I've taken the personalities of several of the characters from my own family, but most of the actual events detailed in the novel are fabricated. The relationship between twins Victoria Jeanne and Benjamin Thomas is realistic as is that of Catherine and Fulton. Andee Camp's insecurities and desire to write a novel mirrors my own. The Brown twins are fictional but Will's character epitomizes my own father's sense of humor and nature. Hilda Hatter Otter was a "real" imaginary friend to my Aunt Kaga.
Having displayed a flair for writing and with the encouragement of my own book club, this journey began. Always present in the back of my mind were the words, "You're not college material" still lingers. I was an A student obsessed with studying, so hindsight tells me this assessment was most likely correct. I'd be lying if a small part of me wants to crow at the accomplishment of finishing this novel, but that emotion needs to remain in the lost part of my heart and let the words in Life in a Box tell the story.
Brimming with self-pride and armed with extensive research, my first fifty pages were read by a few trusted sources. Of course there were comments and suggestions, but I didn't expect to be knocked off the horse when one of my most trusted critics pronounced it unpublishable and recommended taking a class on fiction writing. I followed the suggestion plus read everything I could on "how to." I hope I've passed the test, but at least I know I've done everything in my power to make LIAB a good read.
I wouldn't rule out a sequel to LIAB, but I think the storyline has run its course, but who knows...a couple of the characters might have a few chapters left in their stories. In the middle of the night a new title came to me, The Whisper Room...I'm jotting down notes for maybe another novel run.
If you look at a barren tree what do you see? Winter's hush...a backdrop for the sun peeking through the branches...a place for squirrels to nest or birds to sing? I see all of that and a ballerina's arms gracefully graduating from first to fifth position...that's why.