(First of the four books that have become known as the “Dance Series,” although on my website and blog they are referred to as the “Keane-Morrison Family Saga.”)
Featured Song: “The Book of Love” by Peter Gabriel, from the soundtrack to the movie “Shall We Dance?”
Many years ago, before I had even considered writing for the LDS market, I started writing a time-travel novel, and actually had more than 100 pages written. After my career took off, I was often looking at some of my old stuff and wondering whether or not it was worth revising and/or finishing. I came up with a way to turn this into an LDS novel, but then I realized that my reputation had become solidly based in realistic fiction. To suddenly throw in a paranormal (in this case time travel) book would throw me into a different genre, and it’s not very smart in a marketing sense. Therefore, this idea sat on the shelf for many years, until an idea came to me on how I could incorporate the concept into a workable situation that would stay consistent with my previous work. In the end, the complex time-travel situation I’d written boiled down to less than a chapter, where Alex hits his head, passes out, and has a complicated dream that changes his life. It was one of many experiences where I had to concede that in order to be a good writer, I had to learn to throw away some of my practice writing. The finished product is something I feel very good about, even though it’s nothing like what I had originally conceived.
I really loved the dance element in this book, and how it carries through the series. Since Alex and Jane meet when they’re paired up for a ballroom dance competition, it was fun for me to research it enough to be able to describe the dances and incorporate them into the story. Making Alex an ER doctor also required a great deal of research. But overall, the most important points of this story come in the personal growth of the characters, and the power of forgiveness in their lives. While I was writing this book, I did not anticipate a sequel, but when the second book came together, I could see that “Timeless Waltz” was laying the groundwork for an especially powerful story. We’ll talk about that in the next entry.