Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Family Rules By Andrea Boeshaar

Family ties. They can bind, all right. Strangulate in some cases. For myself, I’m grateful for a rich family heritage. Perhaps that’s why I enjoy writing about various family dynamics. I find them strange and fascinating. From my elderly crabby aunt to my adorable, toddling granddaughter, each member of my family possesses characteristics that have enriched my life. 

For instance, my mother prefers to have my sister care for her during this time that she battles cancer. Sometimes I'm envious of their special time together right now, although I have long gotten over any hurtful feelings. My sister is an excellent caregiver. She anticipates my mother’s needs ahead of time. On the creative front, my mother and I are very similar. She’s read all of my novels – some she’s read twice.
In my book Unwilling Warrior (Realms/Charisma House) my main character, Valerie Fontaine, is mourning the death of her mother with whom she’s shared a close relationship. She returns unannounced from boarding school in hopes of cultivating a new and special closeness with her father, except he has no use for females in his life. He's mourning in his own way. However, Valerie's homecoming results in her having to flee New Orleans or face charges of conspiracy. My own father and I were at odds until just ten short years before his death. But he was an excellent grandfather to my sons and had a great interest in Civil War history.

In Uncertain Heart, book 2 of my series Seasons of Redemption, Sarah McCabe is the youngest of four ambitious siblings and she longs to make her own mark on the world -- and she nearly does, until two of her brothers show up to take her home. 

My younger sister once said that she always felt like our parents pushed her to be more like me, outgoing and ambitious. I was shocked to hear the admission. I always thought she was the favored daughter, the one who could do no wrong.

Unexpected Love, book 3, is quite different from its two predecessors in that my character, Rena Fields, is best friends with both her mother and father. Her relationship issues are with people outside of her family -- except her patients. I sort of modeled Rena’s relationship with her folks after my daughter-in-law’s relationship with her parents. Until she married my son, my DIL considered her parents her best friends.

Undaunted Faith, book 4, wraps up the series. In this story, I created two courageous leading female characters, Bethany Stafford and Annetta Cavanaugh. 

Bethany’s mother is dead and her father has been abusive and neglectful, prompting her to runaway, although she fibs about obtaining his permission to go West with two of the McCabe brothers. Annetta, on the other hand, has feared facing her parents because she’d been raped by a Confederate vigilante and battles the shame that many other victims tragically experience. While I was never personally sexually assaulted, I have friends who were, My heart grieves each time I see how the malicious violation affects their lives.

On November 16th (my young brother's birthday), I’ll be giving away a set of my 4-book series. These are printed novels, so the winner will have to provide me with his/her snail-mail address.

And how about you? What about the dynamics in your own family. Perhaps your family doesn't consist of blood relatives. That's okay too. Maybe it's even more than okay! 

I'm thankful for each member of my family. I believe God makes no mistakes. I am part of this family unit for a reason. At the risk of sounding arrogant, I'll add that it's because of my family members that I am the productive, creative, and loving person writing this blog post today.

And that's why, in all my novels, family rules!


Alison Henderson said...

Andrea, I don't think there's any richer font of inspiration for a writer than family relationships. This series sounds like it explores them all in depth.

Andrea said...

Hi, Alison, yes I think you're right. I always have a wellspring to draw from. :)

Brenda Whiteside said...

We all seem to think alike. Family does lend itself to writing fodder.

Colleen Connally said...

Sounds like a great series. Thank you for sharing what inspired your writing.

Jannine Gallant said...

My stories also have family as a central core. I explore the mother/daughter relationship, with all its excentricities, in several of my books. Why not, I have 2 beautiful, complicated girls of my own who give me constant inspiration!

Terrific post, Andrea!

Sheila Deeth said...

What a lovely post, and what a lovely series of books. I love how you see your mother's choice of caregiver as sensible instead of resenting it. I suspect each choice we make or don't make in relationships can reappear in characters in our books.

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Andrea,
Great blog, loved reading about your family and your series sounds wonderful, I will have to go check them out.

Andrea said...

Thank you all for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment!