Q&A: Lauraine Snelling (Wake the Dawn)
THIS NOVEL IS ABOUT A NATURAL DISASTER THAT DEVASTATES A SMALL TOWN. WHAT TYPE OF RESEARCH DID YOU DO IN ORDER TO WRITE ABOUT SUCH A HUGE EVENT?
After reading and viewing so often the accounts of natural disasters in the last few years, the book had pretty much researched itself. I asked questions of border patrol members and staff and had some of them read the manuscript to make sure I was accurate with language and procedures. I have visited northern Minnesota and have friends there, who again answered my seemingly unending questions.
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR MAIN CHARACTER, ESTHER?
Actually there are two main characters. Ben James, a border patrol officer, and former football star in the small fictional town of Pineville, MN and Esther Hanson, a physician’s assistant, who has staffed the local, antiquated clinic for several years. Ben’s wife died in a car accident two years earlier, sending him to self-medicating with booze. Esther is fighting demons of her own with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Both are emotionally wounded. Both have never sought after dreams. Many of their dreams center on this little town, his hometown and her adopted town. Can their dreams and lives possibly come together, in spite of their wounds?
WHAT DO YOU THINK READERS WILL ENJOY ABOUT THIS BOOK?
The story of a gallant little town and of the oh-so-typical citizens, who become heroic in spite of themselves. They band together when the need is greatest, putting aside petty differences, at least for the moment.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART ABOUT WRITING THIS NOVEL?
Not lack of action, that’s for sure. I guess making certain each character was drawn to the best of my ability to make them real, without turning Wake the Dawn into a novel twice its size.
WHAT ARE SOME THEMES READERS WILL FIND IN THIS BOOK?
Themes of courage, forgiveness, serving beyond one’s strength and being forced to depend on each other and on God, our Father. Also how tragedy can bring out the best in people, at least for the duration needed. I think my love of small towns comes out too and my admiration and appreciation for those first responders who lay their lives down so often for the rest of us.
WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR BEST IDEAS?
What a question!
The easy answer is anywhere and everywhere. I never know when a good idea will sneak up on me, but I grab it quickly and write it down. Sometimes finding the notes again is difficult so I am working harder at carrying a notebook with me all the time. Corralling slips of paper can be next to impossible. I read, listen to people, work in my garden, brainstorm, both with myself and other writers and friends, keep my ears and eyes open for ideas and ask, ask, ask questions.