Where the Heart Leads
“The Living Years” by Mike and the Mechanics
I loved this song the first time I heard it, and it gave me that feeling I’ve talked about before that there was a story hidden in it somewhere. I don’t remember exactly how or when it came to me, but I do remembering listening to this song about a thousand times while I wrote the book. If you’re not familiar with the song, or you haven’t heard it for a long time, I encourage you to listen to it and take note of the lyrics. It’s a beautiful song with a great message! It’s also good to know, as Latter-day Saints, that it’s not always too late when we die to make amends. Since life goes on, relationships can be healed. I’m so grateful for that knowledge!
The theme of this book definitely focused on healing issues with our fathers. (Although the concept would certainly apply to mothers.) The story brings out some great points that I hope people will apply to their own lives. I think the idea of having a heroine who couldn’t walk had been simmering in the back of my mind for quite some time, but I honestly can’t recall when or how it came together.
I can tell you, however, that this was the first historical novel I wrote that had an LDS element. Prior to this point, everything historical I’d written had no LDS content. I’ve been told by many readers that Jonathon’s conversion was very moving and powerful. It’s been years since I’ve read it; I might have to go back and see if it really is what my readers claim it to be.
Location. Location. Ironically, most of the places I’ve written about are places I’ve never actually been. I don’t remember why I decided that Jonathon’s aunt would live in Sterling, but I did take a field trip there. It’s about a two-hour drive from my home. A friend went with me. We got out of the car. I turned and looked in every direction and said, “Okay, that’s good.” And we got back in the car. I actually got most of my information from reading historical accounts of Sterling, but it was still nice to actually see what it looked like. Of course, Jonathon was from Boston, and I’d never been anywhere near Boston. I believe at the time I’d never been east of Utah at all. I’ve now been to Boston and love the city!