Bold Strokes Books author Jeannie Levig is here.
Please welcome Jeannie Levig.
Thank you, TB, for hosting me again on I Heart Lesfic. It’s such a pleasure to be here.
There’s No Place Like Home
With the release and promotion of a new book, I’m always presented with the opportunity to look back over my previous works to consider similarities and differences between the different characters and storylines and see how my writing has changed. As my fourth lesfic novel, a traditional romance entitled A Heart to Call Home, has just come out this month, I was considering some interview questions that made me realize the writing of this story brought up something brand new for me.
There is usually at least one character, sometimes more, that I relate to very strongly and who is similar to me in a variety of ways. It is that character that plays a big part in keeping me excited and connected throughout the long process of writing an entire novel. As I was considering A Heart to Call Home, I realized that wasn’t as true in this book. Not that I didn’t like and enjoy the characters or that I didn’t relate to them at all, it’s just that there wasn’t a specific one or two as there customarily is. So I got to thinking about what element of the story did offer the strength of connection that pulled me in and kept me there. To my surprise, I realized it was the setting. I say to my surprise because it’s unusual for me to consider the setting of a story much at all, other than to make sure it allows for the story to unfold fully and naturally.
A Heart to Call Home is set in a small town called Clearwater Springs, which is nestled into the foothills of the southern Sierra Nevada mountain range in California. Clearwater Springs, in many ways, is the small town in which I grew up, and as I was writing the various scenes—in particular ones in which Jessie or Dakota were walking around the town or the outlying areas—I found a sweet comfort in revisiting my own hometown.
The Midnight Moon Motel, where Jessie is staying in the story and where she lived with her foster parents—the owners of the motel— during her last few years of high school, does truly sit, under a different name, on the edge of my own hometown. The housing development in which Dakota lives that used to be the site of some rundown cottages in which Jessie lived with her mother and sister prior to their deaths, does really exist, as did those cottages when I was growing up. And the back roads around Clearwater Springs that play such an important role in the story of the tragedy that ties Jessie and Dakota together from so many years ago were the same back roads that were my stomping grounds as a teenager.
The sense of home and fond memories that came up for me as I was writing saw me through this book, and I’m so grateful for the walk down memory lane.
A HEART TO CALL HOME
Dakota Scott has spent her entire adult life trying to outrun her past, but even the privilege and reputation her family name affords her haven’t helped her forget. Her mother’s mental illness and the memory of the night that haunts her from so long ago won’t release her. When the one woman with the power to set her free shows up, Dakota is drawn to her, but she is a painful reminder of everything Dakota has been trying desperately to escape.
When Jessie Weldon returns to her hometown after thirty years of avoiding it, she knows she has demons to face and a conflicted past to resolve, but she has no idea love awaits her. Can she give her heart to Dakota with the tragic past that lies between them?
MEET THE AUTHOR
Jeannie Levig is an award-winning author of lesbian fiction and a proud and happy member of the Bold Strokes family. Her debut novel, Threads of the Heart, won the 2016 Golden Crown Literary Society (Goldie) Award in the Debut Author category and was a finalist in the 2015 Rainbow Awards. Her second novel, Embracing the Dawn, won a 2016 Rainbow Award in the Traditional Contemporary Romance category and was a finalist for a Goldie in 2017. Her third, a romantic intrigue entitled Into Thin Air, was released in January of 2017, and her current release is a traditional contemporary romance entitled A Heart to Call Home.
Raised by an English teacher, Jeannie has always been surrounded by literature and novels and learned to love reading at an early age. She tried her hand at writing fiction for the first time under the loving encouragement of her eighth grade English teacher. She graduated from college with a Bachelor’s degree in English. She is deeply committed to her spiritual path and community, her family and to writing the best stories possible to share with her readers.
Visit Jeannie at her website, or send her a note to say hi. She’d love to hear from you.
CONNECT WITH JEANNIE LEVIG
Thanks so much for stopping by today.