Book Summary :
Four women, once best friends, have not spoken to each other in ten years. A drunken, decade old promise and a class reunion will bring them together again.
For Jordan, her lofty dreams now a distant memory and her life at a crossroads, a reunion with her one-time friends offers a chance to make amends and start anew, but only if she can avoid falling back into self-destructive habits.
After years of struggling with her identity, Sarah has found personal and professional contentment. Will she finally have the courage to reveal the secret she hid from her friends?
Beth thought she was on the verge of having at all, but after a personal crisis now risks losing it all. In order to face her future, she must first find a way to face the past.
Tracey is still searching for happiness and approval. Will she find what she is looking for at the reunion, or leave stronger because she doesn't?
A story of forgiveness, acceptance, and the bonds of friendship.
Connect with the author
Author Bio and Interview
I was born in Iowa and raised in Texas and now live in Iowa again. I consider both states to be home, so if I poke fun at either of them in my books, it is meant in the nicest way possible. I am a practicing attorney with a focus on juvenile law and have also worked as an educator, and some of my experiences have found their way into my writing. My dream is to someday pay the bills as a writer and be able to spend winters in the Dallas area going to Dallas Stars hockey games. In my free time, when I’m not writing, I am probably at Zumba class, riding my bike, watching a football, hockey or soccer game on TV, or enjoying a glass of wine while I lose myself in a good book written by someone else.
Question & Answer
Who is your favorite character in this book and why? How did you come up with this character?
My favorite character in the book is actually one of the supporting characters- Kelsey, who is Sarah’s partner. I love writing her. Actually, her scenes kind of write themselves. She’s also someone I have a great deal of respect for because of the strength in her convictions. She knows who she is, is comfortable with who she is, and doesn’t put on airs. She’s never afraid to speak her mind, and when she does, she does so with humor, integrity and compassion.
I always envisioned Sarah’s partner as being a strong, dynamic and confident woman who can help Sarah, who is struggling with her sexuality, recognize, embrace and be true to her true self. I didn’t necessarily intend for Kelsey to be such a scene-stealer that she threatened to run away with the book, but that’s what happened! Still, it was a pleasure not a chore to write her and I am very proud of the story I told for Sarah and Kelsey and the way their relationship evolved and matured over the years.
What was the hardest part about writing this book? Were there any specific scenes, characters or plot points that you really struggled with?
This book is different in that it tells four individual stories and each has a past and present thread to. It was a little difficult getting the structure right and balancing the tensions between all of the stories in order to sustain interest throughout. I didn’t really struggle with the plot at all, but the structure and pacing were a little challenging at times. I considered several different structures and ultimately came back to what I started with.
What type of writer are you? Do you prefer to create a detailed outline, write by the seat of your pants or something in-between?
I tend to be a fly by the seat of my pants writer. I like to let my characters chart their course and surprise me along the way. I don’t outline because I know I wouldn’t stick to it anyway. I don’t do a lot of advance planning or preparation. I let ideas gel and take shape in my head and when I feel like I have a general idea of who my characters are and what their story is about. I just sit down and start writing and see where they take me. Sometimes they take me in a direction I never expected, but that usually makes for a richer and more character driven story.
If you had any advice for new writers, what would it be?
Just do it! Write! It sounds cliched, but it’s true. I recently attended a writer’s conference with several New York Times Bestselling Authors in attendance, and the number one theme that came from that conference is that this is a great time to be a writer, so if it’s want, go for it. Don’t be one those people that says “Someday, I want to write a book” but never does. Just write it!
What’s next for you? Are you working a follow-up or a new book? If so, can you tell us a little bit of what it’s about?
My new project is called Sixth South, and it is a spin-off of After Ten. I mentioned Kelsey as my favorite character and a bit of a scene-stealer. She kind of demanded a book of her own, and Sixth South is it. It details the lives and experiences of she and three of her teacher colleagues during a year of new challenges and opportunities. It’s a story about friendship, relationships, trust, betrayal, letting go of the past and facing the future. I am querying it to agents right now, and if nothing comes of that I plan to self-publish.