Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Grace-filled Tuesdays (Book Club "Meeting" #19): For the Love of Boys

 "Write what you know."

That's the advice authors are often given when it comes to writing fiction.

I don't know much about many things; but I do know about boys.  And I know about how a mother's heart can literally ache with love for her sons. So I decided to use my own five lovable sons as the inspiration for Grace Kelly's five older brothers in my first novel, Finding Grace (published in 2012 by Bezalel Books), and myself--at least parts of me, anyway--as the inspiration for their adoring mother, Peggy Roach Kelly.       
One of my favorite Kelly Pearl boys, supporting his mama's work.
(He loved the book from the get-go, and devoured it in manuscript
form, but did remark that it really started to pick up around
Chapter 5...when Grace's brothers burst on the scene.) 
Here's an excerpt from Chapter 6 of Finding Grace:

          It was interesting how much the five brothers resembled one another, particularly from behind, where one couldn't see the variations in their facial features.  They were all Roaches, similar in height and build, and all had Peggy's chestnut-colored hair (only Grace had inherited the stature and coloring of the Kelly side).  They shared a gait that was uniquely their own, genetically programmed, so it seemed--the "Kelly boy walk": they sort of dragged their feet, yet bounced, with hands jammed in their pockets and shoulders slightly hunched, their heads leaning forward a bit.  The five of them laughed together easily as they made their way over to the church, looking and acting for all the world like a set of giant quintuplets.  They seemed nearly identical in appearance from this view, and as they say about babies of multiple births, they had almost a language of their own.  They often finished each other's sentences, and laughed at the same moments.  Their hand gestures and the inflections of their speech were uncannily alike. 
          They shared a tight bond that was indeed extraordinary, one that their parents hoped would never be broken.
          Peggy drank them in with her eyes; Grace saw the expression on her mother's face and wished for a moment that she had ever been the one to produce such a look of naked adoration.  Then she watched her brothers loping along ahead of them, and if she'd had a mirror she would have realized that her own face bore an expression very nearly the same as her mother's.
          "Aren't they something special?" Grace thought, filled with tenderness.  Right then she knew more clearly than ever that she hoped she would one day be the mother of many boys.

Although this book is most definitely a work of fiction, the feelings these five endearing Kelly boys stir up in their mother and baby sister were very easy to write...because I've had these very same feelings myself so many times, while watching my boys walking along together, their pleasantly deep voices (and sometimes high-pitched hysterical laughter) filling the air with the best music my ears could ever hear.  In their boyhood days, my husband and I would often follow behind them as they made their way across the church parking lot for Sunday Mass; we'd remark on how they had the same walk, the "Pearl boy walk," and I would drink them in and think that there wasn't a mother alive who had sons as wonderful as mine.  So in the book, I just had to have Peggy and Jack, the boys' parents, and Grace, their sister, following along behind them as they cross the church parking lot.

I wrote what I knew.  I knew those Kelly boys, because they were so much like these guys.

Good boys.  Sweet boys.  Faith-filled boys.  Boys who, while being unique individuals, share so many fine traits and are fiercely protective of one another.  And boys who've always treated their mom like a queen (there's that, too!).

So here are my book club questions for today's post:  If you read Finding Grace, did you like Grace's brothers?  Did they seem real to you?  Which one was your favorite?

I look forward to your comments.  Thanks for stopping by, dear readers! 

(And one last thing: I am looking for book reviewers for both of my novels.  If you might be interested in receiving a review copy of either Finding Grace or Erin's Ring in exchange for an honest review on Amazon, Goodreads, and/or your blog, please contact me using the EMAIL ME tab on the sidebar.)


  1. I loved Grace's brothers! And, I found myself a little envious of Grace having them, as growing up I had always wished I had older brother, too.

    1. Thank you for loving Grace's brothers! Although they were inspired by my sons, they took on lives of their own as I wrote. But I grew to love those boys so much. I'm so happy to know a reader felt the same way about them.