The day Benny, with two small boys in tow, showed up at Pepper’s apartment in Fayetteville, North Carolina, I knew that one day I would have to deal with a wedding.
I spent five minutes thinking of possible reasons for Benny and Lorraine not to marry, including Lorraine’s missing-in-action husband returning home in various states of disrepair. I asked myself the hard, unromantic question common to writers, “What can I get more story mileage out of, them marrying or not marrying?”
One wedding coming up, but not exactly right away. A few things had to happen first.
Benny, Pepper and Avivah left the Army, in various states of disrepair.
I had to find a plausible reason for Lorraine and her two boys to move from Missouri, where she was living next door to Benny’s parents, back to North Carolina. Otherwise, books were going to have to be written as a series of long-distance phone calls, and I didn’t think I was enough of an existentialist writer to pull that off.
Benny and Pepper were going to have to confront how they felt about one another. Another time? Another place? Another set of circumstances? Yeah, the bride’s name on the invitation might have been different.
By the third book in the series, I’d run through my “To Do” list. The next book had to be the wedding. Quietly germinating in a dark corner were a few seeds I’d planted in the first book, remarks about his family that Benny had casually tossed off that day he and Pepper took the two boys out for burgers and ice cream.
Benny’s mother was from Alaska. She and his dad helped build the Alaska Highway during World War II. There was an older half-brother, a younger brother who was a musician, and a younger sister, who more than anything else wanted to join the family’s hardware business in Missouri. Blessings on that writer I was years ago, who provided me with such rich material that I could now bring to maturity.
My husband gave me the title for the book, and it’s dedicated to him and my mother-in-law. If you have to marry into a family, I recommend theirs.
So here are two invitations for you.
Feel free to dress up and have a party. My characters will be doing the same.
Quote for the week:
Love is a symbol of eternity. It wipes out all sense of time, destroying all memory of a beginning and all fear of an end.
~Madame de Stael (1766 – 1817), writer, salon hostess, political activist