Meet Melissa Foster
June 23, 2011 by Just Reviews by:gabina49:
FRAN LEWIS BOOK BLOG -
I would like to take this time to welcome author Melissa Foster. Melissa is the author of Megan’s Way and Chasing Amanda. Megan’s Way is an award-winning novel and is now being cast as a movie. Chasing Amanda is Melissa’s latest release and deals with child abduction. I am honored to interview Melissa today.
Please give our readers a brief Summary of Megan’s Way
What would you give up for the people you love?
When Megan Taylor, a single mother and artist living on Cape Cod, receives the shocking news that her cancer has returned, she’s faced with the most difficult decision she’s ever had to make. The love she has for her daughter, Olivia, and her closest friends will be stretched and frayed.
Megan’s illness reawakens the torment of her best friend, Holly Townsend, whose long-held secrets and years of betrayal come back to haunt her. How does one choose between a daughter and a life-long best friend? Can the secret she has been keeping be revealed after years of lying without destroying everyone in its wake? Meanwhile, fourteen-year-old Olivia’s world is falling apart right before her eyes, and there’s nothing she can do about it. She finds herself acting in ways she cannot even begin to understand. When her internal struggles turn to dangerous behavior, even the paranormal connection she shares with her mother might not be enough to save her – her life will hang in the balance.
Megan’s Way is a journey of self discovery and heartfelt emotions, exploring the depth of the mother-daughter bond, and the intricacies of friendship.
Fran: Why did you decide to write this book?
The main inspiration for Megan’s Way came from the surgery that my mother had years ago. She had told me that she was having a very benign surgery. A year or so later, she told met that they had thought she had cancer, and if she’d had cancer, she had decided she was not going to have treatments (if it was malignant). I went through many years of torment trying to come to grips with this decision and thanking God that it never came into play. After many years (ten+) I had transitioned through reverting back to being a child and wondering how she could decide to leave me, to coming full circle as a parent and understanding where her decision had come from.
Fran: How did you develop your main character?
I think that women are much stronger than people sometimes realize. We are mothers, sisters, lovers, workers, professionals, housekeepers, cooks, and so much more, all rolled into one. I wanted Megan to show the strength and the vulnerability of a woman in such a torturous and tenuous position, which is why I showed all aspects of her personality.
Fran: What was Olivia’s problem?
Olivia was dealing with so many deep seeded issues. Her mother had already undergone treatments for cancer and had gone into remission. Lay all of that on top of being fourteen-years-old, a time of complete and utter confusion, and therein lies Olivia’s issues in a nutshell. At fourteen, she’s not equipt to handle the issues she’s presented with – hence her behavior turning to dangerous.
Fran: What was her relationship with Jack? How does Olivia deal with what is happening to her mother?
Olivia’s relationship with Jack has always been that of her mother’s close friend to his friend’s daughter, another adult that loves her unconditionally.
To deal with her mother’s death, Olivia has to pull herself up by her bootstraps. She’s in a position where she has to confront her worst nightmare and learns of her father’s identity at the same time. Olivia is pressed into a coming-of-age sort of introspection, and I think she comes out the other side a new young woman.
Fran: Why does she rebel?
Most teens rebel at some point, and if any teen has a reason to, I’d say Olivia is at the forefront of that list. She doesn’t know how to handle all of the changes around her. She does what a lot of teens do, they reach out to strangers, to people they think might “get” them.
Fran: Why does Olivia have this special connection with Meghan? Melissa:
Olivia’s paranormal connection with Megan was brought on by the fortune teller Megan and Holly visited when they were teens. “She will need you, and you will know,” she had said, and then she cast the spell, “I empower thee.”
Fran: What is the ritual?
Megan and her friends had developed a birthday ritual for Megan that they carried out annually. They would each take turns, around the bonfire, stating what they hoped for and were thankful for that year. It was a spiritual connecting of friends, a coming together of the mind and washing away of the chaos of life. After they had their say, they said thank you to the Powers-That-Be and then they’d celebrate with dancing and music.
Fran: Why does Olivia feel she is ready to join her mother and her friends?
At fourteen, Olivia feels like an adult. She’s watched her mother and her friends take part in the ritual for as long she could remember, and has always longed to be part of this secret, special part of her mother’s life.
Fran: How do emotions come into play in this novel?
Emotions are paramount for me. I am a very sensitive, emotional person, and in order for Megan to be a real, three dimensional character, to have raw emotions and for the reader to feel those emotions right along side of her. I actually acted out many of the more powerful scenes of the book while writing them so I could feel what she would feel, how her body changed, what she might be thinking. Hopefully, doing so created more vivid scenes for the reader.
Fran: After losing recently losing both my mom and my sister I often feel them around me when I look at their pictures and talk about them: Did you mean to create an angel?
I didn’t mean to create an angel, per say, but I love that word, and think both Olivia and Megan were angels to each other.
I truly believe in spiritual connections, Fran. I think you are very blessed to have your mother and sister around you. Love is real, and when it’s powerful, I don’t think there is much that can stop it. I’m sorry that you’ve lost people you have loved, but you are truly blessed to have them looking over you, and they are blessed to have you thinking of them. Love lives on.