Tuesday, October 10, 2006

How SWEET SURRENDER Turned Into A Story

First, major thank you for this blog by Donna Hill Promotions where I and my fellow authors under DHP will chat about interesting details behind our work.

My September release, Sweet Surrender, like most of my stories start with creating the characters and then the plot follows when I'm in creating mode. I literally have my characters side by side on the page and work on their strengths and weaknesses, aiming for as much conflict, as possible.

In this particular story, I introduced the Masterson family. This family is without a leader in the form of a mother or father. But like all group forming processes, someone has to emerge as a leader to keep cohesion in the group.

This is especially personal to me since my brother stepped up in the big brother/paternal role when my mother, brother and I moved to the U.S. My father was still in Guyana. I remembered how much I hated my brother to transform into the big brother role. Since he is seven years older, you'd think that I could accept this permanent hierachy. But, oh no, we fought like you wouldn't believe until after my college years. Around the time of my wedding, the relationship changed and now, I'm not likely to clobber him when he begins a sentence with "As your big brother...."

Phillip Masterson, the eldest brother, acts as the self-appointed leader. His siblings would probably accuse him of being a dictator. Yet none of the siblings can deny that he did play a major and vital role in them all being reasonably successful, productive members of society. Of course, Phillip would disagree with that claim when it comes to his youngest brother, Omar. Omar doesn't care for the smothering from her brother or sisters.

As far as the story setting, which takes place in the mountains in Western Maryland, I borrowed the images from the history of many suburban cities in my home state. Many of the cities were small populated areas near a major train station, factory, or port. Cities are now aggressively pursuing revitilization of historic buildings and areas to keep a bit of the past in the rapidly expanding present and future. Street names, like Main Street, is a common sight with shopkeepers and older residents knowing each other, along with past generations. Hampton Mews where the story is set provides a wonderful fantasy retreat for me.

I also think that the house has its own personality. Here is a house that sheltered a family where the father abandoned them and the mother died. While the outside world was cold and painful, at times, the Mastersons could come home and enjoy their familial bonds.

When Haley and her daughter move to the town, it is only right that they should find their refuge in this home of love. This house will be a central part in each sibling's story where forgiveness, acceptance, and even repentance occur.

I have several autographed copies of Sweet Surrender available at Turn The Page Bookstore - http://www.ttpbooks.com. This link will take you directly to the Order Books page - http://www.ttpbooks.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=TTPB&Category_Code=VB

As I often say - Books make great gifts!

Michelle Monkou


Lyric Perry said...

Michelle all I know is when I got done with this book I had to remind myself to not be looking at doctors all funny and wonder their life story.

M Monkou said...


Too funny. Since I commute on the train, I'm always people-watching. I also listen to conversations because I'm amused by people's bravado or ego when they launch into their stories. I wonder what their friends' or families' versions would be.