Saturday, February 21, 2009

Writing from the Heart

Someone pointed out to me that each of my stories has been set in a pivotal historical moment that not only serves as a backdrop for the conflict, but also influences and colors the decisions and actions of my characters. In my latest story, "A Daughter's Journey," in the anthology A Mother's Heart, that pivotal moment is the end of the Vietnam War and the "Babylift" that was organized to evacuate thousands of children in Vietnamese orphanages.

A Mother's Heart will be released in April (just in time for Mother's Day) and I realized that this April will mark the 34th anniversary of the Babylift.

If you participated in the Babylift, or if you were one of the children evacuated, I would love to hear from you--and I hope that you will read A Mother's Heart.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Life has intervened for far too many months, but I've been recently persuaded to return to my random musings on this blog. Since I last wrote I've had another book published, The Valentine Gift, and have completed two more which will appear this year: the novella "A Daughter's Journey" in the anthology A Mother's Heart in April and the novel Across the Table in October. I'm currently at work on a fifth, First Light.

The stories continue to emerge, at first in fragments of dialogue whispered in my ear by half-formed characters or in images that evoke as yet undiscovered worlds. I listen and explore, stepping off the edge to see where I land. The inspiration for my heroine in "A Daughter's Journey," a young journalist writing in Saigon at the end of the Vietnam War, was a haunting face in a photograph I stumbled upon a few years ago. A mixture of bravado and vulnerability, it fascinated me and led me to create a character with the tenacity and strength of will to survive in a war zone, yet willing to open herself to unexpected love--for a fragile child and a driven physician guided by Ignatian principles. I hope you'll discover in Melanie Ames a character worth caring about, as I did.