In a few posts, last week, I introduced a little about what my book is about and the story behind it (see here and while you are looking around, don't forget to check out my not-quite-viral-but-almost-mitochondrial giveaway).
After exhaustive internal discussion and spirited debate between the legal counsel, PR department, and Board of Trustees here at bradenbell.com, we've decided to start introducing some of the characters, and the chapters in which they are first mentioned. Previously, I posted the Prologue, which you can read here.
I'm starting with Stephanie. She is actually in the second chapter, so I'm skipping one (I'll do that later). However, there were recently some excellent posts on depression over at Mormon Mommy Blogs (see here and here) and that made me think that introducing Stephanie was timely.
Stephanie is one of my favorite characters. She is a young mother with two children. Her husband is in law school. They live in a tiny apartment on no money. She has a beautiful voice and is a talented actress. She spent her high school and college years performing in a number of plays, and she was always the star.
The contrast with her former life and her current situation are painful for her, but what makes all of it worse is that she is suffering from serious depression.
As the book opens, she is mostly just numb and empty, interspersed with sharp moments of despair and hopelessness. Her husband is trying to be supportive and patient, but is confused and hurt at her distance and unavailability.
Stephanie popped into my mind based on a few different experiences. When I was directing a road show many years ago, I remember a young mother auditioning. She had a lovely voice and mentioned that she had done some performing in high school, but hadn't done anything since then. I started asking myself a series of "What if" questions--what if she had been a musical theatre major in college? What if she was yearning to get back in a play and this was her only chance? What if...
Then, a few months later, my wife was telling me about a friend of hers who was suffering from terrible post-partum depression.
That was the lightning strike that electrified the primordial soup of "What ifs" and brought Stephanie to life.
If you are interested in reading Stephanie's first chapter, click here. I hope you enjoy it.
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