A busy summer and fall of book clubs and the announcement in November that Laughed Till They Cried is available as an eBook through Amazon capped a successful year for this first novel of mine.
I am so grateful to my publisher, Douglas Arthur Brown of Boularderie Island Press, who piloted the novel into its eBook form and to all those readers who have submitted reviews and who organized and attended the numerous book clubs that continue to be strong supporters of book.
I have accepted (with thanks) every invitation to attend book club meetings. It is incredibly satisfying and encouraging to meet personally with people who have enjoyed the book and who want to discuss it. It’s especially good to meet with those who aspire to have their own literary work published and are looking for suggestions about how to navigate this challenging field. I always pass on the advice that has been given to me over the years: keep writing!
I receive many questions from readers about what motivated me to write the novel and how the characters were developed. It is wonderful to know that Laughed has struck a chord with so many groups who have maintained strong friendships over many years and can identify with the adventures of the Cell Sisters and the joys and benefits such relationships have produced.
It was my gratitude for the close friendships I’ve enjoyed over the years that inspired me to write Laughed Till They Cried.
The most difficult questions I am posed at book club meetings center around the members of the Cell Sisters and the quirky inhabitants of their fictional hometown. Which of the Cell Sisters is based on my own life? The answer is none. Each and every character in the novel is a composite of many experiences and a vivid imagination.
There are residents of my own hometown of Napanee who insist that they can identify some of the novel’s characters and I am told by many that no one from a small town has ever written a book without its readers finding such alleged similarities.
I can only continue to stress that this is a work of fiction and that each and every character is a product of my imagination—no doubt inspired by the wealth and breadth of characters it has been my great fortune to know over some seven decades as a kid nurtured in the safety and kindness of growing up in a small town and as an adult with a front row seat to experiences in journalism, politics and government.
I love to hear that readers laugh and cry over this novel. I laughed and cried while writing it.