Q&A with author of new book set in Murphy
This weekend, Florida-based author Carol J. Post will impart humor, romance, warmth and faith to the Town of Murphy with her newly published book, Trust My Heart.
She will be the featured author at Curiosity Shop Bookstore on Friday evening during the downtown Murphy Christmas celebration. She will conduct a book signing at the Living Water Bookstore in Murphy from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.
Set in Murphy, Trust My Heart follows the unlikely relationship of big-city lawyer, Grant McAllister and small-town reporter, Jami Carlisle. Readers take a journey with the two characters as they experience love, forgiveness and healing.
Cherokee Scout Staff Writer Kelsey Richardson chatted with Post about her recently published book, diving into the heart of the story.
Q: When did you first start writing Trust My Heart, and what was your main inspiration behind writing it?
A: Trust My Heart started as a joint venture between my older daughter and me in the late 1990s. She was about 16 at the time, and we thought it would be fun to write a book together. Neither of us were published, and I think we made it through about three chapters before we fizzled out. Years later, I decided to pick up that story and dust it off.
During rewrites, the story’s setting also changed, from a fictional town in the mountains to the real town of Murphy. When I decided to pull out the old “Jami novel,” I knew I had to move it to Murphy. It felt like the perfect backdrop for two wounded people to find wholeness and healing.
Q: Which characters in your book do you feel the strongest personal connection to, and why?
A: I’m touched by Grant’s restlessness and dissatisfaction with life, not because I’ve experienced it myself, but because people I’ve been close to have. I know too many people who have never learned to enjoy the moment and experience life fully as it is right now.
I probably feel the strongest personal connection to Jami, though, not because she’s like me, but because she’s like my daughter, Kristi. Most of my heroines have some of my personality traits, though fewer with each book.
Q: Which parts of Trust My Heart were inspired by your own life?
A: The part of Trust My Heart that was most inspired by my own experiences was the setting itself. I love Murphy! My sister and brother-in-law sold their house in Florida and have lived full time here for the past 10 years, as has my mom. My husband and I haven’t made it up here full time yet, but we’re working on it!
Jami is a reporter for the Cherokee Scout, so that was one of my research stops. Publisher David Brown took my sister and me on a tour, showing us the entire process, then patiently endured a zillion follow-up questions.
In writing the story, I tried to capture that friendly, hometown atmosphere. I’ve had a lot of readers comment on how charming Murphy sounds and how much they want to visit.
Q: What was the most challenging scene to write in the book?
A: I don’t know that any scene was more challenging to write than another, but if I had to choose something that is more difficult for me, it would have to be … a kiss! Not good for a romance author, huh?
I’m not sure why those are so hard to write. I think it’s the challenge of making each of them different from book to book and trying to work in that swoon factor. When I finally get those scenes finished, I always love them, but getting there can feel like climbing uphill with a 60-pound pack.
Q: Why did you choose to write a Christian romance book as opposed to a non-Christian/typical romance book?
A: Trust My Heart is my eighth published novel, and all of them are what would be considered Christian romance. I like writing books that are clean but also have an inspirational message woven into the story.
Although my books are categorized as Christian, I have a lot of readers who typically don’t read Christian fiction, but say that they enjoy my books because the faith thread is a natural part of the story.
No one likes to feel as if they’re being preached at or hit over the head with The Bible. My characters are imperfect, and even the Christians struggle with issues that they have to overcome.
My prayer is always that readers will be inspired and drawn closer to the Lord through my stories. I know I’ve succeeded when I get emails from people telling how something a character said or experienced helped them with an issue they are struggling with in their lives.
Q: What impression do you want Trust my Heart to leave on its readers?
A: Although parts of the book are lighthearted and even humorous, Trust My Heart has some serious themes of forgiveness and reconciliation throughout.
Holding onto bitterness and resentment is a recipe for a pretty miserable life. My hope is that as readers see Jami and Grant work through these issues, they will find healing in their own relationships.