Ask the Author - Kristi Hudecek-Ashwill

Discuss the January 2016 book of the month For the Love of Suzanne by Kristi Hudecek-Ashwill.
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Ask the Author - Kristi Hudecek-Ashwill

Post by gali »

The author is a member of our site. What would you ask Kristi Hudecek-Ashwill? :)
In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)

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Post by bookowlie »

I am always interested in the author's inspiration behind a story. Was it your main focus to tell a story about a woman's broken spirit (from a bad marriage) and then the slow healing through a romantic, although dangerous, adventure? Or...did you mainly want to write a time travel romance with a Native American backdrop, and then fit in Suzanne's backstory as an added detail?
"The best way out is always through" - Robert Frost

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Post by khudecek »

That's a great question.

I've always loved a good romance and my favorites have been between Native American men and White women. I read a lot of books by Madeline Baker, who writes that genre. I love time travels and wanted to see if I could write one, too.

Suzanne was inspired by my mother, who was a battered wife. My parents divorced when I was around eight years old and our lives changed dramatically for the better. I have to say that I never saw my father put his hands on her but I heard all about it from my older siblings and her sister. I heard it from her, too.

I went into the "what if...?" mindset. What if my mother had met someone who showed her some kindness and had helped her through the adversities? What if a man like Cody had come to her aid, even if he had issues of his own? Would they have turned away from each other or stick it out?

I developed the characters together with the intent of a "happily-ever-after" ending. I was hoping to portray their different worlds, lives and the strength of the human spirit to withstand just about anything, even in such unusual circumstances. I do believe love conquers all. Suzanne and Cody are a testament to that.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference
.

~~
"The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost
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Post by bookowlie »

How interesting! The Native American tie-in certainly was a standout with the time travel theme. I am sorry to hear about your mother's past situation, but she took steps to get out of it.
"The best way out is always through" - Robert Frost

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Post by khudecek »

It was actually his idea to get out but he did us a favor. She struggled and worked hard and I'd say she did pretty well. She passed away in 2009 and I hope she knows how proud I was/am of her. It took a lot of guts to do what she did.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference
.

~~
"The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost
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Post by gali »

Thank you for sharing. Well done to your mother! I am sorry to hear about your past situation and your loss.
In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)

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Post by khudecek »

Thank you.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference
.

~~
"The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost
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Post by bookowlie »

khudecek wrote:It was actually his idea to get out but he did us a favor. She struggled and worked hard and I'd say she did pretty well. She passed away in 2009 and I hope she knows how proud I was/am of her. It took a lot of guts to do what she did.
I am so sorry for your loss. In a way, the book is a tribute to her.
"The best way out is always through" - Robert Frost

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Post by KristinaS »

How long you were working on this book?

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Post by khudecek »

It's hard to pinpoint an exact time with it. Let me tell you why.

I wrote this book in 1996. I did some editing on it and shelved it. I don't really know why. I got married in 2001, moved to Kansas, had a couple of kids...you know, did the "life" thing.

Fast forward to 2015. My son and I are going through some boxes a year and a half after moving into this house and he pulled out a pile of paper bound in a rubber band.

He looked at it and said, "Hey, Mom. What's this?"
I looked at it and my jaw dropped. "It's a manuscript! Wow!"

I have to confess that I don't remember writing it. As I read it, nothing seemed familiar but I knew I'd written it because I'm the only writer in the family. I didn't remember Cody or Suzanne. I didn't remember anything about it.

I knew it had to be put on my computer, like the rest of my novels and short stories so I started retyping it.

As I retyped it, I added some things, took some things away, renamed it, added a little spice to it, changed the ending and was ready to put it back in the closet. It didn't get that far.

I think the time it took to retype it was maybe a month or so. Editing took much longer. Weeks. Editing always takes longer. Writing the first draft is always the easiest part and the most fun. Editing is a grueling but necessary process. I edited it three times before I submitted it to Scott for his edits. Then it was back and forth for awhile.

I signed my contract on May 24 (keep in mind, the story was already written) and the release day was October 26, 2015.

Thank you for your question. I hope I answered it for you. :)
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference
.

~~
"The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost
Latest Review: "See Bride Run!" by Charlotte Hughes

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Post by falloutlunartic »

How do you decide what details to keep in a story and what details to take out?
"Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them." -Lemony Snicket
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Post by bookowlie »

What an interesting tale of the long and winding route from the initial manuscript to publication. That's funny that you didn't remember writing it! Truth is stranger than fiction. :)
"The best way out is always through" - Robert Frost

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Post by KristinaS »

:shock: Wau I didn’t expect something like that, thank you for amazing answer :)

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Post by Chels14 »

That is very unwxpected. Is think that's awesome that you decided to finish what you started! What a great surprise to find!

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Post by gali »

Great answers!

Will there be a sequel at some point?
In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)

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