I’m often asked where my book ideas come from and, quite
honestly, they come from too many sources to list. I’m one of those people who can imagine
almost any situation as a novel. And I really do believe that every person walking the planet
has a unique and interesting story . . . if you dig deeply enough. Consequently, I doubt I’ll ever
run out of material to write about. And since I plan to keep writing until I’m, say, a hundred, I
should have sufficient inspiration to keep me going.
Speaking of growing old, the story idea of Courting Mr. Emerson was inspired
by the simple fact that we are all aging. It’s simply a fact of life. As a ‘baby-boomer,’ I’m
constantly confronted with this news
via obnoxious email ads for anti-aging products like hearing
aids or granny-diapers. I also get unwanted letters from AARP and a multitude of other
“gentle” reminders that seem determined to remind me that I’m “of a certain age.” Not to
mention some aches and pains I didn’t have twenty years ago. So, okay, I get the hint already.
As a result, I sometimes find myself observing other aging
“baby-boomers.” I probably tell myself that I’m just collecting information for books - you
know, doing character studies. But in all truthfulness, I’m probably trying to figure out this
whole “getting older” thing for myself. It’s like uncharted territory. And, living in a town full of
retired folks, it’s not hard to people-watch the over-sixties crowd. And sometimes it’s pretty
One thing that’s become quite obvious is that we all age
differently. Some of us seem to be in complete denial of aging. We imagine we’re still “young
for our years.” We refuse to give up yoga pants, uncomfortable shoes, youthful hairstyles, late
nights, or even our careers. Even if we look silly riding our bright red bicycle through town,
with long ponytail flying in the wind, we still do it. I can personally admit to this one.
Then there are also some of us who simply accept the aging
process - perhaps even welcome it. Hair turns silver, wrinkles are a badge of honor, and
complaints about arthritis are genuine and heartfelt. These folks are quick to describe their
latest hip replacement surgery. They don’t hide the fact they’re getting social security
retirement or that they go to bed with the chickens - and get up multiple times in the night to
use the bathroom. Admittedly, and thankfully, I’m not quite there yet.
There are also some folks who seem resigned to aging. They
retire from their jobs and retire to their easy chairs, content to watch life pass them by. Or
perhaps they’ve been doing that all along. But sometimes they seem like a person with the
proverbial ‘one foot in the grave.’ For them, I feel sad. And this would accurately describe one
of the characters in my latest novel, Courting Mr. Emerson
George Emerson seems to have given up when he’s
confronted by a woman on the opposite side of the ‘aging spectrum.’ Naturally, their two
worlds collide. Willow West fully embraces life, imagines herself youthful, and lives each day
to the max. Meanwhile, George seems destined to shut down. Such an unlikely pair… can
opposites really attract?
Interestingly, I saw parts of myself in both these characters.
Oh, I relate much more to Willow than poor old George. But I get them both. And my empathy
for George was real. And, as a writer ‘of a certain age,’ it was fun to write a lighthearted story
about people who were older than the usual characters you find in a romantic novel. And I
hope that I handled their stories in the same way that I hope to age myself… graciously. Since
aging is just part of life - why not do it with grace.
When the fun-loving and spontaneous artist Willow West meets buttoned-up, retired English
teacher George Emerson, it's not exactly love at first sight. Though she does find the
obsessive-compulsive man intriguing. Making it her mission to get him to loosen up and
embrace life, she embarks on what seems like a lost cause--and finds herself falling for him in
A confirmed bachelor, George vacillates between irritation and attraction whenever Willow is
around--which to him seems like all too often. He's not interested in expanding his horizons or
making new friends; it just hurts too much when you lose them.
But as the summer progresses, George feels his defenses crumbling. The question is, will his
change of heart be too late for Willow?
With her signature heart and touches of humor, fan favorite Melody Carlson pens a story of
two delightfully eccentric characters who get a second chance at life and love.
Inspirational | Romance
Contemporary [Revell, On Sale: March 5, 2019, Paperback
/ e-Book, ISBN: 9780800735272 / eISBN: 9781493416479]
is the award-winning author of over two hundred books
with combined sales of more than six million. She is the author of several books, including the
bestselling The Christmas Bus
, The Christmas Dog
, The Christmas Cat
, The Christmas Joy Ride
and The Christmas Angel Project
. She received a Romantic Times
Career Achievement Award in the inspirational market for her many books, including the
Diary of a Teenage Girl series and Finding Alice
. She and her husband live in
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