Shannon here: Southern Fiction author, Ane Mulligan shares insight into her real life romance & her characters’ from her latest release, Life in Chapel Springs. Comment or answer the question at the end of the post to enter the drawing for winner’s choice print or e-book copy. Deadline: March 17th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Ane:
- What is the most romantic thing your husband ever did for you?
My dear husband is not exactly romantic. You see, he’s a Brit. Now, don’t conjure up images of Hugh Grant. Believe me … not all Brits are romantic like him. I know. Don’t get me wrong; my Brit tries, but somehow he’s not the model for a novel hero. What? You think I’m mean? No way. I’m just realistic.
You want proof you say? All right … here’s what happened when my dear husband tried to plan a romantic Valentine’s Day. This was back when we lived in Southern California. That should probably tell you something.
He decided we’d take our boat out for a Valentine’s Day cruise. The Aney Lea (okay, I’ll give him that one; it was romantic to name the boat after me) bordered on small craft but was a respectable 25-foot and slept six. We had a lovely time as long as he stood with his eyes on the horizon to avoid getting seasick. Don’t even ask why a man who gets seasick owned a boat. But as I was saying, we had a lovely time … until we came back.
At the end of a cruise, my job as first mate was to climb over the side of the bow rail and perch on its edge, hanging on to the railing. As we approached the dock, I’d wait until we were about three feet away then push off, leaping backwards onto the dock to keep the boat from crashing into it. The channel where our slip resided had a good current.
A good strong current.
A good strong current, which ran at a 45-degree angle to the dock, necessitating stellar mariner skills.
That Valentine’s evening as we pulled into the slip, the current was a bit stronger than usual. A storm was gathering in the Pacific, churning up the waters in between Catalina and Long Beach Harbor, where we kept our boat. An unexpected surge in the current caught the bow threw it on a swift collision course with the side of the dock.
To avoid a possible hole in the bow, my husband threw the boat into reverse … at the exact moment I made my leap.
I missed the dock.
Making a frantic grab for the railing, I managed by the grace of God, to catch it. I hung there, legs swinging in a blind search for solid ground—or solid dock—and connecting with nothing but air.
Seeing my hands firmly welded to the bow rail, and because the present danger had been averted, my dear husband laughed himself silly. Are you beginning to see my point?
Fortunately for my Brit’s sake, a gentleman strolling along the dock and obviously not a Brit, saw my dilemma. Heroically, (I’m certain his hair was billowing provocatively in the wind) he managed to reach my ankles and pulled me—and the boat to safe mooring. The entire time my husband’s laughter could be heard coming from the fly deck. With my feet back on terra firma, I seriously entertained thoughts of murder and mayhem.
So you see, my dear husband is not the romantic hero of novels … unless perhaps, you write murder mysteries.
Oh, and just in case any of you are worried about the state of our marriage, this was, to ease your minds, over forty-five ago. My Brit still breathes. Very carefully if we’re around boats.
- How did you meet?
On a blind date. For real, only my date was with the other fellow. Then, midway through the evening, we switched dates. We’ve been together ever since.
- How did your heroine meet her husband?
In Life in Chapel Springs, Lacey met her husband at a softball game. Plain and shy, she was one of the invisible people, sliding through life unnoticed and didn’t believe anyone could love her. But playing softball, Jake Dawson got to know her. And he fell in love with what was on the inside. Jake wooed Lacey for several years, through high school and college, before he won her. She said it was his constancy that finally convinced her he really did love her.
- How is your heroine like you?
Life in Chapel Springs has two heroines: Claire Bennett and Lacey Dawson. Each one has parts of me in her. In Lacey, it’s her love of theatre. I am the Managing Director and founder of a Community Theatre in my hometown of Sugar Hill, GA. In Claire, well … I’ve always been known as a klutz. Just ask my Brit. I tend to move before I think, getting my feet into trouble.
About Ane: While a 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, 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, and Google+.
About the book – Life in Chapel Springs:
Life in Chapel Springs has turned upside down and inside out.
Is it a midlife pregnancy or … cancer? Claire will keep her secret until she’s sure—but it isn’t easy. Between gold fever hitting Chapel Springs, a nationwide art tour and her health, Claire’s life is upside down. Shy Lacey Dawson was happily writing murder mysteries for the community theater, but a freak accident results in traumatic injuries. When the bandages come off, Lacey’s world is turned inside out.
Now Ane has a question for y’all: Who is your favorite hero and why? He can be a fictional one or real life.
Come back March 9th for H.L Wegley!