Have you ever been reading along in a book, stop at a scene, and think to yourself, “that couldn’t possibly have happened?” It’s okay, go ahead and raise your hand. No one here will judge you. Promise. We’ve all read some unlikely scenarios we know could never happen in real life.
Or could they?
The more I write, the more I’ve become a watcher of people. I notice the situations people are in, and the odd things that happen to them. (Okay, okay, I confess, many of these odd things have happened to me.) And every time, I think to myself, this will make for a great story.
When I run into one of these happenings, there’s always a debate of: is this too farfetched, or just quirky enough to make the story interesting? Will a reader really believe a character got locked in a fast food freezer? Is it plausible that my heroine got stuck in the parking garage at Union Station? Could a wheel really break off the truck on a road trip five seconds after praying for a safe trip and that the axle wouldn’t break? What character would be silly enough to get lost in Canada without any money?
Here’s a secret — I’ve experienced each of these, but they haven’t worked their way into a book yet. (Key word, yet.) But there is one incident that I just wrote into my latest book, That Was Then, and I’ll tell you the real-life version.
I was driving home from church one evening several months ago with a very heavy heart. My best friend’s mother-in-law was dying (we’re talking within hours), my husband was heavily involved in a business deal that looked to going downhill (praise the Lord, it all worked out), several family members were facing serious illness, and the country’s political climate was wearing me down.
As I drove home, I listened to music that was on my phone’s music app. The next thing I know, I’m singing along to “It Is Well with My Soul.” Doesn’t so unusual, does it? What if I told you that I didn’t have that version anywhere in my music library? I was taken aback. So much so, that I pulled over. I glanced at the screen to make sure I hadn’t changed the input. I scrolled and searched and examined my phone to see if I’d loaded that song and didn’t remember.
The end result? It was nowhere to be found, and I realized God knew I needed to hear that song at that moment, just like Wyatt and Meg needed to in That Was Then. To find out how I incorporated my experience into their story, you’ll have to read That Was Then, but in the meantime, the next time you read a scene you think isn’t believable—email the author and ask.
You might just hear an interesting story.
About That Was Then:
On the day Wyatt Deluca was discharged from the Marine Corps, he received a call that took him home to Lilston, PA. Meg Bailey’s mother died after a short battle with cancer, leaving the family in shock as they grieve. There is one person Meg knew could help her through this difficult time.
Once married, now divorced, Wyatt and Meg are brought together again by sorrow. Can they look beyond the past, to see a future together?
USA Today Bestselling Author Leah Atwood is a small-town girl at heart and currently lives in a rural town in the deep South, though Maryland will always be home. She graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in International Business but gave up a career in sales and marketing to follow love, a decision she’s never regretted.
From the old west to Cajun country, Leah infuses true-to-life characters with small-town charm to invite her readers into a world where faith and love will always prevail. In both her historical and contemporary works, she believes in delivering inspirational stories that will leave her readers with a smile.
When not writing, she’s busy raising two kids and corralling two dogs (an eighty-four-pound shepherd/lab mix and a eleven-pound rat terrier/jack russell mix), or participating in a myriad of community and church events.
NOTE: Leah isn’t available to check in until later today. She’s on a field trip with her son’s class.