Q: Please tell us about yourself.
I have lived in South Carolina for most of my life, and, with my wife and Bonnie, our blue-eyed cat, I recently moved to the coast, near Charleston. In addition to writing, I enjoy traveling, photography, baking bread, and the Carolina beaches. I went to school for far longer than I want to admit. For about ten years, I was director of research for South Carolina’s Department of Education, and I recently have been a part-time psychology instructor at a community college. It is often said that “one writes what one knows,” and in my books you will find characters who are photographers, painters and counselors!
Q: Tell us about your book
In To Fall in Love Again, Drew and Amy have both lost their spouses. Drew’s wife of over thirty years passed away with a brain tumor. Amy’s husband died when his small airplane crashed the day that he had him served with divorce papers, an incident that was at least ruled an accident. They soon realize that they are in love, but they come from two very different backgrounds, and opposition to their relationship quickly develops. Drew and Amy ultimately have to decide whether they are truly in love and whether love can bridge their difference.
Q: What inspired you to write To Fall in Love Again?
We frequently associate romance novels with young adults. However, as I grow older, I increasingly know people who have passed the age of forty, who find themselves no longer married, and who want to be in love again. To Fall in Love Again concerns two such people. In a general sense, it is a “Romeo and Juliette” story, and its theme and the problems that Drew and Amy face are universal.
Q: How much time per week do you spend writing/editing your work?
When I am working on a book, I attempt to write at least a thousand words each day. My experience is that once I have the elements of the plot clearly in mind, this takes between an hour and ninety minutes while I sip coffee at Starbucks. If I’m at an exciting point in the story, I may write another hour later in the day. I know authors who will write five or six times this amount. In effect, they will complete the first draft of a book in less than two weeks, rather than in the two months that it takes me. I could do what they do, but I suspect I would not enjoy it.
Q: If you could meet three authors, which authors would you choose?
Michael Baron: He places his characters in absolutely impossible situations before allowing them to find their way out.
Susanna Kearsley: Her time slip novels are among the very best I have read.
Theresa Rizzo: She is a fabulous writer. In 2013, I reviewed one of her books and wrote that it was the best I had read during the entire year.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
In my fourth novel, Those Children Are Ours. Jennie Bateman decides to seek court-ordered visitation with the teen-aged daughters with whom she has had no contact since she walked out on her family ten years earlier. How do you convince your former spouse, who is about to remarry, that you do not intend to wreck his family? How do you establish relationships with children who never really knew you? Who view their father’s new wife as their mother? Who live seven hours away? Who have lives of their own that do not include you?
Title: To Fall in Love Again
Author: David Burnett
Drew Nelson did not plan to talk with anyone that morning. He did not plan to make a new friend. He certainly did not plan to fall in love.
He resisted all of Amy’s attempts to draw him out− at the hotel, at the airport, on the airplane− giving hurried responses and burying his face in a pile of papers. It was only when the flight attendant offered coffee, and a muscle in Amy’s back twitched as she reached for it, and the cup tipped, and the hot liquid puddled in Drew’s lap that they began to talk.
Earlier in the year, each had lost a spouse of over thirty years. Drew’s wife had died of a brain tumor, Amy’s husband when his small airplane nose-dived to earth, the engine at full throttle − an accident, it was ruled.
They live in the same city. Both have grandchildren. They are about the same age. Consciously, or not, they both are looking to love again.
But relationships do not exist in vacuums. Drew is wealthy, and Amy is middle class. Amy is “new” in town – she and her husband moved to Charleston twenty-five years ago – while Drew’s family has lived there for three centuries. Drew lives below Broad, a code word for high society, old families, power, and money. Amy’s home is across the river.
Class warfare may be less violent than it was in the past, but when Drew invites Amy to the St Cecelia Ball, battle lines are drawn. In a city in which ancestry is important, the ball’s membership is passed from father to son, and only those from the oldest families attend.
Family, friends, co-workers all weigh in on their relationship and choose sides. Allies are found in unexpected places. Opposition comes from among those who were thought to be friends. Though they are gone, even their spouses − through things they have done and things they have said − wield influence in the conflict that follows.
Amy begins to suspect that Drew is one of them, the rich snobs who despise her, while Drew concludes that Amy neither trusts him nor cares for him. As each questions the other’s motives, their feelings for each other are tested, and Drew and Amy are challenged to consider if they truly want to fall in love again.
I live in Columbia South Carolina, with my wife and our blue-eyed cat, Bonnie. I enjoy traveling, photography, baking bread, and the Carolina beaches.
We have traveled widely in the United States and the United Kingdom. During one trip to Scotland, we visited Crathes Castle, the ancestral home of the Burnett family near Aberdeen.
My photographic subjects have been as varied as prehistoric ruins on the islands of Scotland, star trails, sea gulls, and a Native American powwow.
I went to school for longer than I want to admit, and I have graduate degrees in psychology and education. I was formerly director of research for our state education department.
We have two daughters and three grandchildren. To Fall in Love Again is my third novel.
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