Sunday, September 25, 2011

Guest Blogger Tiernan McKay Talks With Author Lisa Tucker

Together for over a decade, Kyra and David Winter are happier than they ever thought they could be.  They have a comfortable home, stable careers, and a young son, Michael, who they love more than anything.  Yet because of their complicated histories, Kyra and David have always feared that this domestic bliss couldn’t last - that the life they created was destined to be disrupted.  And on one perfectly average summer day, it is: Michael disappears from his own backyard.

The only question is whose past has finally caught up with them: David feels sure that Michael was taken by his troubled ex-wife, while Kyra believes the kidnapper must be someone from her estranged family, someone she betrayed years ago.

As the Winters embark on a journey of time and memory to find Michael, they will be forced to admit these suspicions, revealing secrets about themselves they’ve always kept hidden.  But they will also have a chance to discover that it’s not too late to have the family they’ve dreamed of; that even if the world is full of risks, as long as they have hope, the future can bloom

Lyrical, wise, and witty, The Winters in Bloom is Lisa Tucker’s most optimistic work to date.  This enchanting, life-affirming story will charm readers and leave them full of wonder at the stubborn strength of the human heart.

Q&A With Lisa Tucker

Do you have a “complicated” past? I mean, who doesn’t? In The Winters in Bloom, bestselling author Lisa Tucker explores the reality of the Winters family, as two complicated histories collide. As Kyra and David Winters create a life for themselves and their son, Michael, they can’t seem to escape their pasts, which have somehow made them extremely overprotective parents. When Michael suddenly disappears, they are left to examine their experiences as they search for answers. This is a story about family drama at its best (or worst, depending on how you see it).

Tucker graciously answered some questions about her sixth novel on the cusp of its release:

Q: You skillfully developed the characters in The Winters in Bloom without sugar-coating them. They are real and, in a way, a bit dark. What about this plot convinced you to develop so many characters so fully? Speak to the challenge of doing so.

A: I always write about troubled families. In The Winters in Bloom, because the story moves back and forth in time over the last twenty years, we meet a number of people who influenced who David and Kyra are today. All of these people, I think, are part of the life in which five-year-old Michael finds himself. The first sentence of the novel is: “He was the only child in a house full of doubt.” Michael is reacting to his parents’ fears and doubts, but I was thinking of all the weight of the past on this little boy. The question is whether Michael and his family can find a way to free themselves.
Q: Having been on both sides of the page, what would you say is the key to creating an experience in which readers connect with characters even though they may not have much in common?
A: One of the things I love about the novel is that it’s essentially a psychological form. A book has the unique ability to take us inside someone else’s head, to allow us to look at the world through someone else’s eyes. I think that fosters a powerful connection between characters and readers.
Q: As a writer, is the amount of emotion in a book directly related to the level of emotion you experience upon its release? If so, what sorts of emotions are you going through with the release of Winters?
A: For me, the release of a book is always an emotional experience, but the release of The Winters in Bloom is proving to be far more emotional than usual, mainly, I think, because of the circumstances of my life while I was writing it. The Winters in Bloom is the book of my heart. It’s a little hard to send it out into the world, but I know it’s time. 

[Note: Tucker went through a major health crisis while writing this book. You can read about her experience  HERE.]

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