What is the symbolism for the title Love Remains, Matchmaker Series #1?
Hmmm . . . I don’t really think a lot about symbolism or theme or other literary elements like that when I’m writing. I do try to tie the title into the story, and this book is no different. Love Remains is the title of a country song (recorded by Collin Raye) that I’ve always liked. When I developed the original story idea—that this young woman had fallen in love, had her heart broken, and then years later crossed paths with this first love, the song seemed to fit: was there a chance that first love remained true after so many years?
Of course, then there’s the more literal application of the title: She works for a historic preservation group that works to preserve historic sites and objects. Therefore, she “loves (historic) remains.” (Which I hadn’t even thought of until my uncle pointed it out.)
Do you have a favorite character in Love Remains, Matchmaker Series #1? Why?
My favorite characters in this series are turning out to be the meddling, matchmaking grannies. I was a little leery of writing senior-adult characters, as I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get into the correct mindset to do them justice. But as soon as I started writing from Zarah’s grandmother’s viewpoint, I knew I was going to love this feisty, spunky senior. It’s no accident that I chose Kiki as her “grandma name”—it’s the nickname my girlfriends gave me in graduate school.
How much research did Love Remains, Matchmaker Series #1 take?
I had to do quite a bit of research on how a state bureau of investigation operates and how white-collar crimes are investigated. Fortunately, most of that information can be found online. And I have several friends who are involved in the legal system (lawyers, investigators) who were able to answer questions for me. Also, as mentioned, I was able to spend a day at the Tennessee State Library and Archives learning how that agency works, and I was able to extrapolate some of what I learned there to apply to the fictitious agency for which Zarah works. I also spent a lot of time driving around Nashville and re-familiarizing myself with areas I hadn’t visited in a while—along with spending plenty of afternoons writing in the coffee shops Zarah, Kiki, and their friends frequent.
What was the most interesting tidbit that you learned while writing Love Remains, Matchmaker Series #1?
I learned that during an investigation, the agency can subpoena your bank records without having to let you know that they’re looking at them—that they can pretty much look into your entire life without your knowledge. And while that worked great for the story, it’s kind of disconcerting in real life!
How many books will be in this series?
There will be three books in this series: Love Remains, The Art of Romance, and Turnabout Is Fair Play.
Who are the main characters in the second book in the series?
The main characters of The Art of Romance, are Caylor Evans, a college English professor and romance novelist, and Dylan Bradley, an art professor and, you guessed it, former romance novel–cover artist. In a series in which grandmothers take such a significant role, I have to mention that the characters are named for my grandmothers: Julia Caylor McLellan and Edith Bradley Dacus.
What was your favorite book (s) as a child?
I loved the Laura Ingalls Wilder series, and of those, These Happy, Golden Years is my favorite, the story of Laura and Almanzo’s romance.