Actually, as I write this, cold is in the air (-2 degrees F or about -19 C). Still, Valentine’s Day is almost upon us in the US, and I do love to love… or something. My novel is far from a romance story, but there are prominent couples in love. The main character, Ashley Monahan, and her antagonist, Daniel Forrester, are both happily married. Part of the joy I found in writing Fantastic America came from comparing and contrasting how different yet similar the two characters are.
In candid moments, Ashley and Daniel show love and affection for their spouse. Tragedy strikes them both, and both respond to the events differently. Either character could have chosen a different path. Ultimately, who they are after their loss was a product of who they were before. Their love is just as deep, their reactions just as powerful, and the consequences affect the story directly.
Marriages (or other kinds of loving relationships) are not the focus of my book, but love (or lack thereof) is a part of the human condition. So there are certainly representations of love, and loss, joy, and regret throughout the novel. My hope, is that I make them real enough that my audience never questions why a character reacts the way they do to the events on the page.