Our interview today is with Laurie Kellogg the author of The Memory of You which is rated 4.8 stars on 33 reviews. The Memory of You is the winner of the Golden Heart Award from the Romance Writers of America.
Book Description: She can’t forget him—He can’t remember her. Together, they must discover the healing power of unforgettable love.
Second Lieutenant Matt Foster was taken as a POW and mistakenly declared dead. After six years of emotional and physical torture, he returns home with no memory and a face no one recognizes—not evenhis wife, Abby, who is about to remarry. He could still walk away from the gorgeous stranger who’s been starring in his X-rated dreams, but he could never ever abandon his sons.
Interview with Laurie Kellogg
What was unique about the setting of the book and how did it enhance or take away from the story?
The Memory of You is set during Operation Homecoming at the end of the Vietnam War. It’s an unusual time period in the romance genre because romance publishers have excluded novels set between the end of WW II and present day from consideration for publication. I’m marketing The Memory of You as a contemporary romance because it’s closer to that sub-genre than historical. Technically the book needs to be classified it as what I call a Nostalgic Romance, a new sub-genre I’m hoping to promote. With Indie publishing offering authors more freedom to write the books of their heart, I’m hoping more writers will explore the years between 1946 and the dawn of the Digital age, which would be around 1980.
This nostalgic setting enhanced the story in ways that surprised even me. The time period gave me the opportunity for a lot of blast-from-the-past humor. Readers have commented on how pleased they were to discover this emotionally touching story is quite funny at times and surprisingly sexy.
Was there a basis for your story? Possibly a previous experience?
While I was in high school, I wore a MIA/POW bracelet engraved with the name of a soldier who was missing in action. I was broken hearted that my soldier never came home and profoundly moved when the POWs returned in 1973 during Operation Homecoming. My heart went out to those brave men, some of whom were captive and abused for almost nine years. Some fathers were strangers to their children and had missed watching them grow. Many came home to discover their wives and sweethearts had moved on to other relationships. In all these years since, I’ve never forgotten the sacrifice these men and their families made, and I felt compelled to give one of these couples, although fictional, a happy ending.
Did certain parts of the book make you uncomfortable, and did this lead to a new understanding or awareness of some aspect of your life you might not have thought about before?
This book of my heart made me very uncomfortable at times, and I soaked a lot of tissues. I kept the flashbacks to the hero’s years as a prisoner to a minimum, because, after all, the book is a romance. However, I still couldn’t help sharing in the horror of his experiences and in the heroine’s heartbreak during the time she believed she’dlost him. (Although, it was only a taste of the agony I’m sure the real men and families must have felt. Writing The Memory of You gave me a greater appreciation for our soldiers and all they do for our country.
What specific themes did you emphasize throughout the novel?
The story stars an emotionally wounded hero with no past and a heartbroken single mother with a lonely future. This couple gets a second chance when they fall in love all over again, so the most obvious theme of this book is the healing power of unforgettable love.There are two other messages imparted through the story, though. The first is that it doesn’t take genetics to make a person a parent. And, since this was a romance, the second take-away lesson had to lead to a happy ending, so that message is if we let the injustices in our past tarnish our future with bitterness, then in the end we give our oppressors the ability to continue torturing us and we let them win.
Your bio indicates some of your books won writing awards. Is this novel one of them?
Yes. The Memory of You was nominated twice for the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart award. The first time, another of my books, A Little Bit of Déjà Vu (my upcoming release this spring) was also a nominee and pitted against The Memory of You (then titled Something Worth Remembering) and ALBDV ultimately won. I couldn’t stand wondering how my underdog would’ve fared in the contest without competition from my other book, so I reentered it under its present title and it also won. While the novel had its original title, it was also a Romantic Times American Title finalist.
The Memory of You $2.99 on Amazon
Author website address http://www.LaurieKellogg.com
Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Laurie.Kellogg.Books
Twitter handle @Laurie_Kellogg