May 1, 2012

The Good Father by Diane Chamberlain: Guest Post & Giveaway {Excerpt Scavenger Hunt}

MIRA; April 24, 2012
368 pages; $14.95 U.S./$17.95 CAN.
ISBN-13: 978-0-7783-1346-5
Four years ago, nineteen-year-old Travis Brown had to make a life changing decision. While his friends were out partying and meeting girls, Travis was at home raising his newborn daughter on his own – changing diapers and working to keep food on the table. But he’s never regretted his decision. Bella is the light of his life – the reason behind every move he makes – and so far, she is fed. Cared for. Safe.

But when Travis loses his construction job and his home, the security he’s worked so hard to create for Bella begins to crumble…

Just when Travis is at a loss for solutions, a job in Raleigh opens up with the power to change their situation. It has to. But upon arriving in Raleigh, there is no job, only an offer to participate in a onetime criminal act that promises quick money and no repercussions.

With nowhere else to turn, Travis must make another choice for his daughter’s sake. Even if it means he might lose her.

Today I have Diane on the blog to answer the following question: 
How did closing your private psychotherapy practice influence your writing? Do you have any regrets or do you still believe in following your dreams?

When I first started writing, I’d hoped to continue my private practice, but as the demands of my writing career grew, it quickly became clear I would have to pick one or the other. I loved them both, but my dream of being a writer went back to my childhood. Plus, I knew how hard I’d worked on my books and how fortunate I was to be published. I couldn’t give that up.

It was very hard to end my practice. I’d published three books by that time, but my identity had still very much been connected to being a clinical social worker. Plus, my practice had been primarily with adolescents and I would miss working with them so much. Many of my clients touched my life as much as I touched theirs. I still hear from a few of them and it’s wonderful to see them grow into a happy adulthood and know I had a small part in that.

Obviously, I believe in following your dreams, but I also believe in making enough money to keep a roof over your head and food on the table. In my case, my husband of twenty years was willing to carry the main financial burden as I built my writing career—or so I thought. The very week that I ended my practice, however, he told me he’d fallen in love with someone else, and just like that my “perfect marriage” was over and with it, my financial support. It was a panicky time in many ways. However, I signed a wonderful new contract and for the first time, I actually could support myself writing. That was sheer luck, though, and I don’t advise quitting your day job without a safety net. The bottom line for me is that I feel very blessed to have had two careers that have allowed me to touch people in a positive way.

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Excerpt:
"I'm hungry, Daddy," she said as she pulled on her shoes.

I opened some Tic-Tacs and shook a couple into her hand. "We'll get breakfast in a minute," I said, as she popped the Tic-Tacs into her mouth.



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