Beneath the Stars by Lynn Charles
Release Date: February 16, 2017
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✒︎Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Lynn Charles Interview✒︎
Today Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is very lucky to be interviewing Lynn Charles author of Beneath the Stars. Hi Lynn, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
I’m happy to be here! I’m an author, wife and mother living in Central Ohio. I’ve been writing—from lavish journal entries to fictional stories—most of my life. My novels, Chef’s Table and Black Dust were published with Interlude Press in 2014 and 2016. Beneath the Stars is about man at a major turning point in his career who gets called home to help take care of his elderly father. While there he meets someone, and together, they learn how to define happiness, home and family.
- What genres do you enjoy writing in?
Contemporary romance has always been where my mind takes me when I’m writing. Interestingly enough, while I enjoy reading the same genre, my favorite reads are typically memoirs. But, I suppose there is an interconnectedness in that I like the real and relatable bits of contemporary romance the most of all. Sure, the fantastical is great—be in incredible careers or perfect bodies, the promise of happy endings and deep seeded contentment—but the bits where I can recognize the humanity in the midst of the fantastical appeals to me.
- What was the hardest part about writing this book?
Getting the layers of my main character, Sid, out there without pages of info dump. He has a rich background and a complicated present. I over did it, then under did it and threw my hands up in the air a few times with it all. But, I pressed on and Sid will hopefully be a beloved character—he is to me anyway.
- What did you enjoy most about writing your book?
The one-on-one relationships, even beyond the romantic relationship of Sid and Eddie. I loved moments with Sid and his father. Sid and Eddie’s son, Adrian. Adrian and his dad, Eddie, were painful and rewarding as an author. Sid and his sister have a complicated relationship, and exploring that was a joy.
- What cultural value do you see in writing?
The same I see in all of the arts: it broadens not only the viewpoint of the author (or it should), but also the reader. It takes you to worlds you would have never explored on your own, or deepens your understanding of the worlds you have explored. The saying, “Write what you know,” is such a disservice for the author, when there is so much out there we don’t know, and even more we can learn from the places in life that we’re comfortable.
- What is your favorite positive saying?
My favorite saying in general is, “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should,” but I’m not sure that’s anything more than a neutral/kind way of considering decisions. I’d probably choose the Dalai Lama quote I use for the signature on my personal email account: Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. It’s not one I always remember, but I certainly try.
BENEATH THE STARS ~ SUMMARY
Sid Marneaux puts his fashion career on the line when he returns home to care for his ailing father. When he meets the new fire chief Eddie Garner, their romance sparks hot, but Eddie harbors burdens of his own. Through the wisdom of a child and the connection of mothers-now-gone, the men redefine family, career, and most importantly, love.
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Excerpt from Beneath the Stars
Happiness doesn’t always come easily; sometimes you have to work for it.
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“How is he doing?”
Sid began with a prepared answer, the one he used for old neighbors and family acquaintances. “He’s doing okay. Day to day, you know,” but when he stopped fidgeting with his food and looked into Eddie’s eyes, his breath caught in his throat. Eddie wasn’t making small talk, wasn’t being generically kind. He was tuned in, with an understanding and patience at peeling away the complicated layers of caring for an elderly parent that went beyond what Sid had felt from anyone—even his closest friends.
And so, with Eddie’s unrushed attention, Sid began to unpack the emotions and frustrations he hadn’t yet allowed himself to express. He talked about Anna’s overbearing control and her lack of understanding as to why that would make Lou lash out and became belligerent. He talked about Anna’s calendars and charts and the daily schedule she kept Lou on. About her refusal to let their dad do much of anything. “It’s like she’s already put him in the ground,” he finally said, feeling almost winded after exposing so much of himself, of his family.
“It’s hard on the caretakers,” Eddie said. “It completely takes over your life.”
“It’s hard on the patient too. Dad lived, you know? Just last year, he rode his bike five miles to the park and back almost every day. This is the man who threw on a backpack with a bunch of college buddies and hiked the fucking Hippie Trail. He didn’t stop until he found what he was looking for. He doesn’t stop. And now he has no choice.”
“What was he looking for?”
Sid grinned with memories of his mom and dad and their great love. “He didn’t know until he saw her.”
Eddie met his smile, and a blush crept up his neck. “Sometimes we don’t know what we’re looking for until it’s sitting across the table from us.”
“No,” Sid said, unable to pull his gaze away from Eddie. “We don’t.”
BENEATH THE STARS will be published by Interlude Press on February 16, 2017.
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About the Author
Lynn Charles’ love of writing dates to her childhood where thoughts, dreams, frustrations, and joys poured onto the pages of journals and diaries.
She lives in Central Ohio with her husband and adult children where a blind dog and his guardian cat rule the roost. When she’s not writing, Lynn can be found planning a trip to New York or strolling its streets daydreaming about retirement. Her previous novels include Chef’s Table (2014) and Black Dust (2016).
Connect with the author at lynncharles.net, on Twitter @lynncharlesnet and on Facebook at facebook.com/lynncharles.net.
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Thank you so much for having me today.