I’ve come to learn that bereavement is a strange emotion. I’ve also come to realize that the way I cope with death is by writing about it.
Coffee and Vodka
Many of my books include the death of an important character. A surprising amount for someone who writes stories about family and love, you might say.
I have no explanation for this. I write about what I know, so more often than not death creeps into my stories.
In my first published novel, Coffee and Vodka, the death of Eeva’s grandmother forces her to journey back to her home town in Finland, where she has to face up to a painful past.
When I wrote this novel, I was grieving the loss of a dear uncle. He died suddenly in his bed at night. His poor wife, my aunt, woke up next to his body in the morning. My uncle’s passing came as a huge shock to me. He wasn’t that old, and he was my favorite. Always warm, loving, and extremely funny, he often took me in when I was in trouble. When I met the English Officer at the British Embassy in Helsinki my world was turned upside down, but my uncle hugged me and told me to follow my heart.
Writing Eases Pain
While writing these novels where sometimes out of nowhere, death appears in the plotline, I’ve come to realize that it helps me to examine my feelings through writing about bereavement. This may seem selfish, but I am comforted by the reactions of the readers. Many have commented on the authenticity of my writing on the subject. This is true especially regarding The Island Affair, Book 1 in my new series, Love on the Island.
Writing about the loss of a child was a new departure for me and I was terrified that I wouldn’t be able to convey the absolute despair one must feel.
How would such terrible grief affect your relationship with both your partner and with your adopted country? Would such a loss make you want to go back home? Back to where you felt safe, even if you would have to make that journey alone? Or would it be more important to be able to share the sadness with your partner? How strong does love between the parents of the child have to be to survive grief as deep as this?
For me, at least, writing the novel answered some of these questions. Because of the subject matter, The Island Affair wasn’t easy to write. However, I am assured by the many readers and reviewers of this novel that even though there is sadness in the book, it is also full of hope and love.
The Island Affair FREE Offer
If you hurry, you can now read The Island Affair, Book 1 in the series for absolutely free! But please note, this offer ends tonight, 30 June 2020.
After her son’s tragic death, Alicia and her husband travel to the Nordic Islands where Alicia was raised. As secrets are revealed, can she find a way to embrace life and love once more?
An Island Christmas
It was my dad’s birthday yesterday. He would have been 84 years old. I didn’t get to see him last summer but did manage to be with him a few days before he passed in October.
When I got the call from my sister that my dad was very ill in his nursing home, I was in the middle of finishing An Island Christmas, Book 2 in Love on the Island series. I managed to get the book out before Christmas, which helped me with my grief. I set aside the despair I felt over losing my dad and instead wrote about Alicia’s struggle to give her family and friends the perfect Christmas.
Those of you who’ve read the book, know that things don’t quite go to plan for Alicia…
The Island Daughter
I think writing and editing a novel about a family Christmas was a good distraction from the grief, but once I started writing the next book in the New Year, almost unconsciously, I poured my raw emotions into the new title.
In The Island Daughter, Alicia loses her step-father, only to discover that her real dad is still alive.
In spite of the sadness of the losses Alicia has suffered in her life, there is also love and laughter in the book. According to the first readers of the unedited copy of The Island Daughter, there are real slapstick moments in the novel. Just as in life, tears and laughter go hand in hand.
The Island Daughter Pre-Order Offer
Book 3, The Island Daughter, is now on pre-order. It’s priced at just $1.99, but this goes up to $4.99 on publication. So if you’d like to read my newest title as soon as it hits the virtual shelves, tap here to get it on Amazon or the button below for other online stores to pre-order the novel today.
Death is part of life, and I guess that is why a good story needs to describe sadness and despair alongside happiness. I try to end my stories well, however tragic the circumstances. Even though I write a lot about death, I’m an optimist at heart.
Free Nordic Love Story
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