BY TRACY FABRE
Delphi Brent, seriously injured in a hit-and-run accident as a teenager, is ready to spend the summer with old family friends when her parents make a distressing confession: the driver of the car that nearly killed her was one of the three sons of the Laughlin family she's about to visit. They urge her to stay home and let the past be, but she resolves to go out West anyway to learn the truth about what happened the night she was struck and one of the Laughlin sons died. However, in reconnecting with the Laughlins, who operate a sprawling ranch in Colorado, Delphi learns a lot not only about brothers and families, but also about the reasons people keep secrets, and what to do with the truth once it's uncovered. She also falls in love with one of the Laughlin brothers, which wasn't part of the plan at all.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Vaguely-worded statements about "me"...
I consider myself a resident of the "mid-South", which is defined as everything from Oklahoma to upper Alabama. I've lived in various southern states and feel a pretty strong connection to Alabama, which doesn't claim me but hasn't figured out how to stop me from coming around. In fact, three of my other (also unpublished) novels are set on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay (a series of mysteries) and I hope you'll see them in print someday. I really am a "closet writer," but you can find me posting bits of fluff on Gather.com (they can't figure out how to keep me from coming around, either). Steadily writing for my own entertainment--because I just haven't been able to stop--for the last eight years, I am glad to finally get into print so I can find out whether anyone else has any interest in what I've been doing "in the privacy of my own home" all this time!
In a book that grabs you and won't let go (I read it in one sitting, unusual for me) filled with well-developed characters and a wonderful, natural type of humor in her dialogue, Tracy Fabre gives us REASONS. And yet, with that description, it is interesting to note that the real theme of this book is much more serious. It is one of the responsibility and the power and destructive force that keeping secrets in our lives can have on us. Through the talent of Fabre's writing, this message is presented in a sensitive manner that shows how much she cares about her characters and her readers. The result is a book about families and what makes them tick and binds them together through triumph and through tragedy.
Delphi Brent wants to spend her summer before going off to another state to live and work, with old friends in Colorado. She hasn't seen the Laughlin's in years. When she tells her parents she wants to go and they are hesitant, the truth comes out about a hit-and-run accident that almost cost Delphi her life all those years ago. They tell her how the Laughlin boys were driving the car that hit her and drove away...something she never knew before. And so, she heads to Colorado in hopes of learning the truth about which one of these boys was behind the wheel and why they left the scene.
She also wants to understand what happened as one of the boys, the youngest, Artie, was killed in a car accident and Delphi wants to find out how, and if, he was involved in her hit and run. Delphi is sensitive and caring of the family and doesn't want to bring them any more pain and so is reluctant to come right out and ask the questions she seeks answers to. As her visit goes on, she quickly sees how her feelings about what happened in these mysteries may interfere with her future as she starts to fall for Tam, the son who is a veterinarian. She also has to contend with Bobby who she had a crush on as a young teen who is engaged to an insecure, rude, and possessive fiance, Noreen. The relationships and dialogue between all these characters is well written and especially the interaction with Tam is quite seductive to the reader.
Will Delphi ever learn the truth about her accident and who was involved? If someone she is starting to fall for is involved, will she be able to get past that? Do Noreen and Bobby actually continue their plans to wed once it is revealed it is really more of a business deal to combine properties of their ranches? Finding out the truth and what happens as a result is hard to wait to find out about. If you are the kind of reader who will jump to the ending to find out what happens, don't! It is such a good story and part of the enjoyment is the build up. If Delphi could keep the secrets, it is only right that the reader go along with her and learn about things as she does...you won't be sorry! Kudos to Tracy Fabre on this well-written, engaging book and I look forward to reading more of her work.
SENDING RUPERT HOME will be out in March, 2010! A description of this is also on the website...can you tell I’m directing you to the website? I try to be so subtle. ;-)
Can't say I blame you as we always like to know that. In that we are all lovers of books, what have you just finished reading?
It’s more accurate to ask me what I’m currently reading, which is Pat Bertram’s mystery More Deaths Than One, Con Chapman’s baseball novel CannaCorn, and John Connolly’s The Gates. However, I did just read (and not just because I also edited it) a marvelous collection of short stories by Gregory Miller called Scaring The Crows.
Wow! I envy people who can read more than one book at a time! What books would you say have made the biggest impression on you, especially starting out?
I suppose I was most influenced by authors who made me love their characters: Stephen King, Dick Francis, Donald Westlake and Jane Donnelly. They seemed to be able to write about regular and ultimately irresistible people. King’s The Stand is a classic when it comes to a myriad of very different ‘regular people.’
I see you follow that in your writing as Delphi and Tam and the others in REASONS are so much like that. What gets you started on a new book? A character or story idea or….?
For me, this past decade, it’s been a character, someone who leaps into my head and flat-out refuses to leave until recorded in some way, but sometimes it’s a “how would an ordinary person react to a particular event in life?” In a series of three mystery novels I wrote, one key premise is that the main character is married to a man who was once suspected of having murdered his first wife: he was innocent, but how did this shadow affect his life and that of his daughter?
That makes sense to me and makes me want to check on those three mystery novels you wrote. I bet I can find them on your website! Shifting gears a little, what is something about you that you would want people to know about you that we probably don’t know?
I don’t want to be famous. I just want people to read my books!
Well, from that I can tell, you may not have a choice about the famous part because I think REASONS is going to propel you there. So with all your experience, what is your best advice to anyone, including young people, who want to be writers?
Write. That’s the single best advice anyone can give a would-be writer. Write, and decide as early as possible whether it’s writing or fame you want more, because writing can always be there for you but fame is hard to achieve and not likely to stick around.
What is something you would like to share with us about writing your favorite genre in general?
I like the mystery/romance combo but ironically, my first two published novels come across as more romance, although I think of Reasons as being as much a family study as anything else. I love to work natural humor into my writing, too – the funny things people say in the course of ordinary conversation. Not slapstick, not contrived, but natural. I feel even more strongly about the importance of believable dialogue. I want to be able to read any line aloud and know it sounds ‘real.’ Fer sher.
Natural humor is evident in REASONS and so you have certainly achieved that goal. I thank you for taking time to chat with me today and wish you the best. I know we will all be looking forward to March when SENDING RUPERT HOME comes out!
Thanks for the interview!
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