Q: At the beginning of the novel, the formerly flirty Katrina Bailey has sworn off men and isn’t looking for a relationship in any way. But when she meets Bowie Callahan, she finds it increasingly difficult to maintain her resolve. Was it fun to play with that tension?
A: Absolutely! I loved that Bowie represented everything she once wanted (and still wants, really!) but that now she has this compelling reason to resist him. It heightened her conflict and showed how very much she had changed and matured since the early books in the series. Plus, it’s wonderfully fun to write about two people who are fiercely attracted to each other but have very compelling conflicts in the way of that attraction.
Q: Bowie’s younger half-brother, Milo, has moderate to severe autism, and at one point Kat explains to another character that “Milo has autism,” rather than “Milo is autistic.” Why did you want to make that clarification—to put the person first, then the condition—and what do you think people often misunderstand about autism?
A: The People First concept is much more than just political correctness. It emphasizes the person, not the disability – a reminder that someone’s condition does not define who he or she is. It helps rid our language of generalizations and stereotypes. People with autism and other disabilities are so much more than syndromes or labels. They have dreams, hopes, likes, dislikes, talents. Milo’s autism is only one part of the whole person.
Like with other conditions, people make sweeping generalizations that everyone who has been diagnosed with autism has certain consistent behaviors. The reality is, it’s called the autism spectrum for just that reason, because each person with autism is unique.
Q: In addition to Milo’s autism, Kat has epilepsy and Gabi, the young girl she hopes to adopt, has Down Syndrome. What myths about these kinds of conditions are you hoping to dispel?
A: I don’t know that I really set out to dispel any myths. I did want to show that all children with disabilities deserve a safe, warm, loving home with people who want to help them grow and thrive. In Kat’s case, I wanted to show that even though she no longer suffers seizures and outgrew them around puberty – something that happens to many children – the impact of that really shaped the person she became. As a teacher, it made her more empathetic to her students who struggle academically and also more willing to open her heart to children like Milo and Gabi. As tough as it was for her to go through as a child, she grew into a stronger, more resilient person because of it.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your writing process? How do you structure your writing, and what does a typical day of writing look like for you?
A: I’m not sure I have a “typical” writing day. Each one seems different, with some new challenge keeping me away from that blank page! In general terms, I write during the time my kids are in school, then I will often write again at night after they’re in bed. I’m lucky that my office is just next door, so my commute is easy, even during bad snowstorms.
I write really rough first drafts, then edit and rewrite, and edit and rewrite. I compare it to sculpting, more than anything, taking a raw piece of rock or marble and chipping away at it bit by bit until I can uncover the story within.
Q: We have to ask, what’s next for you? Are you planning more Haven Point novels? If so, can you give us some hints about what readers can look forward to next?
A: I just finished the next book in the series, which is the long-awaited (and frequently requested) story of Jamie Caine! He is a sibling to many characters who appeared in my earlier Hope’s Crossing series and it was so much fun to once more bridge the two series. For some reason, readers really connected with him, and I’ve had many people ask me to write his book. It’s been on my mind for a long time, but I had to wait until I found the perfect heroine for him. I never would have expected quiet Julia Winston to be the perfect one for this sexy pilot but, as always, my characters love to prove me wrong. SUGAR PINE TRAIL comes out in October, and I really hope readers adore them together because I loved writing their book!
IS THERE REALLY SUCH A THING AS A LIFE-CHANGING KISS? SERENITY HARBOR FROM NEW YORK TIMES AND USA TODAY BESTSELLER RAEANNE THAYNE ON SALE: July 2017
$7.99 U.S. / $9.99 CAN.
In New York Times and USA Today bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne’s newest book in her wildly popular Haven Point series, SERENITY HARBOR (HQN Books; on-sale July 2017), one kiss might be enough to change the course of three people’s lives.
Tech millionaire Bowie Callahan is about the last person that schoolteacher Katrina Bailey wants to work for. She’s only back in charming Haven Point for one month, just to see her sister get married, and then she’s heading back to Colombia where her teaching job, and someone special, are waiting. Not to mention, as far as Kat can see,
Bowie is arrogant, entitled and not up to the task of caring for his young half brother, Milo. Milo, who is on the autism spectrum, may have just been dropped in Bo’s lap and sure, Bo is trying to do right by him, but it’s obvious that Bo’s job takes top priority. Or at least that’s what Kat thinks. So when Bo convinces her to take a temporary, three week nanny position with Milo, Kat is really doing it for the cash, and because Milo is pretty darn sweet. Kat is desperately trying to save enough to help adopt an orphaned little girl back in Colombia and if this short-term job can get her there, then she’s willing to do pretty much anything. But as her kindness and patience work wonders with Milo, she realizes there's more to sexy, wary Bo than she'd ever realized.
Bo never imagined he'd be tasked with caring for a sibling he didn't know existed. Then again, he never pictured himself impulsively kissing vibrant, compassionate Katrina in the moonlight, especially when he can’t afford to lose her. She’s the only thing keeping him and Milo together until the new, permanent nanny shows up. But after that kiss, Bo realizes that he might be the one to make Kat’s dream of family come true…and he’s hoping there's room in it for him, and Milo, too.
PRAISE FOR NEW YORK TIMES AND USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR RAEANNE THAYNE
“Entertaining, heart-wrenching, and totally involving, this multi-threaded story overflows with characters readers will adore.” —Library Journal on Evergreen Springs (starred review)
"Romance, vivid characters and a wonderful story; really who could ask for more?" —Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times bestselling author
"This quirky, funny, warmhearted romance will draw readers in and keep them enthralled to the last romantic page." —Library Journal on Christmas in Snowflake Canyon
"RaeAnne Thayne is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors... Once you start reading, you aren't going to be able to stop." —Fresh Fiction
"RaeAnne has a knack for capturing those emotions that come from the heart." —RT Book Reviews
“A sometimes heartbreaking tale of love and relationships in a small Colorado town.... Poignant and sweet.” —Publishers Weekly on Christmas in Snowflake Canyon
“Her engaging storytelling...will draw readers in from the very first page.” —RT Book Reviews on Riverbend Road
Meet the Author
New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne loves words. Her love affair started as soon as she learned to read, when she used to devour anything she could get her hands on: cereal boxes, encyclopedias, the phone book, you name it! She loves the way words sound, the way they look on the page and the amazing way they can be jumbled together in so many combinations to tell a story. Her love of reading and writing those words led her to a fifteen-year career in journalism as a newspaper reporter and editor. Through it all, she dreamed of writing the kind of stories she loved best. She sold her first book in 1995 and since then she’s published more than 40 titles. Her books have won many honors, including three RITA® Award nominations from the Romance Writers of America and a Career Achievement Award from RT Book Reviews. RaeAnne finds inspiration in the rugged northern Utah mountains where she lives with her hero of a husband and their children. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at www.raeannethayne.com.