I’ve been celebrating the release of The Way Back to Erin, my third novel in A Findlay Roads Story series, and I recently shared some of my inspirations and challenges in the creation of the stories. While each has some difficult, true-to-life element at their core, The Way Back to Erin carried a lingering weight given all the grief shared by the two main characters, Burke and Erin.
I didn’t expect this third book to be quite as challenging, on an emotional level, as the first two in the series. The other stories deal with some devastating subject matter such as Early Onset Alzheimer’s, fractured families, and infertility. But I underestimated the power of grief, which is the central conflict for Burke and Erin. As I said in my Reader Letter at the beginning of the book:
Grief is a tricky thing. It has no timetable. It is not bound by the constraints of a five-step process. It will catch you unawares, lulling you into a false sense of security one hour, only to strike you savagely with the reminders of your loss in the next.
But I ended with:
Grief will tie you up, cut you deep, and hold you down. But it will not keep you there forever.
The best, but also the hardest, thing about The Way Back to Erin was bringing both Burke and Erin through the sphere of grief they were stuck in. It was a story with no easy answers because life itself is not easy. They had to work for their happily ever after, just as the rest of us do. But it was also extremely satisfying to wrestle with them and their emotions through the book and then see where they ended up and knowing they deserved to be there. You’ll just have to read the book to see what I mean!
Visit me on the Harlequin Heartwarming blog for more details behind the story, including the inspiration for the town of Findlay Roads as well as the scene that moved me the most while writing.
All three stories in A Findlay Roads Story series are available now in eBook or mass market paperback. I’d love to hear your thoughts!