Welcome to Jennifer who writes about… romance!
What’s love got to do with it? You may think this is self-explanatory. I’m a romantic novelist and so I write about romance (sorry if this sounds obvious) and romance is all about love. That’s what love has to do with it.
But there are many different sorts of love, and my latest novel (my third) is about more than one of them. Several for them in fact. Yes, it’s a romance and its two main female protagonists, Flora and Suzanne, are both, in different circumstances, in pursuit of their own happy endings with a man they love. But there are different types of love and sometimes they conflict.
There’s the love that never dies even when your partner does. How do you follow that, attempting to replace the irreplaceable? Flora’s friendship with a colleague grows into love but can it overcome his deep love for his long-dead wife? And will the shadow of needy, unhinged Ally stop Suzanne overcoming her biggest challenge, starting life anew as the widowed mother of a murdered child?
There’s the love of a mother for her children. In Looking for Charlotte, set in Edinburgh and the Highlands of Scotland, divorced Flora is struggling with her children, paying the price for mistakes she made in bringing them up as a single mother. As they grow up they drift away and she fights to keep them.
Suzanne’s loss, on the other hand, is permanent and more terrible. Her estranged and suicidal husband, determined to end his own life, took their three year old daughter, Charlotte, with him into death and carried the secret of her whereabouts to his grave. Grief and guilt turn Suzanne’s life into a desert of regret from which she struggles to escape.
But there’s a wider, deeper love and that’s the love that ties humankind and binds one stranger to another. Flora’s response to the loss of her relationship with her children is to seek redemption through helping another — by deciding to find Charlotte and bring her body home to give her mother closure. Along their journeys, both women find themselves in positions where they can help, and be helped by, other people.
If you choose to be elastic with your definitions, you can fit Looking For Charlotte into more than one genre — romance, romantic suspense and contemporary woman’s fiction for a start. But for me it’s primarily a romance. It’s about two lost women looking for love, and whether that love can triumph over Suzanne’s guilt and Flora’s increasingly obsessive search for little lost Charlotte.
I changed the ending several times and you’ll have to read it to find out what it is. But I will tell you one thing — that love, in at least one of its many forms, emerges triumphant.
Jennifer Young is an Edinburgh-based author of romantic and romantic suspense fiction. A graduate of the RNA’s New Writers Scheme she saw her first book, Thank You For The Music, published by Tirgearr Publishing in February 2014, followed by No Time Like Now later the same year. Like all of Jennifer’s writing, Looking For Charlotte (set in her beloved Scottish Highlands) is strongly influenced by her love of travel and landscape. She’s currently working on a romantic suspense trilogy set in northern Italy.
Novel Points of View (shared blog):
Thank you, Jennifer and good luck with Looking for Love.
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