Thursday, November 17, 2011

And Now for My Take...

Yesterday, Jennifer and Kellie posted some great questions about Treading Water, and we had a spirited conversation about the book. Before I invited them to come on the blog, I answered some questions for them. So I will post our Q&A here and look forward to hearing what readers have to say.

Question 1 from Jennifer and Kellie: Was Andi Jack's "true love?" I know you touched upon it when Jack himself asked Jamie his opinion of what Jamie thought would've happened had Jack met Andi while married to a healthy Clare. I mean he was going to meet her anyway...the project was in the works, etc regardless of the accident happening to Clare, right? I feel like Jack would still have been torn about his relationship with Clare. I guess what I'm leading up to is WHAT IF the roles were reversed and it was Andi he was married to and ended up in a coma and Jack had met Clare...would he have had the same pull he did with Andi? I don't think so. I think his bond to Andi was stronger than it was to Clare? He even admitted to it when he told Andi that she knew him better than ANYONE ever had.

Question 2 from Jennifer and Kellie: Clare - There's a part of me that feels like she gave up on Jack too soon. I would've preferred if Clare and Jack lived together for a bit in the same home after her hospital stint and then Jack would be then be the one to approach Clare that it just wasn't going to work although he had given it his darndest to make it work. Andi would already have the twins and in her own way moving on with her life....although heartbroken. There's a part of me that thinks that if I was Andi I would still wonder if Jack was really over Clare so it would've felt better for ME had he lived with Clare and realized it was really done.

Marie on Questions 1 and 2: The thing I like best about TW and Jack's dilemma is that it's one of those things where you can't possibly know what you'd do unless you are IN the situation. I'm with Jamie: Jack might've looked, he might've been attracted to Andi, but before Clare was injured, he wasn't in a place where he'd be OPEN to what might be possible with Andi, which made all the difference. That said, in the end, I do think Andi was Jack's true love. He and Clare had a great run, but by the time she rejoined the land of the living their time had come and gone. It took great courage on her part to be able to recognize that and not belabor the point by trying to get back what was already gone. Remember, she had a couple of months to watch and observe and by the time she made her decision she knew he was hopelessly in love with someone else. What else COULD she do?

From the author's standpoint, I needed to get Jack out of the marriage "cleanly" so he could end up with Andi. Readers were committed to their relationship by then, and there was no other possible ending but for them to end up together. When I was writing the first (of many) drafts, Clare had woken up and I was like, well, this is a fine mess. Now how do you propose we get him out of this? LOL! And please rest assured, Clare gets her happily ever after in Marking Time with a guy I love almost as much as Jack!

Another thing I want to say is that Andi never had any reason to doubt that Jack truly loved her. Look at what they went through to be together. He had proven himself to her. I don't think she relished the idea of him "choosing" her over Clare. Then she'd have to live with the fallout of that. I think, especially knowing what happens in book 2, it was better for Clare to be the one to pull the plug on the marriage. In the opening chapters of Marking Time, she is grappling with the reality of that decision and she is quite heartbroken over it when she gets home to the house he built for her and it really sinks in that she will have to live the rest of her life without him. Sigh....

Question 3 from Jennifer and Kellie: The Ending - Thank You for a Happy Ending. You had me worried there. The ending made me love Clare. In the end, we were both so impressed with Clare's strength and dignity. She did the RIGHT thing although it would've killed ME to do what she did.

Eric - Adorable and so touching how Jack adopted him and changed Eric's last name to Harrington. Perfect.

Marie: I'm glad you approve of the ending. I love the way the whole thing came together in the end and that Jack managed to make it all work out the way it was supposed to. I loved writing Jack and Eric's relationship. The scene where Eric tells Jack he loves him gets me every time.

My turn to ask a question: What would you do in Jack's situation? Your spouse is in a coma, you are told he or she will never recover and you have a second chance at love. Would you take that chance?

Just a reminder that I'm giving away copies of Marking Time and Starting Over (copies will be provided the week of their respective releases) to two commenters this week. Comment on yesterday's blog or today's to be entered into tomorrow's drawing.