BEHIND THE SCENES
After more than twenty publications with Kensington and Berkley, Finding Isadora is my first venture into the world of self-publishing.
Many of my books straddle the line between romance and what is often referred to as women’s fiction, meaning stories that focus on the heroine’s journey at a transitional time in her life. In all of my books to date, you’ll find a romance with a happy ending, and you’ll also find a character arc for both the heroine and the hero. Each protagonist confronts personal issues, makes tough decisions, and grows into a stronger, better person—and that growth occurs in part because of their growing love for the other person.
Most of my stories include both the heroine’s and the hero’s point of view, as is typical in romance fiction. Finding Isadora is different. I put the reader firmly inside Isadora’s head. You don’t know Gabriel’s thoughts, or Richard’s, or any other character’s, except through their actions and Isadora’s perceptions. That’s like real life, isn’t it? You can never know what your new lover, or your husband of thirty years, is truly thinking. You can only guess, based on what he says and does. That’s the element of realism I’m going for in Finding Isadora.
When I conceived of this book, I had a number of ideas in mind. First, that the older man/younger woman thing doesn’t usually work for me—but I wondered if I find a situation where it did. And then, in writing romance, we’re all about finding “the one” right person in the world for you. But what if you do, and you’re already committed to someone else? Do you just somehow “get over” the love of your life? Can you be happy with the person you committed to, or will you and they be miserable if you stay with them? Don’t they deserve a whole-hearted, passionate love? Then there’s the question, what will people do for love? Abdicate a throne and betray an entire country? Hurt people they love? What a horrendous dilemma. Those are the things I sent Isadora’s way. I love this particular heroine. She’s so caring and well-intentioned; she can’t brush any of this stuff off lightly. I also love her mom, who gives her “wise woman” type advice.
Over the many years I’ve been writing, I have discovered that the core theme in all my books is finding yourself. That theme plays out in different ways with my various characters, and I suppose, really, “finding yourself” is what the entire journey of life is all about.
In Isadora’s case, it’s a matter of finding out how much she’s like and not like her parents, what her core values are, and how she wants to live her life. At twenty-seven, she starts the book pretty complacent, thinking she’s figured out exactly who she is and what she wants. And isn’t that true of many twenty-somethings? But of course, life often intervenes, and that’s the challenge I set for Isadora in this book. Will she stick rigidly to her current beliefs, or does she have the flexibility and strength to re-examine her beliefs and values—particularly when that re-examination leads to hurting someone she loves and creating a future full of uncertainty?
This manuscript was initially written several years ago, before my first book was published in 2006. I was very proud when it was a finalist in the Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart contest. I have revised it considerably since then, and each time I work on it, I fall in love all over again with Isadora, the men in her life, her parents, and her best friend. I hope you will, too.