Today I am happy to host my author friend, Monique McDonell, on the blog tour for her book A Fair Exchange. The guest post that she wrote for my blog is below.
A few years ago I heard a news story about people reconnecting with old flames via e-mail and Facebook. Perfectly happy marriages were ripped asunder as people imagined that the guy who broke their heart at twenty would realise what a fool he had been and beg to be with them now at 40.
It got me thinking. I’ve always been a great believer that time of life/stage of life has as much to do with the success of a relationship as the failure – basically timing is everything.
It just so happens that I like Amelia Armstrong in A Fair Exchange was an exchange student back in the day and it got me wondering, what if I wasn’t happily married and what if some guy you knew at sixteen on the other side of the world strolled back in to your life. How would that play out?
It struck me as a great premise for a novel.
A Fair Exchange draws heavily on that period of my life when I was an exchange student. I still remember how wonderful it was to be a teen alone in the world but protected. It was a golden opportunity to reinvent oneself and be seen through fresh eyes. I know lots of people who were exchange students in their teens. Almost without exception they experienced a wonderful romance, that they remember wistfully, so that is a big part of the novel.
Writing the grown up Amelia was harder for me. I had this image of a woman who was lost. She was someone with great potential who when I saw her was at a crossroads, trying to find her way back to the best version of herself. Most of the characters I write are pretty forthright and have a keen sense of self so writing a character who was aching to get that back was harder. At times she’s a little bit cranky or brittle as she tries to assert herself. I wanted to show that side of her but still have readers on her side. She wants to make sure this time no one crosses the line in the sand.
I’m really lucky because I know this need to rekindle old flames on the internet has ruined lots of lives. My experience has been the reverse. Facebook in particular has allowed me to reconnect with lots of my friends from when I was an exchange student people from where I lived in Massachusetts but also fellow exchange students from as far afield as Finland, Japan and New Zealand.
(For the record Matt in A Fair Exhange doesn’t resemble anyone I ever dated, such a shame for me because he’s totally my type!)
A Fair Exchange can be purchased at the links below.
Happy Reading and Writing,