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Saturday, June 12, 2010

GetToKnowTheBook: Author Anne K. Edwards 'Shadows Over Paradise'

Enjoy storms at sea? Do you like mysterious islands with a romantic past? Intrigue and family secrets? Do you enjoy tales of young women who try to stand on their own when facing danger? If so, you'll enjoy Shadows Over Paradise. It was called a 'white knuckle ride' by one reader.

Julia Graye steps off the plane and into danger. The man sent to meet her warns her to go home. She ignores the warning. Her destination is an isolated old house set on the side of an extinct volcano. There is no phone, no nearby neighbors. She feels eyes on her back, but with all the trees around the house, there's no way to see them.By the time Julia wishes she'd gone home, it is too late.
The story of Shadows Over Paradise has a long history. It was originally started several years before it was turned into a completed story. In the first incomplete attempt, I found I had given no interesting characteristics to either the characters or the background so decided it needed more exciting characters, plot, and background. I let the story idea of a woman in danger and able to fend for herself most of the time set for several years before I felt I had a good grasp on what to do with it.
I found some of the answers when I went to work for a government oceanography program, where I learned about the unpredictability of the ocean and its effects on the small land masses it surrounded. That led me to speculating that a setting of islands (fictitious) in the South Pacific that were a US Territory would have the mystery and intrigue I needed for this story's background.
Then selecting the characters to carry out a plot that followed their development was easy. The heroine has a mind of her own and one thing she doesn't like are dark brooding men. Guess what, there's one in the story. He's handsome and darkly mysterious. But there are also a couple of other possibilities in the romance department. There is more than one villain also, they are linked together by a mutual plot.
Romance lurks in the background while danger fills the foreground. The plot came together of its own volition as the individual characters added their own ideas to the story. For instance, there's a young man in the story who thinks he's in love with Julia. His actions impact on all the other characters, even when he's not in the scene.
I enjoy letting secondary characters push the tale along. They often act in opposition to what I thought they'd do, as in this case. Each makes his or her own decisions regardless of how they affect the others, acting as real people will.
The characters actions result in various subplots that must be woven together to make the whole story. The end product is much like real life, complicated and interesting to write. I hope the readers have as much fun in reading it.

Anne K. Edwards

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