Let the touring begin…
Beneath the Stars
Release date: February 16, 2017
I'm happy to be here! I’m an author, wife and mother living in Central Ohio. I’ve been writing—from lavish journal entries to fictional stories—most of my life. My novels, Chef's Table and Black Dust were published with Interlude Press in 2014 and 2016. Beneath the Stars is about man at a major turning point in his career who gets called home to help take care of his elderly father. While there he meets someone, and together, they learn how to define happiness, home and family.
Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book or series:
At this story’s inception, I was working through the loss of my closest friend due to complications from diabetes. Death is a prominent theme in this book (and I’ve noticed, it at least makes an appearance in just about every long-form story I’ve written), but done in a way that emphasizes life after death. Not the supernatural idea of it, but the concrete, real living and breathing we can do and must do after someone we’ve cared deeply about passes. It was cathartic and healing for me, and my hope is that it can be for the readers as well.
How did you come up with the title of your book or series?
Titles can be the easiest part of writing a book or the hardest, and this one fought me every step of the way. I knew it needed to deal with stars, as that’s where the families in the story anchor themselves, but the topic itself is so vast and broad, I drew a blank time and again. I chatted with a friend about the struggle; we bandied a few ideas around, and out of the blue she took a simple synonym of one of my less-than-stellar options and in a blink, I had a title.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
When we meet Sid Marneaux, he is a man who has his life in place. His company, based in Chicago, is on its feet. He’s staring at his new studio space and raring to plunge forward in a business he’d been growing since high school. He also, we soon find, is a man who is tied to his father: loyal, devoted, and indebted to the life Lou allowed and encouraged him to live. So, the call from his sister that pulls him back home is the beginning of a steady stream of reevaluation about family, happiness and love.
What do you think makes a good story?
Interesting characters first and foremost. I used to say that if you gave me interesting characters and a story that goes nowhere, I’d be happy. I’ve recently read a string of books that challenges that. Something has to happen that tests the characters and who they thought they were at the beginning of the story. Take me on a journey with someone interesting and multi-faceted and I’m there. Oh, and pepper it with amazing dialogue, please.
What does your family think of your writing?
I’m very fortunate to have a supporting family, not only with those that live in my house, but also my parents and friends. They are patient when I’m drowning in deadlines and stubborn storylines and they are the first to celebrate—and to remind me to celebrate—when those many hours are rewarded in any way. I can’t imagine doing this without them.
Sid Marneaux puts his fashion career on the line when he returns home to care for his ailing father. When he meets the new fire chief Eddie Garner, their romance sparks hot, but Eddie harbors burdens of his own. Through the wisdom of a child and the connection of mothers-now-gone, the men redefine family, career, and most importantly, love.
Publisher: Interlude Press
“How is he doing?”
Sid began with a prepared answer, the one he used for old neighbors and family acquaintances. “He’s doing okay. Day to day, you know,” but when he stopped fidgeting with his food and looked into Eddie’s eyes, his breath caught in his throat. Eddie wasn’t making small talk, wasn’t being generically kind. He was tuned in, with an understanding and patience at peeling away the complicated layers of caring for an elderly parent that went beyond what Sid had felt from anyone—even his closest friends.
And so, with Eddie’s unrushed attention, Sid began to unpack the emotions and frustrations he hadn’t yet allowed himself to express. He talked about Anna’s overbearing control and her lack of understanding as to why that would make Lou lash out and became belligerent. He talked about Anna’s calendars and charts and the daily schedule she kept Lou on. About her refusal to let their dad do much of anything. “It’s like she’s already put him in the ground,” he finally said, feeling almost winded after exposing so much of himself, of his family.
“It’s hard on the caretakers,” Eddie said. “It completely takes over your life.”
“It’s hard on the patient too. Dad lived, you know? Just last year, he rode his bike five miles to the park and back almost every day. This is the man who threw on a backpack with a bunch of college buddies and hiked the fucking Hippie Trail. He didn’t stop until he found what he was looking for. He doesn’t stop. And now he has no choice.”
“What was he looking for?”
Sid grinned with memories of his mom and dad and their great love. “He didn’t know until he saw her.”
Eddie met his smile, and a blush crept up his neck. “Sometimes we don’t know what we’re looking for until it’s sitting across the table from us.”
“No,” Sid said, unable to pull his gaze away from Eddie. “We don’t.”
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It’s all about the author…
Lynn Charles’ love of writing dates to her childhood where thoughts, dreams, frustrations, and joys poured onto the pages of journals and diaries.
She lives in Central Ohio with her husband and adult children where a blind dog and his guardian cat rule the roost. When she’s not writing, Lynn can be found planning a trip to New York or strolling its streets daydreaming about retirement. Her previous novels include Chef’s Table (2014) and Black Dust (2016).
…and stalking them :)
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This tour & must read brought to you by Interlude Press