Many factors influenced the work. I am a Southern writer and hope to take readers on a journey
into a world they may never have otherwise encountered. I address many themes in Redemption
but at the heart of the work is a story about going home to see what you may have left behind. A
country song by Sugarland called April Showers was a major inspiration.
“Looking for an angel in these hills, looking for a map to find what we left behind knowing that
we will always end up where we start ‘cause I got time on my hands and hope in my heart…”
Sugarland – April Showers
“Looking for an angel in these hills
Looking for a map to find what we left behind
Knowing that we will
Always end up right where we start
Cause I got time on my hands and hope in my heart…”
The major themes in Redemption address regional cultural and social issues. Central to the plot
are issues based on family, including domestic violence and spousal abuse. Racism and bigotry
based in generations of ignorance and brutality are major factors that some people in the
southern part of the Appalachian Mountains still face. However, Redemption is not intended to
be didactic by any means. My hope is to share the beauty of the region and introduce readers to
strong characters who overcome the past to fight to survive and thrive in a world where
sometimes merely survival is the ultimate goal.
I think we all probably have certain experiences and relationships in life that influence who we
are, and what kind of person we become. These influences indelibly carve into our psychological
make-up, and I draw on those elements of my life to build the worlds I create.
Like Lindy, the protagonist in Redemption, I grew up as a minister's daughter in a slow-paced
small town in Virginia. Socioeconomic influences, religious beliefs, and, in some cases, isolation
from the rest of society play a key role in the values and principles of these small towns.
Redemption is a work of contemporary women's fiction inspired by the courage of Harper Lee’s
To Kill a Mockingbird, and infused with the elements of mystery and romance found in the
works of Sandra Brown. The quaint hospitable charm of the setting gives the work a distinctive
southern voice, yet the timbre lacks the cultured polish of the Low Country cadence found in
Anne River Siddons work.
These women are all incredibly gifted writers who have taken me on fantastic journeys. I hope to
do the same for my readers.
I am a character writer as opposed to being a plot driven writer. I build a world and then develop
plot sketch of sorts I try to create memorable characters who speak with strong voices and then I
spend a great deal of time on back-story for each major character before I begin to write. If I
have done my job, once I begin to write the story begins to unfold and I simply try to stay out of
Samantha Charles - Author of Redemption A Parson's Gap Story
published by Black Rose Writing