Interview With Amanda Cabot: In Firefly Valley
This novel begins as a classic love story. Boy meets girl. But then something happens. Can you give us a hint at what it is that turns this love story on its head?
I don’t want to give away too much of the story, because that would spoil the fun of reading it, but I will say that Marisa has a lot of healing to do as a result of events from her childhood. That’s created some deep-seated fears, and unfortunately, one aspect of Blake’s life triggers those fears.
In Firefly Valley is the second book in your Texas Crossroads series. What inspired the series? And why did you want to set it in Texas?
I’ve been known to say that inspiration can come from anywhere, and in the case of this series, that proved to be true. The immediate inspiration came from a vacation my husband and I took to what was supposed to be a wonderful resort in the Adirondack Mountains. The setting was gorgeous, but the resort itself was run down. Picture leaking roofs and paddle boats, undependable electricity and uninspired meals. It was far from a perfect week, and yet I could see the potential in the resort. That started my brain whirling.Eventually, my game of “what if?” resulted in the creation of the fictional Rainbow’s End and the people who would turn it from failing to fabulous.
As for the Texas setting, I spent my early childhood in a small town in Texas and have never forgotten how beautiful the state is and what a warm welcome visitors find there. A visit to the Hill Country cemented my love for the Lone Star State and resulted in not only this series but my historical trilogy, Texas Dreams.
What makes your characters interesting or lovable?
Dare I say that it’s because they’re human? Though Marisa and Blake have been successful professionally, like most of us, they have insecurities and obstacles to overcome. For me, the appeal of a love story is watching the characters grow and seeing how love can heal their hurts and strengthen them.
Why do you think readers will connect with this book?
While I hope that very few of my readers will have experienced the heartache that Marisa has endured, I believe they’ll be able to identify with some of her and Blake’s problems and will root for them to find their happily-ever-after.
How was this book different from your previous projects?
The biggest difference is that it’s a contemporary romance, whereas my previous books (with the obvious exception of At Bluebonnet Lake, the first of the Texas Crossroads trilogy) have been historicals. Writing about modern times has given me the opportunity to address challenges that nineteenth century women would never have experienced, such as being downsized. At the same time, the overall themes—love, forgiveness and the healing that comes from God’s love—remain constant.