Thursday, August 16, 2012

Author Interview: Serena Casey

Serena Casey is here today for an interview!  Here's a bit about her book:

To Finish The Dance
Serena Casey

Ever since their first communication, written on a wad of paper he threw at her in the fourth grade, Joe Anton has loved Lucy Hawthorne. Though she feels the same, she is forced to end the relationship in college due to his alcoholism and unfounded jealousy. For the next two decades, he cannot bring himself to marry, despite his loneliness, because Lucy set the bar too high.

Now forty-two, Joe returns to his hometown in Michigan to see her with every intention of finally finding a way to let go. He is surprised to find that not only has their bond survived twenty-one years of separation, but the winsome and funny Lucy is now a widow. He struggles to decide whether he can risk rejection again to pursue a reunion with the only woman he has ever loved.

Lucy’s heart tells her that the former rebel has overcome his addiction and matured. However, as they revive their friendly battle of wits and explore their new yet familiar relationship, a deceitful act convinces Joe that she is simply toying with his emotions. He severs his ties with Lucy, and she has no choice but to watch helplessly as a physical and emotional rift develops between them that seems too wide to bridge.

Set primarily in the wilderness of Upper Michigan on the shore of Lake Superior, the story takes place in today’s world but harks back to an era when love lasted a lifetime. It also affirms that the heady experience of loving and being loved is not only for the very young.

Now, on to the interview!!

Give us a bit of your background
I’m a “Yooper” from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, which is not quite the end of the earth, but you can see it from here! My husband and I live in a small town on the south shore of Lake Superior. I’m also a “Finndian,” Finnish and Native American with a little Irish, Scottish, and English blood mixed in.
What is your favorite genre to read?
I like many genres, but I particularly enjoy stories about real people overcoming hardships, finding true love, or becoming better humans.
What is one silly fact about you?
Um…how about that my slippers are duct-taped to hold them together?
What got you started on your writing journey?
I’ve been writing all my life but never started an actual book because I always thought I was no good. But while I was recovering from a serious injury in 2006, I realized that I wasn’t doing too well on my bucket list, and writing a novel was close to the top. So I got busy. And I found out that it takes a lot of hard work, but I may be a halfway decent writer after all.
Why do you choose to write clean/sweet romance?  Do you write steamy romance as well?
I write clean/sweet romance because it fits with my personal values but also satisfies my romantic side. It’s always been hard for me to find great love stories that are about the LOVE, not the explicit/erotic aspect of it, so I figured I needed to start writing them myself. I don’t write anything that I would be embarrassed for my mother to read.
What other things do you have planned with your writing for the rest of the year 2012?
I want to continue working on the novel I wrote during last year’s NaNoWriMo, and I intend to start another one during this year’s event in November. The former is a love story among band mates and the latter is general fiction with a romantic element, and both will be somewhat more literary in feel than my first book. At least that's the goal. :)
How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?
I draw heavily from real life, as many writers do, but I also have a very vivid imagination and do a lot of research. Most of what happens in my books are things I’ve never experienced, and I’m learning more and more about how to write characters that are nothing at all like me. However, so far all my books are set in Upper Michigan, because it’s such a great backdrop for a story that I haven’t felt the desire to go farther afield.
What are the elements of a great romance for you?
I love it when the main characters slowly grow to respect and then love each other over an extended period of time. And when each person genuinely evolves into a better person because of the other, it’s very moving and satisfying. Loyalty is also important.
Please share about your book.
“To Finish the Dance” is a very tender love story set in beautiful wilderness of Upper Michigan. Joe and Lucy cross paths again after twenty years apart and find that their love has survived, but so have the issues that separated them in the first place.
Use no more than two sentences. Why should we read your book?
It will satisfy your “sweet” tooth but has real drama as well. It’s an emotional story that will stick with you long after the last page has been turned.
Do you have a favorite character you have written so far?
Absolutely. Joe Anton of “To Finish the Dance” is a flawed but good man who I fell in love with as he emerged from the pages (with apologies to my dear hubby—sorry, honey!). He makes some serious mistakes but he loves deeply and is worth far more than he realizes.

Thank you Serena for being with us, and sharing about you and your book.

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