HEY, 99% OF CONTROL FREAKS ARE A CREDIT TO OUR PSYCHOLOGICAL CLASSIFICATION
With all the attention on the lab technician who killed poor Annie Le at Yale being a control freak, I have to point out the rest us us are quite harmless. For one thing, without us, THE CONTAINER STORE would be out of business. We keep planes in the air by listening for ‘off’ sounds, provide continuous entertainment for otherwise bored medical personnel, and lower the carbon footprint by only leaving our house when it’s absolutely necessary. (I myself do this only after three or four trips to check that the stove is off, the iron unplugged and the weather channel hasn’t issued a sudden tornado warning for our area.)
In fact, the chronic worrier who is not also a teensy bit of a control freak is:
b) a saint
c) heavily medicated or
d) a figment of her husband’s imagination.
In EVERYONE SHE LOVED, Penelope Cameron makes no bones about her latest anxiety. Nor does she shy away from pressuring her loving husband and best girfriends to relieve her worry through an outlandish and old-fashioned covenant. It’s politically incorrect, a throw-back to the eighteenth century and yet, so intuitively right. As she sees things, the lives of her two daughters hang in the balance and it’s within the powers of her inner circle to protect them. End of story.
Note to self: Death is inevitable. Wicked Stepmothers, not so much.
For the full story of how I got the idea for this novel, you can go to my website and click on Backstory. But the briefer version is this: in some states, if a parent hasn’t named a guardian in an official will, their children can be taken into foster care if the parents die. I was telling my friend Julianna about how difficult it is to make the choice of who, among my siblings and friends, would be the best replacements for my husband and I.
Suddenly, my Inner Cassandra did a double take. “OMG!. You know what would be worse? What if I was the only one that died and John fell in love with someone who was just awful?”
I thought for a minute more and said, “I know. What if he couldn’t remarry unless my sisters and best friends approved?”
I knew, deep down, that whatever happened, as long as my friends and family approved of the new wife, then she’d be good for my kids.
I began to imagine a character like me, except she’s really rich, has had even more reasons in her life to become a bit of a control freak than I, and she is so charming in her ridiculous catastrophizing that her husband and friends finally say, “Enough, already! You’re not going anywhere, but if it makes you feel better, we’ll sign the damn thing.”
So begins the premise for my novel, the plot of which is set into action by my character’s legal codicil. It’s about motherhood, wifehood, childhood, and most of all, the sisterhood of great friends.
Set in a North Florida beach town where Old Money meets the New South, Everyone She Loved is an unconventional mystery built on romantic confusion, financial intrigue, and the unbreakable bonds among women who’ve come of age together only to discover that life’s little instruction book will always need revising.
What they find, as their properous lives are threatened from within and without, is that no woman is island, nor is her fate ever separate from that of everyone she loves.
Sheila Curran lives in Tallahassee, Florida with her husband and two children. Her two novels, Diana Lively is Falling Down and Everyone She Loved employ a narrative structure built on suspense, secrets and intricate plot twists that Jodi Picoult called ‘warm, inventive, funny and original’ and kept Joshilyn Jackson ‘up way past … bedtime, unable to stop turning the pages.”
Thanks so much for stopping by, Sheila! And thanks for giving away a copy of your latest book!
To enter to win a signed copy of EVERYONE SHE LOVED, just leave a comment at the bottom of this post.
The lucky winners will be announced on October 6th.