Today I’m very happy to welcome Heather Huffman to Bookish Temptations. You all know I love her books and I was very excited when she agreed to participate in our blogiversary celebrations. Not only is Huffman a great author but she’s also a wonderful and inspiring person. If you haven’t read her books yet, do yourself a favor and check them out. I’m sure they’ll leave a mark on you like they did on me.
Check out what Heather decided to share with us…
Sharing a Universe
When I was 18, I was a manager at a movie theater. Often, by the time the theater was closed there was little open, so we’d find ourselves sitting at Denny’s, being silly over a cup of coffee. We were there so regularly that we became friends with the servers, and on the rare occasion we were all off work, we’d go somewhere that wasn’t a movie theater or Denny’s. Every so often, my friends from Denny’s would say, “You have to meet our other group of friends. You’d love them.”
I remember in particular one of our box office employees at that theater; she was incredibly sweet and very reliable. I also remember that a young man named Adam often picked her up from work. He was a couple of years older than her, and whenever I’d ask about him, she’d blush and say they were just friends. I knew she had a crush on him, though, so I’d urge her to get the courage to say something.
Fast forward a couple of years. My husband and I are invited to a party, where I’m pleasantly surprised to find my old Denny’s crew. Adam went to introduce me because he had no idea I was friends with them. As it turns out, my husband was part of that “other group of friends” they were always trying to introduce me to.
Fast forward a couple more years. Adam and I go out to eat. My face brightened when I recognized the hostess. Hers brightened when she recognized my husband. Yes, I’d encourage the pretty young blonde to ask my husband out on a date before I even knew him. (Yes, I’m very happy now that they stayed just friends!)
One of the questions I often get about my writing is why I choose to have my characters exist within a shared universe, why their stories intertwine.
I’d be lying if I didn’t admit a certain amount of selfishness to it – I like revisiting characters from previous books. I like digging a little deeper into their stories or exploring other aspects of who they are.
But I also believe it’s a small world. We’re all more connected than we realize. Our stories, our lives, our hopes, our dreams – they aren’t as disparate as we sometimes believe.
And I think we sometimes look at someone who appears to have it all together and we tell ourselves that we’re the only one with a mistake in our past or who’s ever gone down the wrong path. That’s the worst kind of lie because it keeps us bogged down in guilt or regret instead of forging a new trail.
In Ring of Fire, we get a glimpse of how Jessie and Gabe from Throwaway are doing. Alex, the main character in Ring of Fire, sees in Jessie a woman who has it all. There is no hint of Jessie’s beginnings, at least none that an outside observer could perceive. She’s writing a new story for herself. Her past molds her, it shapes her, but it doesn’t define or constrain her.
I write the books I write because I love love. I love the rush of passion that comes with a new relationship. I can’t get enough of the sparks that fly when the chemistry is just right and everybody but the two main characters knows it.
I write because the stories in my head won’t let me go until they’re told.
I write to raise awareness for social injustices, or downright atrocities like human trafficking.
And I write to remind myself and others that we share a universe. Our stories intertwine, and we aren’t as alone in our walk as we sometimes feel.
Thank you so much Heather for this lovely post. I agree–it’s amazing how lives interwine and how we meet people on our paths that stay with us forever.
You can find more about Heather Huffman and her novels by visiting her website .
Coming up : A great giveaway offered by Heather Huffman you won’t want to miss!