This month's book club pick is IT'S YOU by the fabulous Jane Porter. It's the perfect book to throw in your beach bag this summer! (It's in ours!) And we have a copy for giveaway! Just leave a comment here or on the post on our Facebook page and you'll be entered to win. The contest will close on Thursday, June 18th at 6pm PST. The scoop: In the wake of a tragedy that tore her life down to the foundations, Dr. Alison McAdams has lost her way. So when she’s summoned to Napa to care for her ailing father, she’s not sure she has anything to offer him—or anyone else.
What Ali finds in Northern California wine country is a gift—an opportunity to rest, and distance from her painful memories. Most unexpectedly, she finds people who aren’t afraid of her grief or desperate for her to hurry up and move on.
As Ali becomes part of her father’s community, makes new friends of her own, and hears the stories of a generation who survived the Second World War, she begins to find hope again. In a quest to discover the truth about another woman’s lost love, she sets off on a journey across oceans and deep into history. And in making sense of that long-ago tragedy, Ali is able to put together the broken pieces of her heart and make new choices that are right for her.
Our thoughts: One of Jane's absolute best!
Lix & Lisa's book club: It's You by Jane Porter
I did feel Ali’s grief, which was still manifesting as anger in the beginning of the story, because she didn’t understand why he was gone, and she couldn’t move on. But on the other hand, it wasn’t hard to write because her love was very pure---she loved him. Period. And the challenge for her was learning how to live, while learning to let go of the anger and pain so that what her love could live on...even though he was gone.
You are a pro at writing characters that a reader can instantly empathize with and relate to. And for someone who has written as many books as you, that's a gift! What's your secret?
I don’t write fast...and I think about a story constantly, sometimes a year to two or three years before I begin to write it. I can’t start writing until I understand the characters inside and out but they literally grow within me until they’re ready to step out...into the world, onto a page, full formed. I know my agent and editor wishes I could hurry the process but because I’ve written so many books now (over 50!), I need more time for each new project, not less.
You write romance novels and women's fiction. How do you switch gears from one to the next? Do you ever write more than one book simultaneously?
I actually waste a lot of time going back and forth...weeks, and then months. I do more and more pre-writing in my head, and then I world build with photos and Instagram, and then more world building with music. I often read tons of books on a subject related to what I’m writing—in the case of It’s You—lots of stories about WWII, and seniors, and those that had lived through WWII—creating a rich inner world and then finally the words come. I do the exact same thing whether it’s a romance or a fiction novel....I have to fill my head and imagination with stories and history and pictures and ‘stuff’ and then I mix it all up, mash it around, and a story comes out. And because of the process, I generally only write one story at a time, although I am always pre-writing another story in my head. In fact, most of my great ideas for a future book come while writing the current book.
You're very connected with your fans and always offering fun giveaways "just because." How does this connection with your readers help you to be a better writer?
I love my readers. I love all readers. Book girls make sense to me. Women work so hard, and give so much, and they are my heroes. It’s important to me to reach out to women and try to lift them up. To thank them for being so selfless. To recognize the important things they do on a daily basis. And I feel good when I give...so I love giveaways and shout outs, and creating warm fuzzies because life should also have feel good moments and if I can make one woman smile or feel happy, then I’ve done something good.
It's you came out on June 2nd. What's up next for you after that?
I’m working on another fiction novel, Wait for Me, but its still in the very early pre-writing and rough writing stage. But I’m enjoying this story. It’s a powerful story and it’s kind of scary sometimes being alone with the words and this character’s intense thoughts and her family’s reaction and emotions but this fierce, raw, and yet real story is the kind I’m drawn to now. Hopefully readers like them, too.