Falling Down Girl, the first novel in a series, about a woman trying to create something new in her life after it doesn’t look the way she thought it would. Her 67 year old mother is a wild eccentric, enjoying a hearty dating life, while our 30-something protagonist spends most nights with her cat—who doesn’t even seem to like her.
My first novel, Leaving Walloon, was loosely based on some of the experiences of my childhood with my very difficult family situation. It’s heavy duty. It’s about abuse and neglect, and hyper-vigilance. It’s about loss, and possible redemption. It was a painful process to write. Falling Down Girl, is the antidote to all that heaviness. It’s light and silly and the characters (all also loosely based on people I have known and loved, including my mother) were, and are so much fun to play with, that the writing felt like hanging out with fun, flawed, and interesting people—my favorite kind!
Also, I have become connected to the notion of bringing joy into the world. As people are reading this book, they keep reaching out to tell me how they are laughing aloud, and sharing passages with their (often startled) family members. I absolutely ADORE the idea that people are reading to each other because the book is bringing them joy. There is something about it that feels like a real contribution to the world.
I started writing Falling Down Girl the day after I returned from a magical trip to Paris with my bestie, Melissa Wilson. It was literally raining the day we left, and we were both so devastated to be leaving, that the first line of the book popped into my head, “It is raining the day we leave Paris.” Driving up the Champs, the moment was exactly as I describe in the book. I knew I was on to something. The character of Allie, her eccentric mother, and even the angry Parisian Cat, Fever, came to me on the 9 hour plane ride home. I began writing the following day. As with Leaving Walloon, it took me a long time to complete, but now that I’ve published two books in two years, I’m on a roll. The sequel to Falling Down Girl is already about half-way completed.
These characters are so vivid to me, and so alive that when I sit down to write, they literally begin speaking to me. I see them in the room they are in, in the situation they are in, and I can hear them speak. I only have to connect to them, and the story continues. They actually surprise me sometimes and I laugh aloud while writing. I believe that when characters are so real for a writer that we that know exactly how they will react to any given moment, we have created characters of resonance. These people are in no way perfect. They are beyond quirky, beyond flawed, and those flaws make them real.
I believe that writers should love their characters, (even if they are not very warm and fuzzy or lovable) and then writing is always just hanging out with people you adore.
It is my hope that people will spend time with the characters in the Falling Down Girl series (I see at least three sequels right now!) and enjoy them. The world can use some laughter and joy right now. I’d love to be some small force to help create it.
Website Cheri L. R. Taylor
Linda K. Sienkiewicz is the author of In the Context of Love: a new contemporary fiction about love, lust, and family secrets.
Angelica Schirrick had always suspected there was something deeply disturbing about her family, but the truth was more than she bargained for.
“Linda K. Sienkiewicz’s powerful and richly detailed debut novel is at once a love story, a cautionary tale, and an inspirational journey.” ~ Bonnie Jo Campbell, author of National Book Award Finalist, American Salvage, and critically acclaimed Once Upon a River, and Mothers, Tell Your Daughters