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Why Anne Louise Bannon Wrote A Ring for a Second Chance

I love Pauline’s basic question – why did I write this? The easy answer is at the heart of everything I write, namely, that the freaking characters won’t let me alone. My head can be a noisy place at times.

So why did these characters stick with me and not some others? Why did these characters come to life and insist that I continue their story, rather than be satisfied with the ending that was determined for them?

You have to understand that A Ring for a Second Chance is not only the sequel to a beloved fairy tale, it’s also the sequel to the first novel I ever wrote. Trying not to drop any spoilers here, although you’ll figure out which fairy tale within the first 20 pages or so. But back when I was a moody teen-ager, I realized that if I was going to spend all my time daydreaming, I’d better find a way to justify it. Having a plot ready-made helped. It just took fleshing the whole thing out, and I learned a lot about character and voice.

I didn’t write a very readable novel, however. Which may be why Steffan and Ella kept whispering to me for more than 10 years. But the real reason was probably what I was trying to escape when I finally did get to writing their second story, namely a marriage that was not happening for a lot of reasons that are now moot.

I just wasn’t buying the whole happily ever after thing. I still think the most interesting part of the romance is the whole making the relationship work part. And back in my late 20s, when I finally got around to writing A Ring for a Second Chance, there had to have been part of me that resented not getting my happily ever after.

I wrote several other novels before that first marriage finally collapsed. I upgraded my spouse to a new one: Husband 2.3 (he’s gotten upgrades, too). That’s our running gag, which sadly ignores the reality that I’ve been upgrading myself, too. However, my current husband and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary before I finished a novel, never mind those verdamnt voices bugging me. My husband jokes about whether he should be worried now that I’m actively writing fiction again.

But he doesn’t have to worry about me trying to hide from him by submerging myself in fiction, partly because when he’s home, I don’t write. I spend time with him. I’m writing different books, too. For the first time, I have a heroine who doesn’t have a love interest.

It’s been a lot of fun taking out A Ring for a Second Chance and doing the re-writes and adding what bits of wisdom about marriage and relationships I’ve accumulated over the years. And I could have changed a lot, made it more cynical. But it turns out, I still believe that as one story ends, another begins, and that you really do have to find your own happiness in yourself to get to “happily ever after.”

Fortunately, my head is as noisy as it’s ever been, with all manner of characters whispering and yelling and jumping up and down to get their story told. And the circumstances of my life will probably have a great deal to do with whose story gets told when and how. If the circumstances that brought A Ring for a Second Chance into being were not of the best, well, I got some darned good novels and a terrific daughter out of them. We’ll see what future circumstances bring.

Click here to buy A Ring for a Second Chance

I’d like to thank Anne for stopping by to share her story! So glad you got your happy beginning. Very cool. So dear readers, did you guess the fairytale? Do fairytales bug you or do you love the magic? What is the most interesting part of the story?

Perilously yours,

Pauline