.
Thank you again, Melissa, for your wonderful generosity and commitment to your readers. I look forward to reading more of your future work!!!
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