Eight Goodbyes by Christine Brae is one of the featured titles in BookTrib’s initial “Book Club Booster Program,” in which the book will be included as part of a gift package sent this month to 50 U.S. chapters of The Girly Book Club.
My stories have always been spurred by actual events.
Eight Goodbyes is no different.
The idea came to me after a chance encounter on a flight to New York two years ago. Since it started on an airplane, I decided to immortalize that one event and build a story around it.
As with all my other books, this story incorporates many personal experiences. It highlights the wanderlust that is a huge part of my life, the journeys I take and the relationships I’ve established while taking these trips around the world. I wanted my readers to go on this journey with me – not just one amidst the backdrop of the big, beautiful world, but one that teaches you about the brevity of life and the resilience of love.
It was difficult to find the happy medium between writing a story and writing a travelogue. I didn’t want to get lost in the settings because the main theme is still about falling in love and living life to the fullest. My characters helped alleviate that concern. All of a sudden, they sprung out of the book with their personalities and depth. Each one of them – Simon, Tessa, Jake, Riley – their voices give the book so much balance, they resonate loud enough to be heard.
The character of Simon was definitely inspired by my husband. His persistence, resilience and his words are all personally familiar to me. As a pragmatic engineer, my husband often refers to me as his “girl with her head in the clouds.” I used that line as the story’s central theme.
Despite his practical personality, Simon is the one who wears his heart on his sleeve. No matter how many times Tessa places conditions on their relationship, he stays. He waits patiently for her to see things his way. He doesn’t push her, he guides her, loves her, is happy just to spend stolen moments with her.
I’ve been blessed to have the same kind of guy in my corner. As I grow and change, succeed and fail, my husband is right by my side. I wanted to portray that goodness in a man. I wanted to shake off the stereotypical Alpha personality and write about someone different.
Tessa, no matter how annoying she is, depicts the type of woman who is most like me. Unsure and aloof, but a charging bull when it comes to opportunity and success. In many ways, she is full of herself, not because she is selfish but because she is confident and secure. Her guarded ways are a result of past pain, not of indifference.
Think of a time in your life where one single event, a word, an action, a wrong doing – served to turn your life around, made you reassess and change. We all have that one fateful day, or time or word or action. I wrote Eight Goodbyes to convey that message. When you realize that the day is short and that nothing in life is a guarantee, you become braver, you stand taller, you don’t care as much. You just close your eyes and jump.