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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Do Overs



I have a new book on the shelves this week. Release dates are always a grand time in the life of any author. For me, it’s the time when I get show off my baby and reminisce about planning and writing the story.

Writing THE SHERIFF’S AMNESIAC BRIDE was a unique experience for me. Not just because the book is part of a multi-author series (The Coltons: Family First) But also because of the story hook. A few years ago, the first book I ever had published (The Cowboy’s Baby Surprise) was an amnesia story. So that subject holds a special place in my heart. But I’d thought one amnesia story would be enough for me—that I’d explored every aspect of the subject and there would be no need for me to ever write another one.

When the editors asked me to write this story of a woman on the run with no memory, I had to think long and hard about whether I had anything left to say about the subject. During my self-examination, I asked a few reader friends for their opinions about amnesia stories. Not surprisingly, these readers seemed cautious: “I don’t usually care for them.” “Oh, those are so over-done.” “Puleeze. That’s such a hooky theme. Can’t stand them.”

However, typical of me, those negative opinions just made me want to give it a try. I thought about the movie and TV amnesia plots that I have loved over the years. Two of my all time favorite movies, Overboard and Finding Nemo are based around the amnesia theme. Even in one of my husband’s all time favorite movies, The Bourne Identity, the hero has amnesia. I also read a great book last spring by Sophie Kinsella, Remember Me?, where the heroine has had amnesia and finds her new life drastically different than she recalled. And TV land is currently full of amnesia plots as well. Samantha Who? and Heroes are two that come to mind.

So did I still have anything new to contribute about amnesia? Probably not. But the idea of getting a do-over for your whole life is nevertheless very appealing to me. I read about a recent study of the National Academy of Sciences where it showed that amnesiacs with damaged hippocampus (part of the brain) cannot imagine the future. This is apparently because people use past experiences to build possible scenarios for coming events. Isn’t that interesting? That means that some amnesiacs not only have no past but no future as well.

I decided that was the way I wanted to go in plotting my heroine’s response to her amnesia. With no past, she looks around for help in deciding how to build her future. And guess who is right there for her to emulate? The good guy sheriff.

It’s fun to think of getting a do-over to your whole life like my heroine.

So what would you change if someone waved a magic wand and you could do-over some part of your past? What part of your life right now would you change if you could? I’ll give a copy of my latest release, THE SHERIFF’S AMNESIAC BRIDE to someone who contributes a comment.




Read more about Linda and her books on her website: http://www.LindaConrad.com. She has a current contest running to win books and gift certificates.

30 comments:

Dina said...

Other than having my 2 beautiful girls, I would do over my ex-husband. :)

Linda Conrad said...

LOL, Dina! But since he's an 'ex' I think you already have the chance to do-over that one!

I wouldn't change my choice of dh. He's a doll. But I might change my early choices of school and jobs. Took me wayyy too long to figure out who I was.

Rebekah E. said...

I would have to do over the event that lead up to lossing my two best friends in high school. Ever since then I don't let anyone close enough to become that good of a friend anymore. It can be quite painful when they go away.

Linda Conrad said...

My goodness rebekah e, that's seriously sad. I'm sorry about your friends.

Let's think of this another way. Let's consider some of the good things we did and how a changed life might've missed them. Like dina's 2 girls. And my decision to write a book. I sure wouldn't want to have lost my mind right before I made that choice in life.

Sometimes it's fun to think of getting a chance to start over. But what would you miss the most?

CrystalGB said...

I would have not dated a loser the whole time I was in college.
I would have gotten my drivers license sooner.

Linda Conrad said...

Hey, crystalgb, I bet you learned a lot by dating the wrong guy. Sometimes we just have to learn the hard way. I had one of those in my past too. Ha!
Just think of how awful it would be if we were living in the Ground Hog Day movie and had to keep reliving our mistakes. Ugh.
That's a great reason to be glad we don't all have amnesia.

Marilyn Shoemaker said...

I would have changed my college major to Public Relations. I love promoting authors that I read by writing reviews and sharing on "romance" forums.

Who knows, someday I even might attempt to write a book myself.

Linda, I liked your comment about starting over. Sometimes one has to suffer a little and learn the lessons of what's important in life. Learning to reach out to others for support and let them help you through difficult times.

Rebekah, sorry to hear about your friends. I hope you let people into your life; I promise, you won't be sorry.

Linda Conrad said...

Thanks, Marilyn! How right you are about friends seeing you through the bad times. Good point.
I just watched a TV special on surviving cancer and they said the more you could rely on friends and family the better your chances of going into remission.

Rebekah E. said...

All in all it would probably be best not to change that with my old friends. If I wouldn't have stopped hanging out with them I wouldn't have changed who I hung out with and I would have never meet my future husband and had three beautiful kids. Thinking about what I would miss the most if that wouldn't of happened. Wow I would have missed out on alot. I guess everything that happens leads up to who we are and what we have today.

Linda Conrad said...

That's a lot better way to think of it, rebekah e!
Now think of my poor heroine who can't rely on her old memories or old friends or on anything. I would definitely not want to be in her shoes, even if it meant I could start over again.

Rebekah E. said...

I couldn't imagine not having anything one rely on. We all have a few people who are always there for us and not to have them would be awful. I couldn't even imagine not having your memories. Your right definitely wouldn't want to be in her shoes.

robynl said...

I would love to change the past where I seemed to not know how to judge characters and got myself into some bad situations. This took place after my divorce.

Maureen said...

I would do over the night that I left a brillo pad and scrubbie on the counter a couple of weeks ago and our kitten ate parts of them and then had to have surgery to get them out. He is currently very annoyed with the plastic collar around his neck but he is alive.

Linda Conrad said...

Robinl, I was there too. When I think back about how naive I was once, it's really embarrassing. Just remember you weren't the only one. I suspect there were lots of us out there being stupid once.
Let's just be grateful we got over it.

Linda Conrad said...

OMG, Maureen. Thank heaven your kitty is okay. Yeah, that's a do-over situation if I ever heard one. But don't be too hard on yourself. I've done similiar things and felt guilty for months.
Kiss your kitty for me.

Jane said...

I wish I was more adventurous. I've been more open to try new things and foods, but I wish I started earlier. I wish I got to travel the world after college. It's harder to get away these days.

Cheri2628 said...

My life has been pretty blessed. I would like to do over a few stupid things I did when I was young, but other than those things I wouldn't change much. Oh, I would try to do over gaining weight when menopause hit!

Virginia said...

I wish I had started a different career many years ago. So that I could be set with a nice job now. I spent to many years in a factory and now to old to do that type work. All of them I worked in all closed.

Linda Conrad said...

Hey Jane! Oh yeah. I would've loved to travel a little more during college. But now I go for research and my dh says we can look forward to doing more of it when we retire. A built in do-over! Retirement!

Linda Conrad said...

Yeah, me too cheri2628. I wish I could do-over opening my mouth and stuffing it full after I quit smoking. That's one thing that gets harder and harder to do-over every year.

Linda Conrad said...

Oh Virginia, we are never too old to learn new things. I learn something new every day.
Writing is my second career. I was a stock broker first (for twelve years) and really wasn't happy. After my mother passed away, I decided it was time for a do-over in my life. So I took a lot of workshops and worked hard and learned how to write a book.
Now I'm happier than I've ever been.
Maybe think of this as an opportunity. Find a passion and go for it!

Dina said...

True Linda, but if I did over, I might still be married . ;)

Cherie J said...

I am with you Linda I would not trade my hubby for anything. The only thing I regret is that we did not meet sooner.We met and married in our early 30's. If I could change anything it would be my early college study and career choices.

cherierj(at)yahoo(dot)com

Virginia said...

Hi Linda, I did go back to school to work in a medical office. I went to school for about 18 months. I worked in a couple of doctors offices and hated every minute of it. I do have a diploma in Medical Administrative Assistant, but I am not sure how much good its doing me.

Linda Conrad said...

Okay, I gave every comment post a number and asked my dh to pick one. As much as I love him, he doesn't follow directions very well. LOL.

He couldn't decide between one and four-- so...we have two winners! Dina and Marilyn Shoemaker! Both of you please email me your snail mail address to LindaConradbooks@aol.com and I'll send you a copy of the book.

Thanks to all of you for your very interesting comments! It's been a great blog!

Karen H in NC said...

My first marriage...I would have thought a little longer before taking that step when I did.

Dina said...

Thank you Linda & dh, congrats Marilyn. :)

Marilyn Shoemaker said...

Thanks Linda and Dina congrats to you as well.

It was wonderful reading everyone's comments. It reminds me of soemthing my mom told me....."you can never go back, learn and move foward".

Dina said...

Marilyn, I will listen to your mom's words more carefully if the future!

Michele L. said...

Congrats ladies on winning!

I am late to the blog but as they say better late than never.

If I had to do a part of my life over again I would change my major in college to graphic arts. I love to draw and went into architecture. Well, I worked at a firm for 18 years and don't want to do that again. At the time graphic arts was a hard field to get into and finding a job was hard. Nowadays it is almost the norm to have a dept. that requires a person in graphic design. Oh well...

Great topic!
Michele L.