In May, we celebrate moms, so I was thrilled that my new book, The Taking of Carly Bradford, releases this month. Mothers are pivotal characters IN the story, but they were also pivotal in the WRITING of it.
Most of my test readers are moms, and they unanimously told me they had problems reading novels about missing kids. In this day and age, it just hits too close to home. As one told me, “This is my worst nightmare. No way I want to read about it.”
Since the main suspense in the book is not about whether Carly is alive but whether she’ll be found before she disappears forever, I asked them if would help if the reader knew pretty early about that.
They loved the idea, and so did my editor. So this beautiful eight-year-old girl, Carly, became one of my primary characters in the book, with her own segments, her own prayers, and her own subplot.
The result astonished both my readers – and me! I’ve had a lot of people tell me they fell totally in love with the girl who never gave up on God or the belief He would send someone rescue her. They cheered on the hero and heroine, Tyler and Dee, but they rejoiced in each section of Carly’s tale.
Sometimes, a little child leads us . . . but it’s a mom who’s behind her, holding the lantern that shows the way.