Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Grace-filed Tuesdays (Book Club "Meeting" #15): Second of a Four-Part Series

At last Tuesday's "meeting," I re-ran an old post from 2013, all about Finding Grace, that was the first in a series titled "Where Fiction and Real Life Intersect."  (If you couldn't attend last week and would like to see what you missed, you can click here.)  The reason I decided to write this series in the first place was that I know people are always curious about whether or not authors use people and/or incidents from their real lives in their fiction.
Today, I'm going to give you the second installment in the "Where Real Life and Fiction Intersect" series.  So grab yourself a cup of coffee (I've got mine!), sit down in your comfiest reading chair, and join the club.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Where Real Life and Fiction Intersect (Part 2)

It's day 2 of 7 Posts in 7 Days--and so far, so good!

Over the weekend, I got some exciting news: Finding Grace was chosen as one of three finalists in the Young Adult Fiction category for an award called the Catholic Arts & Letters Award (or CALA). I was a bit blown away by the announcement, never believing when I sent in five copies of the book to the contest reviewers that it would make it this far.  The winner will be announced at a Catholic Writers Guild conference in NJ in a couple of  weeks--and it just so happens that I have already signed up to attend the first two days of the event, having been encouraged by both my husband and an author e-friend of mine that I should bust out of my shell of shyness and fear of all things new and just do it. On Sunday, I was laughing with my oldest son about pulling a Zoolander move--you know, preparing a big acceptance speech, jumping up on stage when they announce another author's title, starting to thank everyone...and then having to slink away in shame.  (Like I would EVER let that happen!) Really, though, winning would just be gravy at this point.  Or frosting.  Take your pick.

The news did make me feel like talking about my baby, though, so I thought today I'd give you another peek into "The Making of Finding Grace."

In the first installment of this series, I told you that like Grace, I lived right in the heart of Plattsburgh, around the corner from the college, and like Irene, my best friend lived out on the lake in Cumberland Head.  My house was an old two-story with a covered front porch (and a front porch swing!) and my best friend's was a one-story modern ranch.  But aside from where we lived and the type of homes we inhabited--and the fact that we had countless giggle-filled sleepovers--the two girls are not like us at all. Not physically or really in any other way.
The old homestead (note the swing at the porch's far right).  
I stopped my car when in town recently and snapped this, 
hoping the current owners wouldn't come out and
think I was some sort of creepy Internet stalker.
I do share Grace's shyness and lack of confidence, and the way she feels horrified if she knows she's hurt someone's feelings or put her foot in her mouth.  And like Grace, I was not given a middle name (and neither were my two sisters), and my dad's reasons for giving them to his sons but not his daughters were exactly the same as Jack Kelly's.  That first conversation in Chapter One between Grace and Jack was inspired by several similar discussions I had with my father during my formative years.  Particularly after a nasty run-in with my 6th grade teacher, Sister Juliet, who accused me of lying when I told her "Laura Harding" was my full name. "Everyone has a middle name!" she cried angrily.  (I'd go into the gritty details for you, but the incident left a sting that lingers to this day!  I was accused of being a liar in front of all my classmates. Someday I'll get over it!)*

Want to read more?  Click here for the rest of this post!

Peace and grace, dear readers!


  1. I remember my run-in with Sister Theresa, I think. In my case however, when I told her I didn't have a middle name, she didn't believe me and so I told her I had a nickname! It was when we were counting letters in our names to win a book and since I said I had a nickname (Rini) she heard it as Renee and I won the book because I had one more letter than the girl who was in second place!! I feel a little guilt and sting about this, but not too much!

    1. What scars we have! You, B, and I have all had our run-ins with the good Sisters over this! Oh, to have a middle name!! :) :)