Blog tour: Season of Second Chances

Welcome to the blog tour for Season of Second Chances by Aimee Alexander!

Today I am extremely pleased to be able to share with you a Q&A with the author:

Hi Aimee! I am so happy to be able to chat to you about Season of Second Chances. Can you please briefly tell us what it is about?

A: Season of Second Chances is about escaping life and starting over. It follows the story of Grace Sullivan who flees Dublin with her two teenage kids, returning to the sleepy, seaside village in West Cork where she grew up. No one knows what she’s running from or that she’s even running. She’d like to keep it that way.

Grace is taking over from her dad, Des, as the village GP and, as second chances go it seems a good one. But will Grace and the children adapt to life in a small rural community? Can she live up to the doctor her father was? And will she find the inner strength to face the past when it comes calling?

Did you have the plot entirely figured out when you started writing the book or did it take an unexpected turn as the characters grew on the page?

A: I wish I could work like that – have it all figured out and off I go. But then, I’ve tried that before and the characters have always taken over and told me where to go.

So, no, I had Grace’s backstory. I wanted her to heal, find inner strength and I wanted a warm family story, with an underlying tension. I definitely wanted a very special relationship between Grace’s dad and her son as a tribute to my dad who died two years ago. He was wonderful with my son when he needed a mentor. And I really wanted to honour that relationship.

Benji, the dog, arrived in that magical way that characters do.

If this novel was going to be turned into a film, who would you cast in the role of Grace?

A: Sandra Bullock.

Was Season of Second Chances your title from the very beginning or did the novel had a different working title?

A: Great question. The pain of finding a title! It was initially called Coming Home because that’s the sentiment I was after. But there are so many novels with that title I felt that it would get lost. I went through so many titles before I finally settled on this one. I have a team of treasured Advance Readers. I couldn’t have found it without them. I love it now.

Without giving too much away, can you tell us about a scene in the book that you love or that was particularly difficult to write?

A: There is a scene where Grace gets up before the world is awake to visit an incredibly special beach in West Cork called Barleycove. I have stood on that beach in search of healing so many times and I have always found it. It is a very, very special place.

Grace stands at the water’s edge, letting the cold waves wash over her feet. She used to be a swimmer but had to stop for a particular reason. Suddenly, regardless of who might come along, Grace strips naked and swims out.

Is there anything that didn’t make it into the final version of the book?

A: Yes, there was a character that changed in the end. I did a lot of research with this book and learned that characters like this man never change. So, I edited that and was so glad I did. I do not wish to give people credit where it’s not due. Especially people like that.

If you are already working on your next writing project, would you mind giving us a little anticipation of what we are to expect?

A: Yes, I have just started a sequel. The way I ended the story was very important to me. It was really right for Grace and it was really right for female empowerment. The sequel is what Grace deserves.

What are you reading at the moment?

A: At the moment, I am also working on film projects and trying to fit so much into my day, that my reading is suffering. I am pining to get back to it. I would like something quick and gritty if anyone has any suggestions.

Due to the popularity of social networking websites, interacting with readers – be it via Twitter, Facebook Instagram etc. – is becoming increasingly important. How do you cope with these new demands on authors and do you think that they somehow disrupt your writing schedule?

A: I actually like Twitter. If it were a chore, I wouldn’t do it. Facebook I do a little, just if I’ve news, really. I enjoy book clubs and groups on Facebook though and that does distract a little! I really like Instagram because I love images. I don’t post enough though. My only real dilemma is that I have two accounts on most platform as I have two names Denise Deegan and Aimee Alexander. I tend to post mostly as Denise Deegan. I’ll have to do something about that at some point!

What one piece of advice would you give to aspiring writers?

A: Entertain yourself. 

Thank you for your time!

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