TLC Blog Tour: Guest Post by Shelley Shepard Gray, author of Winter’s Awakening

Posted 4 February, 2010 by Molly(Cover To Cover Cafe) in Book Reviews / 4 Comments

I am so happy to be hosting a great author today! Her name is Shelley Shepard Gray and her newest book is Winter’s Awakening, book 1 in the series, Seasons of Sugarcreek. Welcome, Shelley. Please take it away!
Shelley’s Thoughts:
Something funny happened to me when I wrote winter’s awakening. I started thinking that all the members of the Graber and Allen families were real!

Okay, maybe not exactly ‘real’-I didn’t think they were going to show up at my doorstep or anything-but they truly became a part of my life.

When I started this series, Seasons in Sugarcreek, I made a conscious decision to get to know all the characters as well as I possibly could. These books have lots of people in them-lots of kids, relatives, and neighbors. I really didn’t want them to blend in together for either the reader or for me.

So, I wrote lists about the characters’ likes and dislikes. Each person had their own page in my spiral notebook. Some of the characters, like Anson Graber, I pictured in my mind right away. I loved Anson! Others were more of a struggle…even my pretty Gretta Hershberger. I remember vividly telling one of my critique partners, Heather Webber, that I just didn’t ‘know’ Gretta as well as I should. So, of course, I made more lists about winter’s heroine.

One of those lists inspired a scene. See, I started thinking about shy, reserved Gretta, and began to wonder just when she’d fallen in love with Joshua. That’s when I pictured them ice skating. I knew Gretta wouldn’t be any good at it-her parents were too worried about her getting sick or cold. But, just as I knew Gretta would be a clumsy skater, I knew Joshua would be a confident one. After all, Joshua had lots of brothers and sisters to look after! From there, it was easy to imagine them skating together in the book…

Another character I enjoyed writing about was Lilly Allen. I really connected with my English girl-whose arrival sets off a storm of emotion in Joshua Graber. One of my favorite scenes in the book is when Lilly and Josh go walking and both realize they could never be anything more than friends. They tease each other about it-and I, sitting in my basement office, was smiling right there with them.

One of the exciting things for me about this series is that the three books will be released very close together, February, April, and August. So readers will get to read about a year in Sugarcreek in the time span of one year. And, wouldn’t you know it-I got all teary eyed at the end of autumn’s promise, just like I did when I wrote the end of FORGIVEN. After writing lists and lists about almost every person in both the Brenneman and Allen family, I had to say goodbye to them…almost like they were moving away.

I hope perhaps, y’all will enjoy spending a year in Sugarcreek, and getting to know these wonderful families, too. : )

Thanks again, Shelley, stopping by today. Please come back soon!

*Be sure and check out what I had to say about Shelley’s book, Winter’s Awakening, here.



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