Publication Date: April 1, 2016
As a timeslip saga blends with a girl's struggles to gain meaning from her life, Fated Memories brings with it a unique brand of time-travel lessons as it uses a journey into the past to reveal not just romance and war, but how meaning can be gleaned from everyday life, choices, and circumstances
A woman, a war, a vision of the future past...
Burdened with the scars of a tortured childhood and a shattered romance, Kitty is being forced to resign from the dull, anonymous job she’s been hiding behind. With her life in shambles and her friends moving on without her, she jumps at her cousin, Maggie’s, invitation to visit. However, Maggie’s new boyfriend, Simon, has a secret that accidentally hurls the trio a hundred and fifty years into the past. Trapped in the midst of the bloodiest war in American history, the events that unfold will require more mettle than Kitty’s ever had.
Kitty’s hands shook and her vision blurred with tears. It didn’t matter. After having read the short note three times, the words ‘… transfer to the second floor’ had been engraved on her brain. She’d found the letter in her mail slot at the hospital where she worked, just this morning. That’s Richard’s floor! The wound from their breakup still scarred her heart. What do I do now? Quit my job?
The elevator doors opened and Richard Delaney stepped off surrounded by his physical therapy staff, who were tittering at one of his clever quips. Kitty wheeled around, making a beeline for the restroom. She couldn’t let him or those bitchy nurses see her cry. In her haste to become invisible, she miscalculated the corner of the wall and, smacking her shoulder against it, bounced back flat on her ass. Silence washed over the unit as everyone’s eyes turned to her.
Flushed with embarrassment, she scrambled to her feet, faced her audience and curtsied. “I’m here all week, folks, don’t miss the show!” Then she burst through the lady’s room door.
Kitty locked herself in the stall, working to salvage her dignity while dialing her cell phone for her pillar of strength; the one who always knew what to do.
“Ma?” Despite her efforts to control it, her voice still shook.
“Kitten, honey, are you crying? What’s the matter, are those silly boys in school teasing you again? Should I go speak with the principal?”
“Funny, Mom, no I only need to talk to someone. Remember when I told you the hospital makes the ward clerks reapply for their jobs every few years so they can weed out the ones they no longer want? Well, it’s that time again. I got my take-it-or-leave-it offer today and it says they’re bumping me from the step-down unit, to the pits of the med/surg dungeon. If I don’t accept it, I’ll be out of a job. I don’t know what to do.”
“Mom, are you still there?”
“Yes, I’m here.” She blew out a long breath. “Kitty, you’re a smart lady, but if you don’t respect yourself enough to stand up and take charge of your life, you’ll always be at the mercy of others. Remember, the choices we make follow us and decide our fate.”
“I know, Mom, but…”
“The best advice I have for you, sweetheart, is to move home with us so you can go back to college and learn more marketable skills.”
Kitty had battled with them before over this. In her mind, living with her parents at her age was the same as having a big red letter “L” tattooed on her forehead. “I see, okay. Um, I have to get back to work now. I’ll talk to you later, Ma. Thanks for listening.”
As she washed off the mascara tracks from her tears, she studied her reflection in the restroom mirror, mulling over the misery that was her life. You’re almost thirty years old, Kitty Trausch, what have you got to show for it? A man? Not since Richard dumped me last year. A career? More like a crappy job that’s become unbearable.
Kitty remembered her mom’s mantra “When the world gets rough,” she’d say, “remind yourself of the good things you have.” She thought hard for a positive slant, but only came up with her prized closet full of shoes and salvation from her acne plague. Great, at least that and two-seventy-five will get me on the subway. Oh, and one more good thing. Rooming with Sonia allowed her to walk the short distance to the hospital and not have to ride the train from Tuckahoe to Manhattan. Wow, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude.
Tell us about your book? How did it get started?
Fated Memories is a story of time travel, romance and one woman’s journey to self-realization. When I researched my father’s family tree, I was thrilled to find ancestors who had fought in the Civil War. After reading everything I could find on the daily lives of the soldiers and their families, I wondered how a woman of our time—albeit a neurotic, emotionally scarred one—would fare if dumped there, unprepared. Coming from a society of empowered women, could she survive in a world where women have no status? With a transport method devised, two companions to keep her on track, and a few opportunities for romance, a novel was born.
How much research was involved in writing your book? How did you go about it?
It was important to get the circumstances of the era right, so I used a variety of resources. I read books and consulted old newspapers on the conditions of the camps and battle strategies as well as personal accounts from Civil War nurses and soldiers. The internet provided a wealth of material on medical practices, battle maps, uniforms and the exploits of the Bucktails unit that Simon joins. An excellent resource turned out to be the genealogy websites where people posted letters and newspaper accounts of their ancestors depicting their daily routines and special accomplishments.
What do you like to read?
My reading tastes are at all ends of the spectrum. Like my character, Kitty, I’m a sci-fi nut. I’ve read almost everything Stephen King has written. Other worlds, black holes, wormholes and other time vortexes fascinate me, but I’m not above curling up with a steamy romance novel or an action packed spy thriller. As long as the players speak to me and transport my imagination to wherever they are, the genre doesn’t matter.
What is your favorite part of writing?
Constructing the characters is by far my favorite part. To make them believable and relatable, I make a sketch of each one’s personal life, dreams, successes, failures, family ties, etc. I try to imbue them with a few of the traits displayed by my own acquaintances. Knowing how they will react to each other and to what I have in store for them helps me develop the story.
Where do you write? Is there something you need in order to write (music, drinks)?
The window in my office faces a serene lake with ducks and seagulls squawking in the distance. When I’m stuck for the perfect word or phrase, I gaze out at the light sparkling on the water and allow the alpha brain waves to flow. If that doesn’t work, I do the opposite and munch on chips, crackers, anything chocolate or high in carbs to stimulate my creativity. The calories are balanced out with long walks around the lake or, if I’ve been especially brilliant, I reward myself with a couple hours trolling the department store racks.
What would your advice be for authors or aspiring in regards to writing?
Jot down every idea for a story that comes into your head so you don’t forget it. Your list will be invaluable when you come up dry or just need inspiration.
I wrote my first draft entirely by the seat of my pants and wound up having to slash off about a third of the manuscript. From this experience I can tell you to outline as much of the book as you can. It’s worth taking the time up front to ensure a well-developed and structured book in the end. Once the outline is complete and weak points and any areas where the pace lags are defined, the story practically writes itself.
About the Author
A transplant from the concrete sidewalks of New York City to the sunny beaches of Southern California, Ms. Carney enjoys writing stories about women who are strong—whether by nature or circumstance—and the men who love and respect them for who they are. Things that make her happy are rainy days (too much sun is a bore), writing the perfect first line, family get-togethers, reading books that grab her heart, and finding new connections in her genealogy research. Bold coffee and dark chocolate fuel the artistic fire inspired by her family, friends, and psycho, lizard hunting cat.