Could you please briefly tell the readers what Painted from Memories is about?
Catherine is the emotionally fractured casualty of a hideous childhood tragedy, and yet she’s found happy-ever-after in the person of Grayson Barnett. With the promise of a freshly polished future in her grasp, she feels compelled to bury the poisonous trail of her past beneath the purposeful lies and omissions she offers her new husband.
Now, with the inherent shame of her traumatic history secreted away and losing hold, Cat finds herself increasingly troubled as Gray falls into an erratic pattern of late night wanderings through the house, painting the bare walls with extravagant murals. And only when the unthinkable happens—a devastating blow which leaves her broken and spiraling, and an unexpected arrival on her doorstep, bearing a cache of impossible revelations—is Cat forced to question whether the man she so desperately loves is in truth a stranger, and their beautiful life a gross falsehood constructed upon a foundation of lies.
Catherine seems like a very layered character. Where did the idea of her character come about?
Cat is a composite of several people who have passed through my life and left a mark. While I purposely steer away from writing anything autobiographic, it would be a big fat festering lie to say Cat exists only in fiction. She is determined and strong, yet vulnerable and weak. She is as deeply conflicted even as she is resolute. A survivor without her consent. The more she evolved over the progression of the book, the more I felt I knew her. I absolutely loved writing her and was fully absorbed in worrying how things would turn out for her!
What did you find the most difficult when writing Painted from Memories?
Getting the words right! How to write a story with characters who love one another madly, yet without truly knowing each other? Who are equally strong and, purposeful, yet deeply vulnerable. As passionately as Cat cherishes her future with Gray, there is the inescapable awareness that she has, and continues to be, dishonest and deceptive. And so was the quandary of how to convey all of this while keeping these characters sympathetic and inherently likeable.
There seems to be a lesson in this story. How do you feel this would help women who maybe in this same situation?
Can anyone hope to build their own “happy ever after” on a foundation of carefully placed falsehoods? Cat created what she believed to be a perfect life with Gray by purposely omitting all those things she believed too hideous to reveal. It’s pretty much saying that as much as she cherished his love for her, she didn’t trust it as being true or durable. Real love is honest love. Many, if not all of us, carry around a quietly concealed box of secrets, but it’s the big things we keep hidden under the stairs that can emotionally cripple. Cat holds to the erroneous conviction that certain stains on her history have left her hideously flawed—a lie that is altogether counterfeit to the promise and purpose of real love.
If you had one thing you wanted readers to get after reading Painted from Memories, what would it be?
That we’re never as alone as we sometimes believe we are. There are experiences in life that can leave us feeling very isolated, hideously damaged, or eternally soiled. But life’s unfortunate events do not necessarily define us. Truth, honestly, love, trust ... these are the things we can claim and in turn offer. Unconditional love—what an awesome gift to give another person.
Where can readers buy Painted from Memories?
Painted from Memories is available in print from your favorite online retailers, or can be ordered through brick and mortar booksellers. The eBook is exclusive to Amazon—but only for a short while—after which you’ll find it hanging out in all the other places where books are sold.
Are there any future works you would like to share with the readers?
I am currently weeding through notebooks scribbled to bursting with a tangle of ideas—so I’m still percolating the next book. I do wish I was a faster writer, but I’m more the tortoise than the hare :-D
Where can readers learn more about you?
And sincere thanks to you, Shells, for the courteous invitation to stop by and chit-chat about my new book. It’s lovely being here :-D