Today I have an interview with Steena Holmes, author of The Memory Child. I'm not the interviewer, but the content is interesting. Although one question makes me wonder if the interviewer read the book. They were married 13 years...how is that a "newly married couple"? But the book does make you realize the incredible amount of effort that goes into keeping a marriage going when both people are career oriented.
So - question for you, dear reader - if you are in a relationship, how do you keep romance alive? Do you find it takes considerable effort or does it seem to come easy? And, bonus question - if you have children, did they bring you closer together?
Just so you aren't alone I'll answer after the interview.
- You found critical success with Finding Emma and Emma’s Secret, this is a departure from those books. Why the change and what can readers expect?
Writing the Finding Emma series was and is my happy place. I fell in love with Emma and Jack and even now, I still dive into their world and offer short glimpses into their lives to my readers via my newsletter - but I wanted to push myself with The Memory Child. The stories that resonate the most with me personally are those that hit my heart as a woman and as a mother and in The Memory Child, I wanted to go a step beyond where Finding Emma went and hit deep. Sometimes the story isn't always about the happy ending but the journey we take to to get to the point where we can see glimpses of happiness.
- People had emotional reaction to Jodi Picoult’s My Sister's Keeper twist. Your book has an equally interesting twist. How do you think readers will react?
What I loved best about My Sister's Keeper is that I still think of that twist and its been years since I read the book. Whether you loved or hated the ending, you still talked about it, thought about it and probably went back to see if you could see clues...and that's what I want from my readers. My goal while writing The Memory Child was to have that emotional reaction from my readers - because then I know this story will stay in their hearts.
- The book is about the challenges a newly married couple faces with one spouse frequently traveling. Where did the inspiration for this story line stem from?
The idea of a childless couple who were both career focused interested me. I wanted to write about a strong woman - a goal driven woman who knows what she wants and suddenly has her life turned upside down. Many woman in today's society are like Diane - strong, capable of running empires and I wanted to see how she would react to having those goals altered. The travel aspect came naturally to the story. While I was writing Finding Emma, I worked as a virtual assistant to a large corporation where many of the executives travelled abroad and so I knew that this aspect to Brian and Diane's marriage would be an ingrained aspect of their lives.
- Is there a lesson you want your readers to take away from the book?
Not really a lesson, but more of a reminder. There is a strength found in us women that we underestimate. While I was researching for this story I had countless women/mothers email me to share with me their experiences, and I was continually amazed at the overall theme of each story I heard. There is a strength inside of us that has the ability to alter destinies, to create paths were there were mountains and to forge ahead in the darkness when there is no light. A mother's love is unfathomable and never ending and even though we are not perfect, we are strong. When a reader has closed the last page of my book, I want them to walk away with that reminder.
- What do you find is Diane’s best Trait?
I love Diane's tender heart. She tries to hide in behind her cool veneer and the masks she wears when she's not at home with Brian, but she's such a softy. You see it in the little things that she does or says or takes time to enjoy.
- What is your favorite scene from The Memory Child?
There are a few that are my favorites. I love the scene where Brian and Diane are celebrating their anniversary and I cry each time I read the ending. Any scene where their love shines through catches my heart.
This is me, Lilac Wolf, again.
My husband and I aren't particularly romantic to begin with. We value our time together, but it doesn't have to be a night on the town. We are happy to steal time alone when the boys are in school and he doesn't have to be to work until later. Or after the boys go down, we love watching new episodes of Archer or renting a movie from Amazon. Sometimes I read while he plays guitar. And of course all the other fun stuff that keeps us in love. lol
As for children. We love our children dearly. In some ways it has brought us closer together. We are really a family now, and regardless of what happens with Chris and I, we will ALWAYS have a relationship because of the boys. But on the other hand, the sleep deprivation, the stress of making sure the boys have what they need when they need it...is a strain on the best of relationships. So, Chris and I talk a lot. And when we disagree, we usually let it go. Very rarely is it something so important that we can't just let the other parent do it their way. The boys see that we aren't the same person. We have the same rules, but we might do things in a different order and in different ways. I think that while we do sometimes disagree, the boys see that no one always gets along and a fight doesn't have to be screaming and hitting (because trust me, that's how brothers fight!) They watch us discuss and come to some kind of compromise. And honestly, some days we are just doing the best we can to get through it.
I do think Chris and I will survive the children, and survive after the children mainly because we give ourselves both together and separately a priority.