Hello, fans! Today, the answer to the question I get most often: "What possessed you to write The Catch?"
The burst of inspiration that led to The Catch came from re-reading the Jane Austen novels Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion.
What gets me every time in both novels are the themes of regret and redemption. In Pride and Prejudice, both Lizzie and Mr. Darcy work so hard to redeem themselves to each other after his disastrous first proposal.
And my heart breaks every time for Anne's bitter regrets in Persuasion. That choice she made so many years ago not to accept Frederick's proposal will haunt her for the rest of her life. What joy at the end when she gets her second chance! It led me to wonder - what if Anne had not been at liberty to take her second chance with Frederick? What if she had married someone else in the interim? Could she dare to hope for a third chance somewhere down the line?
I wanted to take this idea and set it in a fishing village because the fishing industry, which features prominently in The Catch, has always fascinated me - the villages, the boats, the life on the water. It all seemed so exotic to a girl who grew up in the suburbs of Dallas, Texas, and didn't see an ocean until she was ten years old.
I soon learned that, as a mom of two-going-on-three kids, I did not have the luxury of traveling to a small fishing village to conduct my research! But I could easily access Pier 45, the last working pier in San Francisco where all the fishing boats and fish processing plants are located. That's how the setting for The Catch transferred from a small fishing village to San Francisco.
From there, The Catch came together quickly. As crazy as it sounds, sometimes it felt as if the story were being told through me, rather than by me. I would wake at 3 AM in order to write before my kids got up. I would write when they were in preschool, and I would write at night after they went to bed. And in doing so, I rediscovered a fundamental part of myself - the fiction writer - that I had put on hold for so many years.