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Monday, April 2, 2018

Author Guest Post - Sandra Cody

Please welcome Sandra Cody, the author of Jennie Connors series.  The Peace Morrow books are set in a picture-perfect small town just north of Philadelphia. The town, Doylestown, is real, but the the stories are totally fictitious. Much of the action takes place in a museum of antique tools and folk art. The stories center around family and examine the ways in which destiny is shaped by secrets. Peace is a young woman searching for her identity - and a history she may be better off not knowing. 

The Birth Of A New Series?
It’s funny how books come to be written. An Uncertain Path took me by surprise. In a previous book, Love and Not Destroy, I introduced Peace Morrow, a young woman who had been abandoned as an infant. Her quest to learn her history was a subplot to the main mystery in that book. By the end of the book, she knows who her biological parents are. So ... that question was answered, that goal achieved. End of story. Not quite.

Deep into my next book (part of my Jennie Connors series and totally unrelated to Peace Morrow’s story), I found myself wondering how Peace was dealing with this information. Was she happy with her discovery? Disappointed? If I didn’t write a sequel, Peace would never get to know her newly-discovered family. I felt like I was abandoning her again. I couldn’t do that. Long story short, what I thought was the end was actually a beginning. Problem was, I had no idea what was coming next. So I began what was An Uncertain Path - for both me and my protagonist.

The book is set in a real town, the town where I’ve lived for more than half my life. Part of the fun of releasing the first book was the reaction of friends and neighbors who live here. They loved reading about a fictional character walking along their streets, stopping in their favorite bookstore, or having dinner in a restaurant they know well. More to the point, I discovered they were also curious about what happened next in Peace’s life. She was real to them! There aren’t many things that make a writer as happy as that.

I also discovered that people who’d never seen my town

loved it too. They wanted to know more about it. I kept that in mind as I wrote An Uncertain Path. In fact, the name was inspired by one of our landmarks. A few yards from our library, there’s a labyrinth with a story deserving of its own novel.  Its construction was inspired by a woman grieving the loss of her beloved adopted daughter. It’s not really like the story of Peace Morrow, but certain elements of the two resonate. Yes, the labyrinth and an abbreviated version of its origin are included in the book. 

And, again, the people who live here love seeing part of their real-life history portrayed in fiction and people who live elsewhere are curious about it. My setting had become a character - in this case, a setting/character that was ready-made for me. All I had to do was pay attention to the streets I walk every day, the stores where I shop, the restaurants where I eat. These things, while not part of the plot, give texture to a story and help a reader suspend disbelief so they believe in your plot.

In case you’re curious, I’m now deep into another Jennie Connors book and wonder what’s next in Peace Morrow’s life.  Has another series been born?  AN UNCERTAIN PATH -  

Thank You Ms. Cody for that peek into Peace Morrow's creation and evolution.  It is a compliment that a character grabs the reader's interest so much.  

Sandra's links:

Amazon Author Page:

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Sandy Cody said...

Thanks so much for inviting me to be a part of this blog. Love being in such good company.

judyalter said...

Sandra I love that Peace became such a real person to you. I share your experience writing about the familiar. I find my friends and neighbors love seeing their usual haunts in the pages of a novel. One day a fan wrote to me that she was sure she'd seen Kelly and Keisha (fictional characters from my Kelly O'Connell series) go into the Old Neighborhood Grill where, in the books, they share a lot of meals. My fiction had become my reader's reality. Can't get much better than that. Now I'm off to learn more about Peace Morrow.

Sandy Cody said...

I so agree with you, Judy. It's one of the unexpected pleasures of writing. Hope you like Peace.

sherry fundin said...

Thanks for sharing a new to me author. I enjoyed learning about her series and love that it is set in a real town.
sherry @ fundinmental

Sandy Cody said...

Hi Sherry, thanks for stopping by. Love that the internet and people who host authors give us an opportunity for new connections.

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