Today we’re celebrating the release of “Just Like Em.”
So, Marion, where did you get the idea for this novel?
Like the hero in my story, I was displaced. Although my job was eliminated, I continued to work for over two years while the different departments were transferred out of state. When Roger needs to keep his employees from leaving before his department is completely transferred, he asks Em to explain how losing her job affected her. She describes my experiences, and he puts them into practice.
In looking at the cover, if you could add a caption or captions, what would they say?
Isn’t Arizona spectacular!
How long did it take you to write?
Approximately two years. It started out at 50,000 words and ballooned into over 70,000.
What is your favorite scene?
I like the scene where Roger massages Em’s feet. She spent the whole morning shopping with his daughter and her feet really hurt. When she starts manipulating them, he offers to do it. It’s the first time they actually get personal. It’s a tender time for them both – Em appreciates the attention and Roger begins to pull away from his wife’s memory.
Who was your favorite character and why?
I really liked Em’s mother Doris. She’s such a strong, no nonsense person. She rules with an iron hand but has a warm heart and empathy to spare.
Mira Sorvino and Ioan Gruffudd
Tell us one thing you learned during research.
I spoke with a nurse who actually works at the hospital in Prescott where Em’s boy is taken. She answered all my questions about parents staying overnight with their child.
What music would match the mood of this novel?
I wasn’t into music while writing this book, but it’s become very important in the books I’m working on now.
This is your first book. Exactly what does that mean to you?
I like the term first because it implies second, third and so on. It means I’m beginning to be noticed, and that’s a wonderful sensation.
What do you plan to work on next?
I’m doing the rewrites for “An Act of Love,” another Heartwarming that comes out in August.
What are you reading for pleasure right now?
For pleasure, I’m listening to several books about Beaumont, the Washington state Detective in J.A. Jance’s mysteries.