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BEHIND THE WRITING OF STONE CREEK
At the risk of sounding corny, I’m going to say that I wrote Stone Creek because it was the book I was meant to write at the time, and the universe contrived to make sure I wrote it.
Stone Creek is my second novel. My first, Hidden, was a very different sort of book – an epic historical family saga. And my second would most likely have been a sequel to Hidden, given enthusiastic early response to it, except for the minorly inconvenient fact that Hidden was turned down by twelve publishers over a period of nine months before finally finding a home. This was not a happy turn of events, but it was the best thing that could have happened for me.
After several months, I became sure that Hidden would never be published. I was a writer now, didn’t want to be anything else, and I knew I had to go on and try again. I wasn’t going to write another historical. And, since I had nothing to live up to, whatever I wrote next had the feel of a first novel all over again. I was free to write whatever came from my heart. And what came from my heart was a real, immediate story about loss and disappointment, and about reaching a point in life, which we all do after we’ve been around a while, when we have to learn to live happily with what we’ve got, even if it’s not everything we thought we needed or wanted. Because the alternative does not make for an acceptable existence.
I had reached that point in my own life, and moved past it. Writing Stone Creek was the expression of a personal life transition. But as the novel’s characters and storyline gradually crystalized in my imagination, I knew that what I was writing about was not my story. It was everyone’s story. Because everyone, in his or her own individual way, suffers the pains of loss and disappointment. And has to decide whether or not those pains will forever define their lives.