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Random Musings

Book Club Girl - Guest Post

When I read a good book, I don’t want it to end. I want to talk about it, hear what others think of it. A book club is the perfect venue. When I get together with friends who have read the same book, all of us eager to discuss it, it’s like entering a private world where we know the characters and want to keep them alive just a little longer.

People often ask me how I decide what to write. Basically, I write the stories that I would like to read. I love stories that explore human relationships. While the ideas for my stories typically spring from a single event—often an historical event—the focus is not on the event itself but, instead, on the relationships that are changed in living through the event.

In writing The Cherry Harvest, I began with a little-known fact: during WWII, German prisoners were brought to the United States and held until the end of the war. My story is not about those prisoners as much as it is about a farming community where the prisoners are sent to work.

Picture a sweet cherry orchard in Northern Wisconsin in 1944. The war in Europe is raging. Growers have suffered a year without a harvest because the migrant workers, who had picked the cherries in the past, have gone off to higher paying jobs in the Army or at the local shipyards. Farmers are on the brink of losing their orchards. When the story opens, 37-year-old Charlotte, a farm wife and mother, invites POWs onto the family orchard to save it from ruin.

The community is at odds over bringing the prisoners to local farms, and Charlotte feels the chill. When Charlotte’s husband invites one of the German prisoners into their home to tutor 17-year-old Kate, family relationships begin to falter as well.

Any good story has something compelling at stake, as well as characters willing to “risk it all” to get it. Saving the family farm is what compels Charlotte to action, but doing so with German POWs puts the family and the community at risk.

Though I start writing the story that I want to read, somewhere along the line I begin to think of my readers. “I can’t wait to see what they say about this!” I would love to be a little fly in the room when book clubs discuss The Cherry Harvest.

Please visit my website and let me know your thoughts: www.lucysanna.com. You can also find me on Facebook​a> and Twitter ​a>.
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