This week I had the privilege of gifting a copy of my second novel, Love Calls Her Home, to a person who had contributed personal insights into the foster parenting system, information I incorporated into the novel. The facts I gained from her I used to track the journey of the young boy in the story, Jayden Clarke, who finds himself in foster care after a series of unfortunate events in his home life. I acknowledged the woman’s role in the front of the novel, but hadn’t told her I would do so.
When she saw the book and read her name on the frontispiece, she was overcome with emotion. She exclaimed, “What a wonderful gift! Thank you.” She hugged me, not quite believing her input had been of enough value to warrant being listed among the contributors. But it was. And giving her a copy of the story was my way of thanking her.
One of the perks of being a writer is meeting people with interesting and often heart-wrenching experiences to reveal. She was among those. Gathering details from individuals with personal knowledge help give the story validity. Making the story sound real is an author’s goal. Those with tales to tell are fascinating. My source may not have thought she had any thing of value to give, but the information enhanced the novel’s credibility.
But more than that, seeing her joy gave me great pleasure. She is a reader, and I can only hope she will take pleasure in the gift more because she participated in its content. All I was doing was returning the favor. Happy Reading.