Shannon here: Inspirational author, Stephanie McCall shares insight into her characters’ romance and the inspiration for her latest Young Adult release, Promise of a Future. Comment on this post to enter the drawing for a copy. Deadline: Jan 25th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Stephanie:
Promise of a Future is, at its core, a young adult novel about the journey that Kate McCune, an intelligent, creative, and physically handicapped college student, takes toward independence. Her Aunt Elinor serves as a great ally in this journey, mostly because Elinor seeks her own independence from a troubled past. However, Elinor is married to Kate’s uncle, Rob McCune, and their romance often acts as Elinor’s mainstay throughout the novel. The following questions pertain to Elinor and Rob.
- Where is the most romantic place your hero and heroine have been?
The most romantic place Rob and Elinor have ever been is a fictitious jazz club and restaurant called the Grace Note. Elinor worked there as a waitress during college, determined to make her own way despite academic scholarships. Rob began treating her to dinners and dancing there in order to remind her how to have fun.
- Do your hero and heroine have a favorite song?
They do have a favorite song, or a couple of them. Elinor spent several years in Michigan, growing up with her father and paternal grandparents. Due to this, and a vivacious African-American best friend, she became a fan of Motown music and shared that with Rob. Their songs for each other are “My Girl” and “My Guy.”
- What is the most romantic gift your heroine ever bought your hero?
The most romantic present Elinor ever bought Rob was a pair of tickets to a Virginia Cavaliers game. Rob is a big fan, and he met Elinor while they attended William & Mary. The gift is romantic if you consider that Elinor hates both football and concession stand food. She sat through the whole game, let Rob attempt to explain it to her, and ate some really bad hot dogs.
- What’s the most romantic present your heroine ever bought your hero?
The most romantic present Rob ever bought Elinor was a copy of Sense and Sensibility, her favorite book, inscribed with the sentiment that he’s as crazy about her as every Austen hero was for his girl.
- What is your hero’s favorite romantic vacation destination?
Rob’s favorite romantic vacation destination: He’s a big kid. He wants to take Elinor to Disney World and treat her to all the best parts of it, like a princess.
- What is your heroine’s favorite romantic vacation destination?
Elinor’s favorite romantic vacation destination: She’s never been, but would like to tour London and Paris. (Maybe next book…)
- How soon after meeting the hero did the heroine know he was the one?
It took about a year for Elinor to know Rob was “the one.” Due to an abusive past, she’d had it drilled into her that she was ugly, selfish, and unworthy, so Rob had to work to win her trust.
- How soon after meeting the heroine did the hero know she was the one?
Rob, on the other hand, knew within 3-4 months of meeting Elinor. As a popular college student, he’d done a lot of dating, but had never met anyone who challenged and fascinated him, intellectually and spiritually, quite like Elinor did. Plus, unlike many other girls, she set serious boundaries—he wasn’t even allowed to hold her hand for several months—and he respected that immensely.
- Who is most romantic, your hero or your heroine?
Rob is the more romantic of the two. He’s the kind of guy who goes all out with expensive gifts and fun dates. Since his “love language” is physical touch, he’s also more likely to unexpectedly touch Elinor (kisses, hugs, and sometimes even tickling or blowing raspberries on her neck).
- Who said, “I love you” first, your hero or your heroine?
However, Elinor said “I love you” first. Love is extremely precious to her and not easily given. When she says she loves someone, she means it, and it’s for life.
The Story Behind the Story:
Promise of a Future has been in my heart since high school. My parents always suggested I should write my own story, but like Kate McCune, I have cerebral palsy. Though mild, CP does affect my life, and I don’t like talking or writing about how it has done so. However, fiction was a safe place in which to explore that. I let Kate experience many things I never have, both positive (a huge, loud, fun family) and negative (intense bullying from those around her due to her CP). Her core character, though, is basically me. That was born out of a desire to write a book with a protagonist who had a disability, but was also academically and creatively gifted.
Elinor and Rob came much later. Elinor is one of those characters who walked into my head and asked for a story. As a big fan of Jane Austen, particularly Sense and Sensibility, I couldn’t resist, but Elinor threw me a curve. She didn’t want her own story—she wanted to help Kate. And Kate became quite attached to her, so I had to figure out how to put them together. Elinor actually started life as Kate’s teacher, and in another draft, she was Kate’s neighbor. But then Kate informed me she had a fun-loving, good-looking, and very single uncle who’d be perfect for the serious, shy Elinor. Voila—a romance was born, and so was the story of an aunt and niece who needed one another to complete their quests.
About Stephanie: Stephanie McCall is an English teacher with two Master of Arts degrees from Western Carolina University, one of which has a professional writing concentration. She also has a B.A. in Religious Studies. She lives in North Carolina with her parents and younger brother, where she enjoys reading, writing (and discussing her writing), and participating in Bible studies, prison ministry, and her church’s drama team. She also plans to adopt a cat in the near future. Her favorite Scripture is Jeremiah 29:11
Connect with Stephanie on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/stephaniemccallauthor
About the book – Promise of a Future: College was supposed to be Kate McCune’s first step towards independence. Instead, her cerebral palsy is in the spotlight now more than ever before. In fact, she’s increasingly terrified her disability will soon make her life little more than a prison sentence.
Kate’s aunt, Elinor McCune, has distanced herself from an abusive childhood. Married to a wonderful man and pregnant, she is haunted by the specter of her past. When Kate’s life derails, Elinor jumps in to help, and the two women begin a journey to make peace with the past and present.
With dark forces threatening inside and out, they must find the road that leads to freedom and the promise of a future.
Amazon Trade Paperback Retail $13.99
Amazon Kindle $3.99
Barnes & Noble Nook Book $3.99
Come back Cara Putman!