Welcome back to Day 1 of my week-long release party for Fractured Paradise! This afternoon I'm sharing with you the story behind the story. Here, you'll find out how this book came into being, why I wanted to write it, and why I chose the dedication I did.
Fractured Paradise started out as a way for me to get over my British grandmother's death back in 2003. She had been sick for quite a while and I'd said my final goodbye, but I was not with her when she died. At the time, I needed comfort and turning to my happy place (the UK), I was able to get through my emotions as I wrote the book. The story has Rachel's grandmother in it, so I was able to honor my grandmother as well.
As a granddaughter, I managed to get through my grief by doing the physical writing and working through my emotions in the story. As a writer, I revised the manuscript, which started out as a 250-page contemporary romance (no suspense), and submitted it to contests (in which it finaled and won a couple) and a lovely editor rejected it but gave me some great feedback. I then put it aside for a few years and wrote other contemporary and romantic suspense stories. It was last year, when I signed my first contract with Decadent Publishing, that I started to think about revising Fractured Paradise for the Honor Guard line. I cut it down, added in a suspense element (and an International Protective Network employee) and submitted it earlier this year. In my mind, the book had become a way for me to honor not only my grandmother, but also my British heritage in general. When it came time to write the dedication for the book, choosing my grandparents was not even a question.
You see, I spent a lot of time with my grandmother as I grew up. Because she worked in a school, she had the same vacations as me so she babysat quite a bit. Sometimes she came to our house and sometimes I went to her house. My grandfather worked a lot so I only saw him at night and on the weekends. But I remember very vividly sitting on their living room floor while music played, with my notebook in my lap and a pen in my hands. My grandfather would come in from work and ask, "Are you not done with that book yet?" (My usual response was, "No, I started a new one!") I always remember them being supportive of my fanciful career plans. They were both very proud of me and my push to get published, to see my dream come true. Sadly, my grandfather died in 2009 and so he wasn't around for my first book to come out either, but I hope I've honored them both in my attempt to bring all that I love about Britain, and especially Sunderland, to readers everywhere.
For Mary L. Martin (1922-2003)
And Jimmie Martin (1919-2009)
Nan and Granda, I did it!