You asked about your favorite characters

A couple things before you look at this chart:

1. Not everybody is included here. It’s selective. 

2. If you don’t find a name here, that doesn’t mean the person died an early death. It just means they are not on this chart.

3. The dots at the far right mean that individual is still alive when The Gilded Hour takes place. 

4. Yes, a lot of men died in the Civil War. 

5. I’ve had email asking whether any of Curiosity’s descendants are in the new novel. Sophie Savard is Curiosity’s great granddaughter, and Hannah’s granddaughter. 

6. I often flip a coin to decide the fate of any given character. If I had my way, they’ll all still be alive and healthy. Which clearly won’t do. So remember, everybody is gone at this point. It’s a sad but inevitable truth.

7. Some clever person on FB (sorry, I can’t get over there just now to find your name) asked if I regret killing anybody off. I’m thinking about that and will post soon.

So, here you are. Click for a much larger version. 


The Paradise Sun: Revisiting Paradise

On Sara’s FaceBook page Paula asked about the newspaper articles I posted, once upon a time, that didn’t actually show up in any of the Wilderness novels. I went to have a look, and I do have a small pile of them. Some of them are pretty sad, and some are amusing.  I’m going to post a few of them, one or two at a time, between now and the release of The Gilded Hour. 

The newspaper, founded by Elizabeth Bonner, had this masthead:


Here’s one small article. advertisingcolumn1

Ethan, once more

Recently I’ve had quite a few emails with questions about the Wilderness series. They are maybe four or five questions that keep coming up, so I’m posting this first, to provide some general insight into this phenomenon, and second, to point people to answers.

Here’s my philosophy about questions arising from a novel: if the author has to tell you, she didn’t do her job very well, OR, you need to think about the questions some more on your own. Because for every question you can ask, there are many answers. Every reader takes away a different reading, and it’s not for me to agree or disagree. So for example, many people have written to me asking about Ethan and the ‘secret’ that brought him home to Paradise and then motivated his proposal to Callie.

It’s not really a secret. All the clues are there, but for me to tell you would be forcing a reading on you that should be your own. I know what I meant, but you are free to read the story, read the clues, and come up with an answer of your own. This is the kind of question that makes a good book club discussion point.

Now, do people sometimes get the wrong end of the stick? Yes. If somebody tells me that Ethan was clearly abducted by aliens and suffering post-traumatic stress, I would say: huh. Really not what I was going for. I might go so far as to say that that person did not read very closely. But that’s as far as I’ll go.

Having said that, there’s an older post that does go into more detail, and you’ll find it here.

Finally, here’s my general explanation of things: authorial confessions.