Meet Kate Vale, Author of Destiny's Second Chance
KV: I’ve been writing for many years, but my career kept me in the non-fiction, technical writing arena until recently, when I succumbed to my NEED to write fiction. Actually, to write down the dreams I kept having about certain characters. I foolishly assumed that writing down those dreams would mean they wouldn’t come back. Well, they didn’t, but they were simply replaced by OTHER stories of other characters! And they continue to populate my brain at night as well as during long walks during the daylight hours.
KV: The previous book focused on foster care and it led (for two children and the woman who became such an important person in their lives) to adoption. It seemed only right that my next book should focus on adoption. The fact that my mother was an adoptee when such a status was rarely talked about also was the impetus for me to begin to look at the many ways in which adoption affects people—the adoptees, of course, and their new parents as well as the biological links that remain, whether known or unknown. When I began talking with people who had been touched by the adoptive process, it became clear how very complicating relationships can become. Thus, I couldn’t just focus on Destiny and her biological mother. I had, also, to try to understand how Vanessa must have felt when Destiny insists on meeting Bella.
BBB: Tell us about your main character.
KV: Bella begins life in this story as a teen whose own innocence gets her into trouble. But becoming pregnant so young, and then having to give up her baby, helps her to grow up fast. Her own decision to get away from her birth family contributes to her maturation, as does her stated goal to figure out a way to go to college. We meet her when she is a fully-formed woman, seemingly content with her single life as a librarian, happy to support her friends at the library and old Henry at her favorite bookstore, and to enjoy her interactions with the children who come to the library for story hour. But she has always harbored thoughts and dreams of that baby she gave up, the baby whose parents agreed to send a picture once a year and to allow Bella to send cards at Destiny’s birthday and at Christmastime. When they stop after Destiny’s fifth birthday, Bella wonders if the child died, but she has no way to communicate with the parents and thus, she is left to wonder. What a surprise when she hears from Destiny’s father after her daughter’s 21st birthday!
When a possible love interest is introduced, Bella isn’t quite sure how to act. Only Gavin’s skillful wooing wins her over, but not before a crisis involving Destiny as well as Henry.
BBB: What are you currently working on?
KV: I often work on two books at a time; my antidote to writer’s block. If I come upon a problem that seems unresolved in one story, I set it aside, knowing my brain will continue to work on the issue. Then I go on to the other story and continue with it until, voila! I figure out how to solve the problem that had reared up previously. I mention this because I’m in the midst of two such stories now.
The first story revolves around a troubled 7-year old boy and his widowed father and what happens when the father meets the new teacher for his son. I won’t tell you what troubles the boy, but I will say that it also becomes a catalyst for helping the father to understand his son better. Along with the teacher’s help, of course.
The second story enabled me to explore alcoholism in some of its many forms. In this case, in an elderly mother and her elder daughter, a too-serious and too-focused-on-business woman who never expects to find herself focusing on anything other than the business she has built and takes appropriate pride in. When Nicole realizes that her mother’s alcoholism threatens her health at the same time that she is confronted with the possible take-over of her company, it’s enough to make her tear out her hair. Even more so, when she learns she’s pregnant at age 41! How she deals with these three issues forms the backdrop for her continued growth as a woman.
BBB: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
KV: My website (http://katevale.com) includes the first chapters of all of my stories, as well as questions that book groups might use to discuss the stories. Also on my website are reviews of my books that have appeared elsewhere. I can be reached on that website by clicking on the contact me link. And I love to hear from readers. In fact, questions about Trish who first appears in Family Bonds prompted me to write Crossing Paths, which follows Trish and her second chance at love with a man she thought had died many years earlier.