see their role as a parent differently and have conflict over this, which is certainly true in many marriages. Often, one parent tends to be more lenient and the other stricter. This was but one difference between the primary couple in this novel, but I was able to use it to advantage to create greater disharmony between the two, which led to other repercussions and problems in the marriage. I did not have a specific plan for their marital troubles and much of it simply evolved, but one thing we learn at the outset is that Ron has been unfaithful and Isabel declares that “actions have consequences.” So we have to wonder what will happen and how will their discord be resolved. Interestingly, after finishing the novel, people have asked me if this couple stays together, because at the end of the story we don’t know whether they will or not. I have found this question interesting and a little surprising. Some people are adamant they should divorce, while others want them to remain married. I’d love to hear more readers’ reaction to this aspect of the story. Shelf Unbound: Have you been influenced by any particular writers, and how? Feely: I’m afraid my answer to this question may not be very satisfying.
Throughout my life I have been a voracious reader of fiction. This may sound a little silly, and I say it a bit tongue in cheek, but perhaps even the earliest literature we are exposed to influences us as writers, in which case Carolyn Keene (of Nancy Drew mystery fame) may have influenced me as much as authors I read as an adult. I do love a good mystery (recently I bumped into Ruth Ware) and so in terms of my writing style, I think it does lean toward that genre, even though my book has been categorized as women’s fiction. Also, I have never been one to read all of the books of any particular author, but rather I read one or two novels of many authors and imagine that each one influences me a little. I do have favorite novels and perhaps at some point I will strive to write more like the authors of those novels. In the past few years, I’ve read dozens of wonderful stories. Of these, my favorite three novels were Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See, Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven, and Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go. In the realm of popular fiction, I enjoyed Big Little Lies (Liane Moriarity), to which my novel has been compared, Kimberly McCreight’s Reconstucting Amelia, and Herman Koch’s The Dinner.
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