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December 6, 2010

Lorelle Marinello: SALTING ROSES

Posted by Dana

In today's guest post, author Lorelle Marinello talks about how she uses her books to explore the "what ifs" of life.  I think this is something we do often in book club discussions, and it sounds like SALTING ROSES, Lorelle's novel will be prime "what if" discussion material!

Salting Roses - med.jpgWhat if—The Seeds of a Novel
In an effort to understand the creative process many readers, even writers, will often ask where ideas come from. I’m not sure they stem from one specific place. It’s more likely that ideas come from many places at once and converge in a specific moment of time in a writer’s imagination. The idea for my novel, SALTING ROSES, came to me several years after I had settled my late father’s estate. I was trapped in bed during a particularly nasty bout of the flu and began wondering—what if a girl inherited a fortune from a father she never knew? What sort of feelings would such an event elicit? The answers I came up with are a product of my particular upbringing and experience. Another writer faced with the same notion would come up with a very different set of answers.
In SALTING ROSES, I set out to explore the idea of how we value money in our society. I also raised the question of what we value above and beyond money. The answer for each person will be different based on his or her life history. How would a large sum of money change your life and your relationships with the people you hold most dear? Would it be for the better, or can you see possible problems wealth might create in the future? How do you think money influences behavior in our society?
Gracie’s past encounters with the affluent sector of Shady Grove society have made her suspicious of wealth. But along her journey, Gracie experiences the positive, as well as the negative aspects of having a large fortune at her disposal. As a result, she must decide whether to accept or reject her generous inheritance.
But Gracie’s decision is not based solely on the notion of whether money is a help or a hindrance. There is an emotional element thrown into the mix that complicates her decision—the family ties she’s longed for but never known. Having been abandoned on a doorstep once, Gracie is reluctant to put to her adoptive family’s love to the test. She fears acceptance of a fortune might alter the familiar relationships she holds dear.
Change is something few people welcome when life is moving along at a comfortable pace, even when change can be potentially beneficial. But Gracie has little choice—change in the form of money and notoriety has been thrust upon her. As you travel with Gracie through her experiences in Shady Grove, I invite you to give thought to these questions with regard to your own situation.
Often readers find the books they love most are the ones, which reflect the ideas, emotions, and situations they have experienced themselves. We attach to the characters to see how they would handle the same situation then draw new conclusions about our particular situation. I like to think of books as imagination stretchers. You don’t have to agree with the decisions the characters make, just let yourself imagine what if as you read along.
-- Lorelle Marinello, author of Salting Roses (