Sunday, March 09, 2014

Some things never change - Kandy Shepherd

Give me the child until he is seven and I'll give you the man” is a famous quote about how childhood experiences affect the adults we become.*

As a romance writer, I like to delve into my characters’ fictional lives to see what happened in their early years to influence the way they behave as adults.

What aspects of my hero’s and heroine’s childhoods; their ingrained likes and dislikes; their buried hurts and memories might have some bearing on their relationships? In particular what might cause my fictional heroes and heroines not to commit to the perfect partner I have created for them? Well, not to commit until near the end of the novel, that is! By that time, there can be no more barriers to stop them getting their wonderful happy-ever-after ending together…

My recent release from Harlequin The Summer They Never Forgot is a story of first love and second chances and features a hero and heroine who first met as teenagers. Twelve years later they meet againare the aspects of their character that made them fall in love still the same?

Recently, while celebrating a significant birthday, I trawled through family photos to find images that represented milestone times in my life for a party slide-show. Here’s a few that made me smile—those early interests certainly lived on!

Copying my mother or an early obsession?

 I think I was about eighteen months when the photo above was taken. It was the start of a life-long obsession with my weight. Hopping on the scales is still a regular occurrence. (Not that there's anything wrong with wanting to stay a healthy weight! ) Sadly, these days the numbers on the now digital scales are less than edifying...

Cats have been a life-long love

 In this next photo I'm about seven years old. These two kittens, Lucky (left) and Big Boy were born under my bed, their mother a stray who had wandered into our suburban garden. Big Boy went to a home nearby where we could visit him, but Lucky stayed with us until I was eighteen. I was heartbroken to leave him when I left home to go to university and I think he must have been too as he died not long after. That precious feline was the first of a number of beloved cats in my life.

Ivy (left) and Alfie, the most recent additions to my kitty family

What about you? How different are you now to when you were a child? Any particular incidents you might remember? Have any of your interests carried through to adulthood?

Please leave a comment—I’d love to hear about it!

I have one signed copy of The Summer They Never Forgot to give away. Please include your email address in your comment if you want to be included in the draw.

The Summer They Never Forgot is Kandy’s first release from Harlequin Romance in the US, the UK and Australia. Watch out for The Tycoon and the Wedding Planner in July 14.

Visit Kandy at her website

*Attributed by the Jesuits to St Francis Xavier


Caroline said...

Lovely blog, Kandy. LOL on the weighing scales. I inherited a skin care regime from my mum. Everyday she slathers on a ton of mousturiser. She 74 now and has hardly any wrinkles. Caroline xx

Anna Campbell said...

Kandy, love those photos of you as a kid! The one of you on the scales cracked me up. Don't think I ever did that - and that hasn't changed much. I love how in THE SUMMER THEY NEVER FORGOT, you gave both your hero and heroine such believable pasts, the kind of background that made their emotional issues in the book so compelling. Yay, you!

Laney4 said...

I had no self-confidence in school but, since turning fifty, it seems I have a TON of it, LOL!
Library books from school and downtown were my best friends. Today, I have people as best friends, but pets and books come in not far afterward.
When I was young (up till 1995), I was skinny. Alas, those days are gone, most likely permanently. However, I DO eat much better nowadays than I ever did years ago. Funny how turning fifty has affected me in so many ways (no longer nervous at job interviews, not so nervous speaking in public, and I even sang in public a couple of years ago)....
Kandy, please don't enter me in your draw. I recently read THE SUMMER THEY NEVER FOGOT and just loved it! (No surprise there!) I read it quickly ... loved their love ... understood both of their feelings, which seemed quite realistic to me ... and, although the story itself took place over a short period of time, every step was believable and enjoyable. I'm sure lots more readers will love it too!

Kandy Shepherd said...

What a good routine to have inherited from your mother. Start young and skin care will really pay off! Thanks for your comment.

Kandy Shepherd said...

Aren't those photos fun Anna? So glad they gave you a laugh. My father was a very keen photographer and my early childhood was well documented. Thank you for the kind words about THE SUMMER THEY NEVER FORGOT I got to know those characters so well I missed them when I finished writing the book.

Kandy Shepherd said...

Laney, how marvellous to hear of your growth in self confidence, what a positive story. I think so many of us "bookish" people were shy when young, library books and pets were certainly my friends too.
So glad you enjoyed reading THE SUMMER THEY NEVER FORGOT and thank you for your kind words about it! It's wonderful to get such positive feedback.

traveler said...

Your thought provoking post and photos were wonderful and unique. I started reading when I was young and am an avid and devoted reader and patron of libraries as well. My late mother influenced me in positive ways inculcating values and important principles such as being thrifty, reading and not dwelling on regrets.

petite said...

My interests haven't changed, reading, travel and walking. Your blog is definitely one that is fascinating since we are shaped very young and the quote is accurate and true.

Mary Anne Landers said...

Thank you, Kandy. Cute photos!

When I was a kid I developed an interest in--no, better make that a fascination with---fiction, science, history, world religion, and TV. I'm still fascinated by the first four.

I already have your new release so no need to enter me in the giveaway. Keep up the good work!

Kandy Shepherd said...

So glad you enjoyed the post, traveler. How wonderful those early values you learned from your mother have served you so well.

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi petite, nice to see we share the same interests! So glad you enjoyed the blog.

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi Mary Anne, so nice to see you here! What marvelous interests to have carried through life with you, you will never be bored! The world of science is constantly revealing fascinating insights isn't it.