Shelley Galloway joins us today to tell us how her latest, The Mommy Bride, came to be! Take it away, Shelley!
Some stories-and characters seem to take on a life of their own. My May release for Harlequin American Romance, The Mommy Bride, is certainly that way.
In order to tell y’all the whole thing, I better back up a few steps. Actually, we better go back over to a dozen years ago, to my first year teaching school. Oh, I was green! I was a fifth grade teacher with as much to learn as the students I taught. I made all kinds of mistakes, but loved those students as if they were my own. Gosh, I think I remember the names of almost every one of those kids.
But the one student who made the biggest impression was a sandy-haired child I only got to have in my classroom for a few weeks. See, he was homeless. I didn’t realize this until the day before Christmas break. After all the other kids had run out the door, he walked to my desk and handed me a stack of magazines. He’d dug them out of a dumpster that week while helping his parents hunt for cans.
When he handed me the magazines, he’d admitted that he wanted to be able to give me a Christmas present, just like all the other kids in my class. Well, you can imagine how touched I was. He was such a smart boy, I’d had no idea he had such a difficult home life. As soon as Christmas break was over, I vowed to do something to help him.
Unfortunately, I never saw him again. Yep, his family had moved on.
I’ve never forgotten him, or stopped hoping that he ended up all right.
A few years ago, when the opportunity arose to write Simple Gifts for Harlequin American, I jumped at it. Simple Gifts features two secondary characters who were homeless- Wes and his mom, Claire. During the novel, they inspired Tessa, the heroine, to rethink her life.
Simple Gifts was published in October of 2006. Lots of people loved it. It even won RT’s reviewer’s choice award. I was thrilled.
But I kept worrying about Wes and Claire. I just really needed for Claire and Wes to have their own happy ending! So, with my editors’ blessings…I wrote Claire’s book, which became The Mommy Bride. I put so much of my heart into this book, I think I cried the last twenty pages- I was just so happy that Claire and Wes found someone as perfect as Ty and finally got a home of their own!
The only problem? I’ve already heard from a reader who’s wondering if I’d please write about what happens to Deanna. She’s a character in The Mommy Bride who’s having a tough time! I have a feeling I just might not be able to resist giving her a happily ever after, too!
In the meantime, I hope y’all will enjoy Claire’s story.
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