Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Importance of Grandmothers by Alison Henderson

I'm not a grandmother yet, but I can hardly wait. I love seeing my friends' photos of their beautiful grandchildren. Someday, God willing, when the time is right I'll have a grandchild of my own. I have wonderful memories of growing up with my maternal grandmother living just a few blocks away. Gram was one of the most important influences in my life, and I can only hope to do as well for my own grandchild(ren) someday.

Gram was tiny and feisty. She claimed to have once been 5'1", but never approached 5' in all the years I knew her. She was born in a small town in Wisconsin in 1900 to German immigrants, lost her first true love to influenza during World War I, went off to teacher's college in Kentucky, and married my grandfather in her mid-twenties. Their wedding photo is priceless with him in a Clark Gable-style pencil-thin mustache and her wearing a flapper dress and beaded headband.

My new book Unwritten Rules is a salute to the importance of grandmothers with both the hero's and the heroine's grandmothers playing significant roles. I based the character of Grandma Li (Madelyn's grandmother) on my own Gram. She's tiny, bossy, opinionated, and irrepressible. I just loved writing her dialogue! Carter's Gran is much the same. She might have a few problems with her memory, but nothing can dampen her vibrant personality or her fierce devotion to her family. 

The overall tone of the book is lighthearted--it's a humorous, contemporary romantic suspense (how's that for a mash-up genre?). Watching Carter and Madelyn interact with their grandmothers humanizes them and allows readers to see a facet of their characters that might not be as apparent in a more traditional romantic suspense. I hope everyone enjoys reading about these two ladies as much as I enjoyed writing about them.

Alison
www.alisonhenderson.com
http://alisonhenderson.blogspot.com

10 comments:

Jannine Gallant said...

Your grandmothers in this book were terrific, Alison. They definitely added a dimension!

Alison Henderson said...

My mother told me she was trying to figure out which fictional grandma was based on which real life grandma. It doesn't really matter - they were a blast to write.

Barbara said...

My grandmother was a hoot--so mischievous and funny. Just the most wonderful person in the world. I still miss her. Loved the post, Alison. And I can't wait to read about the g/mothers in your book. Best of luck. Tweeted.

Alicia Dean said...

My grandmother was an odd mixture of precious and tough, LOL. We used to stay with her out in the country for a week or so in the summers, and she didn't tolerate laziness (sleeping past 6), or any other foolishness. :-) But, she was loving and adorable and just the cutest thing ever. She's been gone for more than twenty years, but I miss her still. Enjoyed the post!

Alison Henderson said...

Thanks, Barbara. It's wonderful how our grandmothers never really leave us, isn't it?

Alison Henderson said...

Alicia, I hoped this post would bring back fond memories for everyone. Thanks!

Diane Burton said...

My grandmother was tough and out-spoken. You knew where you stood with her. I didn't get to see her much as she & my dad didn't get along. I have fond memories of visiting her as an adult. I'm a grandmother and it's the best feeling in the world when a little one runs up yelling "Nana!" and tackles your knees. :)

Liz Flaherty said...

I love writing grandmas--and reading rhem, too.

Barbara Edwards said...

My grandmothers were tough, immigrants during a time of strife, they were survivors. I tell stories about them to my grandchildren.

Leah St. James said...

Your grandma sounds wonderful, Alison! Like you, I'm patiently waiting for my chance.