Elizabeth Noble Talks About Her Latest Mainstream Tale!

Author Elizabeth Noble shares an insider’s look at her latest mainstream novel, When You Were Mine. Find out why she was intrigued to take on a modern blended family and her personal inspiration for this story that RT’s Leah Hansen calls “… an excellent example of a quiet, domestic tale with a big impact.”

There were a few different ideas converging in my mind when I came to write my latest novel, When You Were Mine. For me, a new book always begins with a single situation — a "what if?" …

Probably first and foremost was an email that I received — out of the blue — from an old boyfriend I hadn’t seen for many years. In my case, both of us were happily married and well settled in fulfilling lives, and it was simply lovely to hear the news and catch up with someone I had once been so fond of. But it made me think — suppose we weren’t? What might happen if two people with a past were to collide in the present at a time when they were both unhappy, unsettled or vulnerable? What might the fallout be? We all tend to view our past with rosy colored glasses on — summers were longer and hotter, right?! I thought it was an interesting subject and a great starting point …

A couple of other things fascinated me as I began to create the characters of Rob and Susannah. Modern relationships — stepchildren, blended families — they’re a rich vein of storytelling. I myself married a man who had been previously divorced, and I remember being horrified to read the statistic that stated our marriage was more likely to fail as a result. It seemed the opposite to me —  and fifteen years later it still does – as a divorcee my husband knows more, it seems to me, and is wiser, about what can go wrong with marriage, and maybe even more committed than a first time rounder to getting it right. Doug – the man my heroine Susannah is with — is a different kind of divorcee, the kind whose attitude is “I’ve been married; it didn’t work for me, I won’t do it again.” Susannah agrees to pay the price for his first failure, and finds herself trapped. She is not his children’s step-mother, and he won’t let her properly parent them, yet she plays a huge role in their lives, and they are definitely a part of why she is still with him. I know women like this in real life. On paper, it may be easy to ask why they stay … but, of course, love makes fools of us all …

And that is something else I have tried to explore in this book — the idea that good people do bad things when they’re unhappy. What Susannah and Rob do is wrong by any reasonable moral compass, but I wanted to write about it in a way that made the reader understand, and sympathize. Not one of us can say that we have always done the right thing. Life is messy and complicated. What transfixes Susannah and Rob, as they start down the wrong path, is exactly their good characters — their need to do the right thing — the question of whether the pursuit of your own happiness is more important than anything else is a fascinating one …

I hope you’ll read When You Were Mine and decide for yourself …

- Elizabeth Noble

Want to find out what happens to Susannah, Rob and the rest of their modern family? Pick up your own copy of When You Were Mine today! 

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