My latest novel, Freefall: A Divine Comedy, explores, among many things, female relationships and how they evolve over the years. As someone who has valued my friendships with females and males, it was interesting to explore how people can relate if they either haven’t seen each other for a long period or have connected only infrequently, as is true for three of my four major characters. They had been close friends in their late teens and early twenties, a time when identities are still fluid and forming.
The questions that started me out on this quest? What would happen if these four women had a reunion prior to their sixtieth birthdays? Would they still find any common ground? Or would they flounder, unable to pick up the threads that had bound them together when they were younger? (Click to tweet)
These characters have their origins in women I hung out with in my younger days. Naïve but adventurous, we moved from Calgary to Toronto on a whim, a major transition for all of us. Calgary was not much more than a cow town at that time, its population around 250,000. Toronto was…well, Toronto. A world-class city even then. In our late teens, we floundered, overwhelmed with so much freedom and so many choices.
When I returned to Calgary a couple of years later, my ties to these women had frayed and I didn’t expect they would ever be renewed. Writing Freefall was my attempt at investigating the “what if” component. What if we had been thrown together in our later years? Could we recapture any of the earlier buzz we’d felt with one another? Or would such a reunion fall flat, there being no foundation for resurrecting our previous union.
If you read Freefall, you’ll discover how I grappled as a writer with these questions and the results. I was surprised at the individuality of each woman as she took shape on the page, there being four distinctive identities that emerged, each with her own history and baggage. Of course, while the characters have seeds in my personal experience, they are mostly an invention with very little relation to the actual women. The narrative gives the invented females an opportunity to discover what they currently have in common and to embrace a new age, the 21stCentury, while extending their reunion in Venice, Italy, and celebrating their sixtieth birthdays there.
Reviews of the novel have already started to appear at Goodreads, even though Freefall won’t be officially released until 1/1/19. I hope you’ll take a look when you have a chance.