iUniverse gives a warm welcome to romance novelist Claudia Pemberton, who has just published her second book, Love Leads the Way. The novel follows her first book, Love Leaves No One Behind. Below, Claudia tells us more about her new book and her inspirations.
Please briefly describe your book . . .
Love Leads the Way is a story of love and devotion between an Army soldier and his wife as they embark on an unforgettable journey together that teaches the meaning of family, heroism, and sacrifice.
Jesse and Mikayla are the perfect couple. They are newlyweds and madly in love. The only thing missing in their personal paradise is a child of their own. Determined to give Mikayla her heart’s desire, Jesse makes a decision that will unwittingly put both his and Mikayla’s lives in danger.
Do you have any particular literary influences?
I have been an avid reader all of my life. I was bullied in school, so books were my best friends. Instead of eating lunch, I sequestered myself to the library and lost myself in far-away places, long-past time periods, and fantasy lands. My favorite author during my junior high and high schools years was Daphne du Maurier. My favorite books were Rebecca, Jamaica Inn, Mrs. Mike, and Joy in the Morning just to name a few. Those books remain on my bookshelf to this day. They feel like old and dear friends patiently waiting to be revisited, which I often do.
Reading is not just something that I love to do. To me, reading is a privilege. It’s like the author has given me permission to read their diary. I believe that because that’s how it feels to me when I share my writing with others. The words I write are so close to my heart that it feels like I’m sharing a part of my soul with the reader. The story is fiction, but the emotions are real.
What inspired you to write your book, and how long did it take you to finish it?
I was inspired to write my book because of my love and respect for America’s military. The hero of my story is a fictional United States Army Ranger named Jesse Daulton. I strove to make my imaginary soldier as close to the real thing as I possibly could. My book is my humble attempt at a “thank you” to our beloved military.
Although I finished my first book in nine short months, it took me almost eight years to finish this, my second book. My muse managed to elude me for many years. For most of those years I was battling a devastating illness which prevented me from focusing my full attention on my writing.
Oddly enough, the hard-fought battle to complete this book, Love Leads the Way, makes it all the more sweeter and rewarding. It was forged through fire.
We’ll be back shortly with Part Two of Claudia’s excellent blog! Make sure to check out the iUniverse site for more advice and blogs, as well as iUniverse Facebook and iUniverse Twitter. For a FREE Publishing Guide, click here!