Shannon here: Contemporary Romance author, Stacy Monson shares insight into her characters’ romance from her latest release, Open Circle. Comment or answer the question at the end of the post to enter the drawing for her 3 book Chain of Lakes series. Winner’s choice of print or digital. Deadline: April 28th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Stacy:
I sat down separately with Minnie Carlson and Jackson Young to ask them a few questions about their ideas of a mate, being in relationship, etc. I’m not sure there’s much hope for these two to actually get together.
- What’s the number one quality you’d require in a mate?
Minnie: Stability, someone I can count on.
Jackson: Fun, willing to pick up and go.
- Where is the best place you can think of to find a mate?
Minnie: Here in Lawton. Small towns are so different from the city. I went to college in Minneapolis, and everything moved so much faster. It was noisy all the time, and everyone was in a hurry. I enjoyed my time there, but it was always a relief to get back home where people take time to get to know each other.
- Where is the worst place you can think of to find a mate?
Jackson: In a small town somewhere. I was born in Lawton, which is pretty small, and there are a lot of things I appreciate about it. But there are people there who can’t see beyond it’s borders, who aren’t willing to travel and see what the world has to offer. I wouldn’t mind if they came from a small town—I might like it, actually—but not if they can’t look beyond its borders.
- What type of character traits are you attracted to?
Jackson: Adventurous, fun. My Grandma Em was always up for trying something new, checking out a new place to eat or a new trail to hike. Someone like that who sees what a big world it is.
Minnie: Solid, focused on others, willing to help whenever it’s needed. I work with seniors, many of whom need people they can count on to help in big and small ways, so my guy would have to have a heart for other people.
- What’s the one habit or lifestyle that would make you run the other way?
Minnie: Someone with one foot out the door, ready to take off if they get a better offer. I don’t have time for people who are only focused on themselves and what they want or need.
Jackson: Definitely not being able to have fun, doesn’t smile, takes life too seriously. I’ve seen heartache and pain all around the world. I photograph it. So I need someone who can laugh, who appreciates and focuses on what’s good in life.
- Where do you dream of getting married?
Jackson: I’ve never thought about it. There are so many amazing places all around the world. Maybe on a mountain peak with the sun just coming up. Or in a tiny village wearing their traditional clothing. There are a lot of places where I’ve gotten to know the locals, so it might be cool to go back to one of those to get married.
Minnie: At my church here in Lawton surrounded by the people I love and who love me, who know and love the two of us as a couple.
- Where do you dream of spending your honeymoon?
Minnie: Somewhere private and romantic. Like I said about the city being fast and noisy, I’d want to snuggle in somewhere quiet so we could have focused time together.
Jackson: Man, there are tons of options! I’d love to go back to Nepal. Absolutely stunning. Or somewhere with lots of hiking options, great scenery, lots of stuff to do so we can have fun together.
- What would be the best gift a potential mate could buy for you?
Minnie: I’m not a big jewelry person, and there’s not a lot of opportunity to dress up around here, so probably something that would represent our relationship. Maybe a photograph in a pretty frame, or a letter spelling out what our relationship means to him. (Laughs) Okay, not too many guys are going to do that, but something that has real meaning to it. Even a pretty necklace that he picked out that reminded him of me.
Jackson: A new camera lens. I’m always looking for something that will help me tell a better story through my photographs.
Okay, then. Hard to imagine these two even being friends let alone developing a relationship, isn’t it? But each of them has positive, even endearing qualities that the other just might discover as they end up working together to keep the doors of Open Circle wide open for the town’s seniors.
About Stacy: Stacy Monson is the award-winning author of The Chain of Lakes series, including Shattered Image, Dance of Grace, and The Color of Truth. Her stories reveal an extraordinary God at work in ordinary life. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the MN Christian Writers Guild (MCWG), Stacy is the area coordinator for ACFW in Minnesota, past president of ACFW MN-NICE, and is the Events Director for MN Christian Writers Guild. Residing in the Twin Cities, she is the wife of a juggling, unicycling physical education teacher, mom to two amazing kids and two wonderful in-law kids, and a very proud grandma of 3 grands.
About the book – Open Circle: Mindy Lee “Minnie” Carlson’s dream job has dropped into her hands, but there’s a catch. She has four months to revive Open Circle, the town’s only Senior Adult Day Center, or the doors will close, leaving her beloved seniors stranded, and eliminating the only job she’s ever wanted.
Globe-trotting photographer Jackson Young documents the forgotten people of the world, focusing on the poor and elderly. After decades on the road, he’s stunned to learn his beloved Grandma Em is still alive in the small town he’d had to leave decades earlier.
Overjoyed, Jackson races back into town to reconnect with her and discovers she’s been Minnie’s adopted grandma for the past twenty years. When Grandma Em has a stroke, his ideas about her care pit him against Minnie’s determination and expertise. For Grandma Em’s sake, and the future of Open Circle, they’ll need to do the impossible—find a way to work together.
Determined not to lose the only family they have, their tug-of-war impacts an entire community.
Open Circle is now available for pre-order, and releases on June 21: Open Circle -Amazon
Question for Readers: So what is a character trait you most appreciate in others? For me it’s a sense of humor. If you can make me laugh, we’ll be buddies for life!
Come back April 20th for Donna Schlachter!