Shannon here: Inspirational author, Linda Wood Rondeau shares the story behind the story of her book, It Really IS a Wonderful Life. Comment or answer the question at the end of any post dated June 22 – 26 to enter the drawing for a copy. Deadline: July 4th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Linda:
When Fiction Mirrors Life by Linda Wood Rondeau:
“I don’t think I’ll ever meet anybody living in Malone,” I told my mother. “But, this is the best place for me and the children to be.”
The year was 1977. I’d been divorced for a few years, but living so close to the city, a poor single mom of three proved to be more than my fragile spirit could handle. Employment and romance in rural upstate New York seemed out of the question, but the kids would be near their grandparents and be raised in a much safer environment.
Some sacrifices are worth the gains.
Though the move was not without frustrations, I managed to find decent housing and a church up the road for my children to attend Sunday school. For amusement, I joined a community theater group in production for the yearly Irish play, Sean O’Casey’s Juno and the Paycock, a poignant comedy that demonstrated the impact of the Irish Civil War on a poor Dublin family.
Cast as a character with only one line, I agreed to help with publicity. In the course of those duties, I interviewed the cast, an interesting assortment of individuals, a microcosm of my adopted town, consisting of lawyers, doctors, musicians, teachers, and out of work actors, some as poor as I had become.
I thought how my life resembled the desperation reflected in Sean O’Casey’s character—my life torn apart by divorce, and I wondered if I’d ever be whole again.
When I interviewed one of the lanky stars of the show, I asked him his thoughts on the production. He laughed. “The name Rondeau might be French but I’m three-quarter Irish. I’ve got my character down pretty well. An Irish drunk, I can do. I only have trouble with the accent.”
At first, I mistrusted this otherwise adorable man. He seemed like a complication and trouble I didn’t need. When I interviewed the director, an experienced actor from Broadway, he mentioned that he knew Steve Rondeau. “He’s a great guy.”
I heard the same praise from several other cast members. So, when He asked me to the cast party as his date, how could I say no?
We were engaged a month later and married December 10 of that year.
Later, I learned he’d studied to be a priest but felt God had something better for him. How was he to know—or me either—that something better was a blonde and three children?
This was the inspiration that led me to write, It Really IS a Wonderful Life. Some folks say behind every fictionalized story is someone’s true story.
About Linda: Winner of the 2012 Selah Award for best first novel The Other Side of Darkness, LINDA WOOD RONDEAU, writes blended contemporary fiction that speaks to the heart and offers hope to those with damaged lives. After a long career in human services, Linda now resides in Jacksonville, Florida. A Christmas Prayer, (aka A Father’s Prayer) was a finalist for both the 2014 Selah and Carol Awards.
It Really IS a Wonderful Life, inspired by the author’s personal experience, quickly became a Christmas classic. Watch for Fiddler’s Fling and Red Sky Promise, inspirational romances expected to be released later in 2015.
For sci-fi lovers, Rondeau offers a free download of her book, The Fifteenth Article , from her website. Feel free to share with friends and family.
Readers may visit her web site at www.lindarondeau.com, her blog: http://lindarondeau.blogspot.com/, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or find her on https://www.facebook.com/lindarondeau, https://twitter.com/lwrondeau, https://www.pinterest.com/lwrondeau/boards/, https://plus.google.com/+LindaWoodRondeau/posts and http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5352394.Linda_Wood_Rondeau.
About the book – It Really IS a Wonderful Life:
Midville newcomer and Iraq War widow, Dorie Fitzgerald, despises the frigid Adirondack wasteland that has now become her home.
After twenty failed job interviews, she questions the wisdom of moving to be near her parents. Desperate to belong, she joins the local Community Theater, in production for It’s a Wonderful Life. Jamey Sullivan has put his professional life on hold in order to run the family business and to help his ailing father. He signs on for Midville’s production of It’s a Wonderful Life, although he hopes to receive a Broadway casting call any day now.
When these two meet, they are instantly attracted to one another. However, ambition, demanding children, and a romantic rival threaten to squash their growing love for one another. It Really IS a Wonderful Life is set in the beautiful Adirondack mountains, a perfect backdrop for romantic conflict.
Question for readers: Have you ever acted in any kind of play? Tell us about it.
Come back June 24th for part two with Linda!