Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The Story Behind "Life in Chapel Springs"

People ask me what prompted this story. Why Lacey? Why the accident and reconstruction? To be honest, the answer is the character herself.
Ane Mulligan

I’m a visual writer, so I need photos. When I start out, I find photos of people who look like the character I’m imagining. I find most of my characters in magazines and keep files of faces I’ve torn out of them. While looking for Lacey, I came across two photos looking like a before and after of the same woman.

The resemblance was striking and sparked the “what if” that became Lacey’s story. Many women have life-altering surgery, whether elective, emergency, or life-saving. Often—more often than not—they have a difficult time with the results. A high percentage dislikes the “new” self. It doesn’t match the image we women tend to carry inside us.

My research and interviews included a plastic surgeon and a psychologist, so I could be sure I had the psyche right and the surgery results correct. I still had one problem. The character Lacey was a shy quiet young woman, so shy and quiet, she wasn’t even talking to me! I had to sit on her story for three years.

Finally, after two more Chapel Springs series books, Lacey “talked” to me. I understood her and could write her story. Maybe she was ready to tell it, but what we both hope women will take away from her story in Life in Chapel Springs is that each of us is uniquely made by God, and as Great Aunt Lola used to say, “God don’t make no junk.”

About the Author
While a large, floppy straw hat is her favorite, award-winning author Ane Mulligan has worn many: hairdresser, legislative affairs director (that's a fancy name for a lobbyist), CEO of a Community Theatre group, playwright, humor columnist, and novelist. She firmly believes coffee and chocolate are two of the four major food groups. Ane resides in Sugar Hill, GA, with her artist husband. You can find her on her website, Amazon Author page, Novel Rocket, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+.
Life in Chapel Springs
by Ane Mulligan

Life in Chapel Springs
Life in Chapel Springs has turned upside down and inside out.

Shy Lacey Dawson was happily writing murder mysteries for the community theater with her eye on Broadway. Then, a freak accident results in traumatic injuries requiring facial reconstruction. When the bandages come off, Lacey’s world is turned inside out. Will Chapel Springs rally behind its own … or will life unravel?

Is it a midlife pregnancy or … cancer? Claire will keep her secret until she’s sure—but it isn’t easy. Neither is trying to buy a home pregnancy test without anyone finding out. Between her twins’ double wedding, the canceling, a looming nationwide art tour and her health, Claire’s life is upside down.

Gold has been discovered in Chapel Springs and the ensuing fever is rising. Then Mayor Riley discovers someone has bought the mineral rights to his land. A stranger and his nefarious investors set out to buy all the homes in Chapel Springs and mine the gold. Will life in Chapel Springs become the tailings of a gold mine?

15 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for joining us, Ane! Love how you develop your story around your characters. I think that makes the storyline so much more richer and it shows in your books. (Sorry for going a little fan-girl!)

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  2. Oh, Angie, thank you! That blesses my socks off!

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  3. Hi Ane,
    I liked the way you came up with the idea, seeing a story in the comparison of the photos of a woman.

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    1. Thanks, Zoe! Isn't it fun to see what triggers our imaginations?

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  4. Love this, Ane. I'm a visual writer too and can spend far too much time on the internet, looking up images that match what I have in mind. I get you, sister!

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    1. I know you do, Linda. LOL It's a occupational hazard.

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  5. Thanks for sharing your process, Ane. I'm a visual person too and need to have photos of my characters in front of me.

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    1. I love my boards! Do you put yours on Pinterest?

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    2. Yes, I do, Ane! I love Pinterest! I use it for visuals for my book, but I also have boards that help me keep track of sites I've used for research. It's great to have easy access if I need to look at something again.

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    3. Me, too, but I'm not as good at it as I should be. My other passion in life is the Community Theater I head up. And our new theatre will open next late spring or summer. That keeps me busy!

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  6. I like those photos, too, and am amazed at how easy it is to find that special someone I picture in my head, or a very close match. Enjoyed reading about how you found your story idea, Ane!

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    1. Thanks, Sandra. It was so cool. I'll open up the board once the book releases, so people can see how I saw Lacey.

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  7. Ane, I recently tore numerous photos of a future heroine out of a Land's End catalog. I loved seeing her in different types of clothes and different hairstyles. I hope she speaks to me before three years are up! I admire your patience.

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    1. I used Lacey in each book,, but as a supporting character. Catalogues are a GREAT idea, Terri! I usually have grabbed magazines, but I like what you've done. I'm going to get no a couple more mailing lists!

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  8. A horrifying premise... did she look the same, beautiful, or...well, sometimes the results are so not good. :/

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