Love Unfinished by Darian Wilk
Published October 15, 2011
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Soul mates from the past leave their love unfinished when a tragic accident ends their lives on their wedding day. Yet they are destined to meet again to fulfill that love in new incarnations, leading vastly different lives.
Emma thought she had chosen the right path, but too late does she realize her mistake as her husband reveals the monster behind his smile; morphing their fairytale image with loveless obligation. Trapped in a broken marriage to a powerful, abusive husband, she knows this is not the life she was destined to live. As her hope for love withers, she meets James, her love from a lifetime ago.
Emma cannot deny the love pulling her toward James, but courage to abandon her marriage wavers and unknowingly puts her love on the line. If Emma has any hope of life and love, she must trust the bond with James and be with the man destiny has spent two lifetimes guiding her toward. Are they fated to fulfill their love, or will they once again, leave love unfinished?
This was truly one of the best love stories I have read in a long time. It was beautifully written and flowed very well. I really felt what the characters were feeling as I was reading and it moved a few tears a couple of times.
The story begins with the meeting and marriage of Carol and Ted. They were involved in a terrible car accident back in 1954 which took both of their lives. This of course is the unfinished love that will hopefully be fulfilled by Emma and James. Emma is stuck in an unhappy marriage with a husband that does not love her. James is an antiques dealer who runs his own business with a partner. Was their meeting fate or just coincidental?
How did you come up with the storyline for Love Unfinished?
The idea for Love Unfinished actually came to me through a writing exercise, which I was actually doing for another project I had in mind. It was a journal, free writing exercise, where you write whatever comes to you, as it comes to you. Going back to that journal, here is exactly what I wrote:
“Ok, so I’m supposed to open my mind and write…ok, I’m writing, see the words o n t he page? Write what comes to me, well, this isn’t looking like much now is it? Where are the ideas? My finger hurts, why do I always squeeze a pen so tightly? And now I have a blue smudge on my finger, maybe I should use my laptop. I wonder why the task of actually writing, with a pen and paper, seems like such a daunting task these days? Maybe technology is ruining us. Maybe life would be better like the good old days, when kids rode bikes instead of texting, when women stayed home with their kids, when life was simple and not so muddled with pretend busyness.”
And in finishing the last sentence I envisioned older times, the 40’s or 50’s, and a young couple appeared to me. I decided it was there wedding day, and the storyline played itself out in my mind like a movie, one scene unfolding after another. All I could do was whip open my laptop and start typing notes as quickly as the story came to me.
Do you have a favorite character in the series?
I like all of the characters i n t heir own way, even Craig, Emma’s husband, because I love to hate him. But I think it would be a tie for me between James and Emma, because I can relate to them in different ways. James is laid back, so natural and open. Emma has that inner need for true love, that desire to not have just a husband, but a soul mate; I think that’s a feeling a lot of women can relate to.
Who is your favorite author/s?
I grew up loving mystery’s, they covered my bookshelf, my dresser, the window sills, they were everywhere! Ed McBain and John Sanford hit the top of my list for that genre, to this day I would read any of there books without even reading the back cover blurb. Anne Tyler also is at the top of my list, for her flare in creating characters anyone can relate to. They’re flawed, natural, have a certain spunk and yet a normalcy to them making them so vivid they practically jump off the page. I can only hope to achieve a fraction of that talent.
Are there any characters in the book that is modeled after someone in your life?
Yes, one actually. Carol, the young bride, when she enters her ‘waiting place’ after death and is greeted by her grandmother; her grandmother is a blend of my mom and my grandma. From the salt and pepper hair like my grandma had, to calling Carol ‘Pumpkin’, to the gentle gestures my mom always used when comforting me. I lost my grandma years ago to breast cancer, and lost my mom two years ago to ovarian cancer. I think I modeled this character after them both because losing them so early, for me, left a very unfinished feeling, much like Carol had.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Famous, with a giant room filled with shoes, basking i n t he sun someplace warm, I have a butler named Hugo, and an 89’ Mustang GT i n t he garage! Really though, with at least 3 more books under my belt, and not having to work as hard for every sale. I think my main goal is to feel established, whether I stay an Indie author, or get picked up by a publisher; to have created enough of a name that some people will have heard of me, be waiting for the next book, or re-reading the last one. To be a somewhat known name in my area, and branching out from there. A girl can dream!
What do you want your readers to get from this story?
There are a lot of different things a reader hopes to find in a book; an escape from a bad day, to remember the rush of young love, the hope of true love conquering all, the journey of a woman changing her life for the better despite the risks, characters they can relate to – real and flawed just like we are. And I think Love Unfinished has a lot of those things to offer readers, essentially giving them the chance to take from it whatever they hoped to find. I want them to feel connected to the characters, to see i n t he characters a bit of themselves, a bit of their struggles or journey to change. I want them to feel as if they know the characters like real people, and have somehow shared the journey together.
Do you play certain music when you write?
Yes and no. For certain scenes, when I have to dig deep to churn emotions you normally want to avoid, I can’t have any music on at all. I need absolute silence. I need to feel the emotions, and music distracts me from that. But for other scenes, I often play music suited to that scene to help set the mood. If it’s a romantic scene, I’ll play something like “At Last” by Etta James. Which, a side note, was our wedding song and it makes a cameo i n t he book. If the scene is fun or silly, I’ll play something from the 80’s because hey, that music makes me happy! I mean really, how can ‘Footloose’ not make you want to dance!
How do you approach character development?
One of the very first things I do is interview my characters, all of them, the main characters and minor characters. I ask them questions about everything, most of which will never hit the pages of the book. I’ll ask them things like why they got married, to which political party they vote for, to their favorite movie, to if they like to cook or eat out. I think it not only clearly establishes their voice separate from mine, but it helps me know them on such intimate levels, often better than I know myself; so I can easily see in each scene how they would react or think. And I’ll do this a few times, and sometimes as I’m writing the book. For instance, i n t he book I’m working on now, Reinventing Claire, she resisted a particular scene over and over. I opened up a new file and wrote, “Why won’t you play nice i n t his scene, it’s a pivotal moment for your life.” She sharply replied, “Because he is a tool, and I don’t want to be nice to someone as ridiculous as that guy.” I rely o n t hese ‘interviews’ with my characters to get to know them, but also as a reminder to myself to not force my voice o n t hem, but let them use their own.
Thanks so much Ms. Wilk! We wish you much luck and can’t wait to see what you do next!