Choosing the professions of my characters is always a lot of fun. I try to pick
something I am interested in, so I can write about it with conviction, passion
and sincerity. I would not, say, write about an accountant or a mathematician;
for me, math is a major irritant, like getting sand in my eye.
That still leaves a lot of fields wide open. I have written characters that
were violinists, ballerinas, childrenâ€™s book editors, podiatrists,
obstetricians, bar owners, interior designers, and architects. One character
owned a bra shop. Another did not know what she wanted to do, and found her
calling in the course of the novel. What I didnâ€™t know about these fields, I
was able to research--a process both invigorating and thrilling because it
allows me, however briefly, to slip into someone elseâ€™s life.
On the deepest level, though, the characterâ€™s profession needs to speak for her
or his soul, and it is my job as the author to match my understanding of the
characterâ€™s inner life with a suitable profession. When I wrote my latest
WERE MEANT FOR ME, I had three main characters for whom I needed to create
I chose photography for one of the male protagonists, Evan Zuckerbrot. Evan is
sweet, sensitive, and a bit dreamy. Heâ€™s not a player in any sense of the word,
and the kind of small format, black and white work he does as a photographer is
consistent with the man I was trying to create. It helped that my husband just
happens to be a photographer who works in that same mode, and I drew heavily on
both his working methods and his philosophy to form that part of Evanâ€™s character.
Jared Masters, the second of the two key male voices, is a very different kind
of man and this is reflected in his profession. Heâ€™s a real estate broker:
smooth, urbane and easy with people, especially the ladies. His charm opens
doors for him, and he is successful in his work largely because of it. I knew he
needed a profession that would highlight and showcase those aspects of his nature.
Finally, at the crux of the triangle is Miranda Berenzweig, thirty-five and
newly single after a disappointing break up. Finding a baby or being a foster
mother are just about the last things on her mindâ€”and yet thatâ€™s what happens to
her. In fact, as the novel opens, sheâ€™s just gotten a promotion at work and is
very excited about her new responsibilities. Miranda is the food editor at a
fictional shelter magazine called Domestic Goddess. Sheâ€™s interested in cooking
and especially baking, and loves to share what she bakes with the people she
cares about. I wanted to emphasize her nurturing qualitiesâ€”qualities she may
have taken for granted until she is tried and tested in unexpected ways.
Cupcakes play a significant role in her professional life, and she makes good
use of them. Mirandaâ€™s always busy baking for other people, but by the novelâ€™s
end, she gets to have her cakeâ€”and eat it too.
More About YOU WERE MEANT FOR ME
What do you do when you have to give up the person you love most?
Thirty-five-year-old Miranda is not an impulsive person. Sheâ€™s been at Domestic
Goddess magazine for eight years, she has great friends, and sheâ€™s finally
moving on after a breakup. Having a baby isnâ€™t even on her radarâ€”until the day
she discovers an abandoned newborn on the platform of a Brooklyn subway station.
Rushing the little girl to the closest police station, Miranda hopes and prays
sheâ€™ll be all right and that a loving family will step forward to take her.
Yet Miranda canâ€™t seem to get the baby off her mind and keeps coming up with
excuses to go check on her, until finally a family court judge asks whether
sheâ€™d like to be the babyâ€™s foster parentâ€”maybe even adopt her. To her own
surprise, Miranda jumps at the chance. But nothing could have prepared her for
the ecstasy of new-mother loveâ€”or the heartbreak she faces when the babyâ€™s
Fresh Fiction reviewer Kay Quintin wrote, "I found it extremely
difficult to put this book down until I had arrived at the conclusion. Yona
Zeldis McDonough has a way of reaching deep into the soul and portraying the
astounding love felt for a child." Read the full review here, and buy your copy
About the Author
McDonough is the author of the novels THE FOUR TEMPERAMENTS and IN DAHLIA'S WAKE. She is also the editor of the essay
collections THE BARBIE CHRONICLES: A LIVING DOLL TURNS FORTY and ALL THE AVAILABLE LIGHT: A MARILYN MONROE READER. Her short
fiction, articles, and essays have been published in anthologies as well as in
numerous national magazines, and newspapers. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
She is also an award-winning author of twenty-three books for children.
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