Monday, July 4, 2011

Guest Author: Kathleen Gerard



Happy Independence Day!

The aim of fiction is often to make a character change - and sometimes grow. At the beginning of my novel, IN TRANSIT, Rita Del Vecchio, the protagonist, is a rather naive, 20-something young girl. She feels stalled in her life, working as a waitress. But when a psychic in a shopping mall reads her Tarot cards and suggests that she is "destined for greatness" and she will "marry a man in uniform," Rita sets out on a quest to become a New York City Police Officer.

What I envisioned for the arc of Rita's character was her coming of age and learning about the "real" world by living her life - and falling in love. But in order to make her character change and grow, I needed something to butt up against her naivete - something to serve in direct contrast to her innocence. Often, the most painful experiences and challenges in life are the ones that foster growth and maturity. That's what led me to weave the chilling realities of domestic abuse into the narrative. Some of the violent scenes in the novel made me, even as the writer, cringe and feel sad. I didn't want this fate to befall Rita, but those aspects of the story, and Rita's ultimate need to liberate and save herself, are essential to Rita's growth as a character.

In order to more fully engage the reader and ratchet up the tension, I decided to structure IN TRANSIT in such a way that the reader is privy to more details than the protagonist. For Rita Del Vecchio, love is blind. She meets many men in uniform in the NYPD. And she falls in love with someone she thinks is wonderful, but the reader knows better - that the man she loves is actually leading a double life. It is that double-life that creates tension that ultimately seeps into the fabric of the couple's relationship until "Mr. Wonderful" becomes "Mr. Not-So Wonderful."


What will it take to make this couple stay together? What will drive them apart? And do we ever really know people? Do we even know ourselves? These are the very questions that are raised by reading IN TRANSIT...

Today is July 4th, INDEPENDENCE DAY, the day that we, in the United States, celebrate the emancipation of our country from the ties of England. In our own lives, just like in the life of Rita Del Vecchio from IN TRANSIT, we all have our own, personal Independence Days - people and situations which force us to make decisions that will ultimately change us and force us to grow. What are the great lessons of your life and what have you learned from them? Are you a better person because of those experiences? We encourage you to share your stories with us.

To learn more about Kathleen Gerard and IN TRANSIT--and to read more details about the story behind the story--visit http://intransit-thenovel.blogspot.com
Copyright 2011 by Kathleen Gerard. All Rights Reserved.

Information about Domestic Abuse:
Domestic abuse is widespread. According to U.S. FBI reports, husbands and boyfriends kill approximately 1,500 women a year. And in any given year 2,000,000 men beat their wives/girlfriends. Children in these homes are also at high risk to be battered and injured.

If you are suffering abuse, please know that YOU (and your loved ones) ARE NOT ALONE! There is help out there!
1.800.799.SAFE (7233)
1.800.787.3224 (TTY)
Anonymous & Confidential Help 24/7


5 comments:

Kathleen Gerard said...

Hi Jenai...Happy July 4th! I really appreciate your support of IN TRANSIT, and I thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts with readers of "Bookingly Yours." Happy Summer Reading! :) Kathleen

....Petty Witter said...

Thanks for such an interesting and informative guest post Kathleen. I find the idea of us all having our own independence day fascinating.

Tribute Books said...

Jenai, thanks for hosting a guest post by Kathleen on Bookingly Yours for the "In Transit" blog tour. We appreciate your support of the book and for allowing Kathleen to delve into the behind-the-scenes process of its creation.

I really liked when Kathleen said, "But in order to make her character change and grow, I needed something to butt up against her naivete - something to serve in direct contrast to her innocence." It seems in this case the starker the contrast, the more it penetrates the reader's mind. What a great writing technique!

Kathleen Gerard said...

Petty Witter - Greetings to you in the UK! Thanks for your comment. Glad you enjoyed the post and hope it inspires you in your own life and work. :) Kathleen

Bruneauseai said...

Thanks for such an interesting and informative guest post Kathleen. I find the idea of us all having our own independence day fascinating.

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