The Novel Approach welcomes author Brynn Stein today on the For Mac blog tour. Brynn talks a bit about the theme of sacrifice in the novel, answers a few questions for us, and is also offering multiple chances to win some great prizes, including an autographed paperback copy of For Mac, an e-copy of the book, or the chance for THREE winners to receive an e-copy of any book from Brynn’s backlist titles. Just click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.
On Sacrifice: I think, when a child is totally dependent on one person, or feels they are, it sets up a situation where they feel they owe that person everything. I’ve seen this happen in real life over and over. It’s dangerous in some respects because it can set up situations like Branson’s, though, thank goodness, most usually aren’t that severe. When a person feels they owe another everything, they deny who they are and what they need, and that’s never good. I’ve lost (and almost lost) loved ones to situations like this.
Don’t get me wrong, I think there is such a thing as healthy self-sacrifice. Mothers give up their own desires to put their children first. Missionaries give up better paying jobs to help others. Strangers give up money, time, and/or energy to help those in need. Those are healthy ways to sacrifice for others. But in all those cases, that’s a choice. Those people choose to give up something in order to help others. They don’t feel they owe the other group. They don’t feel they have to give up those things. They don’t feel they have to give up everything.
It’s when motivations cross from choice to obligation (at least in the person’s mind) that sacrifice becomes unhealthy, and that’s where Branson is when we meet him. That kind of mindset doesn’t just go away, even when he can finally admit that it doesn’t make logical sense. He’s going to need help to get over that. Fortunately, he finds that help. Not everyone does.
TNA: Was there ever a time during the writing of the book that you became frustrated with Branson for denying himself? And if so, was it difficult for you to slow down the pace of the story on the way to the resolution in order to fully explore and do justice to him as a character?
Brynn: All of the above having been said, though, it was frustrating at times to see Branson stuck in that never-ending cycle. Sometimes I wanted to just slap him and tell him to get over himself. But if I wrote a quick fix to that kind of anguish, it would not have been true to life and I wouldn’t have been happy with the overall outcome. Emotional healing takes time.
TNA: What do you find are some of the more satisfying things about giving a character like Branson a happy ending?
Brynn: Emotional healing takes time and hard work, but it’s possible, and that was rewarding. To help Branson reach that. I’ve seen people in my real life struggle through situations like this. Some have had happy endings. Some haven’t. It was nice to be able to write a happy ending.
Blurb: Branson Farrell lost his parents when he was thirteen, and for the last ten years his brother, Mac, eight years his senior, has taken care of him. But Mac’s love came at a price. Both brothers were raised to believe being gay was completely unacceptable, and Branson has almost convinced himself he can be what Mac expects. When he looks at a man in a bar and Mac notices, Mac drags him off in horror.
Mac’s distress and disgust leads to a car accident that leaves Branson injured and Mac in a coma. Branson heals and stays at Mac’s bedside, but when Mac doesn’t recover, he is moved to a long-term care facility. There, Branson meets openly gay, confident, and attractive Liam Sullivan. Liam stirs feelings Branson thought he’d rid himself of, and to honor his brother, Branson fights tooth and nail against his attraction. When the cost of denying who he is becomes too high, Branson must battle a lifetime of hatred that’s been beaten into his body and mind to try for something of his own.
Buy Link: Dreamspinner Press
About the Author: I’ve always loved to write and wrote fan fiction before I even knew what it was called. When computers came along, with online communities and places to publish fan fiction, I wrote even more. Then a friend convinced me to try to have an altered version of an AU (alternate universe, meaning all but original) published. My manuscript was accepted and now I’m a ‘published author’.