Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Truth Between Lovers

Luke Hamilton and Nora Macauley are definitely keeping things from each other. After the two marry and set off along the Oregon Trail hoping for a new life, the truth begins to unravel, pushing the characters to a breaking point. Can they love themselves as well as each other? Is the truth too much to handle? These questions and much much more can be found in Backwards to Oregon.

Nora Macauley is a prostitute wanting a better life for her daughter. Luke Hamilton is a woman disguised as a man. As Luke, she is trying to make it in a man’s world. “Luke and Nora are two of my all-time favorites, “ Jae said. “I love the way they learn to trust each other. They both have overcome so much more than just the physical obstacles along the way. The two have overcome the obstacles that keep them from loving themselves and each other too. I love the way the couples outer journey to Oregon parallels both character’s inner journey.”

The book’s setting was inspired by Jae’s love for American history and the Old West. “I very much admire the courage and tenacity of the pioneers back then. When researching this book, I found some interesting novels as well as articles about women fighting in wars, disguised as men, and I wondered how they could keep up their disguise for years. So, I did some more research—and came up with the idea for one of my main characters, Luke.” Jae loves writing Romance novels. “They  allow me to dig deeply into the psychological  aspects of writing, to portray the characters in a realistic way by giving them a past, fears, weaknesses, and areas in which they still need to grow to deserve their happy end.” The research for this book was her biggest challenge, and it took months for her to find all she needed about the Oregon Trail, as well as life in the 1850s. “I researched every aspect of the journey—the food, clothing, weapons, landmarks along the way, sicknesses, and other dangers.”

Jae has been writing since she was 11 years old when she wrote a 65 page mini-novel about a ten-year-old Native American boy growing up in the Black Hills. “It was basically just a series of adventures that happened to him, since I didn’t yet understand the three-act structure and the theory of character arcs when I was eleven.” Just recently, one of Jae’s readers commented that Jae, herself, had a lot in common with Luke Hamilton, her main character in Backwards to Oregon. Jae says the comparison puzzles her. “I don’t consciously write myself or the people I know into my stories, but a few of the characters share some of my traits, habits, or likes and dislikes. Otherwise, everything I write is a product of my imagination.”


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