Thursday, 22 April 2010

Character Spotlight ~ Jennifer Arrington's Katherine Douglas & Michael Manning

Katherine Douglas & Michael Manning

Jennifer Arrington has written a novel from the heart about a disease that has touched her own family and hopes it provides hope for others. Enjoy this insight into a mother desperate to help her child and a doctor unwilling to look beyond his own knowledge.


Brief physical description

I didn't want either of them to be too good looking... :) Katherine has sleek auburn hair, green eyes, and a slightly freckled complexion from time spent outdoors. She is a minimalist, a busy single mom who doesn't have time for hair and make-up and pedicures. Her favourite clothes are a sundress and sandals.

Michael has brown wavy hair that, to his chagrin, responds poorly to Florida humidity. His blue eyes are surrounded by many laugh lines, he has strong features, and his presence overshadows his appearance.

Actor/famous person

Honestly, Rel, I don't know who they would look like, but whoever you pick, don't let them be too perfect....I wrote the descriptions of their appearances in after I had written the book, only because my editor made me :) I wanted the focus to be on who they were and what they were going through, not what they looked like.

Rel: It is hard to find non perfect actors - LOL! I've gone with Julieanne Nicholson and Josh Hopkins :)

Strengths and weaknesses

Katherine's biggest weakness is her fear of change. After her husband's death, she created a safe environment for herself where she felt she had control and order. And that is her main obstacle towards loving again - she doesn't want to leave herself open to loss. Michael recognizes this in her and challenges her on it. Initially she is extremely affronted that someone could call her hard earned safety net “living your life in a bubble” but when she faces the truth in Michael's words....well, you will have to read the book!

Conversely, Katherine's strength is her ability to keep going in the face of difficulty. She also knows that her best source of comfort and guidance is God's Word. Frequently throughout the book, we see Katherine escaping with her Bible and her journal and we are able to follow her progress as she grows from a woman afraid of new love to one capable of trusting God with her future.

Michael's biggest weakness is pride. He doesn't like that he can't pinpoint the cause of Alyssa's illness, so he does what many ego-centric people do: refuses to acknowledge that there is a real problem. When Katherine disagrees, he is angry. Out of his biggest weakness, though, comes the strength to face and forsake his pride.

Quirk (if any)

This is only mentioned once in the book, but Katherine believes that the piles in her house are screaming at her! The laundry is saying, “Wash me,” the schoolwork is hollering, “Grade me,” the food thawing on the counter is yelling, “Cook me,” and the dust is screaming, “Remove me!” How many times since I've written that part of the book have I imagined my own piles screaming at me....It's almost as if Katherine has passed her quirk onto me :)

Your inspiration for the character

This is going to sound funny....but women were the inspiration for Katherine. We have so much on our plates and I wanted Katherine to be someone confronting issues that women all around me confront: the loss of a loved one, a sick child, trying to balance home and work, while at the same time trying to live out their personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I wanted Katherine to be authentic and I wanted her to find her source of strength and comfort from God's Word as a gentle reminder that it is God who is in control and who is intimately connected with our everyday struggles.

Ironically, after I had finished the book, we went through a terrible trial with my eldest daughter's health that lasted over two years. I kept telling myself, that if I was going to write a novel entitled, Trusting for Tomorrow, I had to be able to live that out myself...

My initial inspiration for Michael would probably be a conglomeration of all the terrible doctors I ever saw in my six-year quest to get to the bottom of my own illness. We've all seen such a physician at least once in our lives--those doctors who blame our health issues on stress, depression, or something imagined then scratch out a prescription and send us on our way. However, Michael faces his pride, and when he does, he becomes the man that any woman could easily fall in love with. I suspect if you met my husband you would see where the idea for this “new” Michael came from :)

Background to the story

The inspiration for Trusting for Tomorrow came out of my own experiences with celiac disease. After six years of unexplained health problems, I went on a gluten-free diet and many of my health problems went away. I wanted to do something that would prevent others from wasted years of ill health, so I decided to write a novel that highlighted the effects and difficulties of celiac disease.

But, I didn't want the book to be about me, so I created Katherine, a single mother whose child, Alyssa, is plagued with unexplained health problems. And since every good book has to have a romance (!), enter Michael, a paediatrician. At first, this seems the perfect match-up until Michael refuses to acknowledge Alyssa's illness, and Katherine finds herself battling emotions that she thought she'd relegated to the past. Suddenly the safe life that Katherine has created is no longer predictable, she can't find help for her daughter, and her emotions are in shambles...

Thanks Jennifer for providing this spotlight on such short notice! My review will be coming soon :)

On Monday the spotlight shines on Micah Taylor from James L Rubart's exceptional debut novel, Rooms. Be sure to check it out!

Relz Reviewz Extras

Visit Jennifer's blog

Buy Jennifer's book at Amazon or B&N


kinsey said...

I LOVED this book! I felt like I really knew the characters. I would highly recommend this book to anyone!

Unknown said...

Trusting for Tomorrow was a pleasure to read and was one of those treasured books that once you start reading it, you can't put it down. It is well-written and the characters are carefully thought out. It is a great read and I look forward to reading more books by Ms. Arrington.

Anonymous said...

May I begin by saying I am not a reader! Upon receiving this book, I picked it up figuring it to be just another book that I would not finish. To my surprise, this was NOT the case! I found myself unable to put the book down until one night I stayed up until 4:00 am to finish the book! A GREAT read!

reneƩ in sc

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed reading such a beautiful and well writen story. It was sad and very touching because it is about everyday hardships that touch us all in some ways. I hope Jennifer will be writing more books and SOON!!!!

Anonymous said...

Summer is coming and I think that Trusting for Tomorrow would be a great beach read. It is set in Jupiter, Florida and in addition to the romantic storyline, the plight of Katherine and her daughter make it quite a page turner.

Anonymous said...

Could NOT put this book down! It was awesome!!!! I locked myself in my bedroom so my husband and kids could not find me...that is HOW MUCH I enjoyed reading this book! Also, the author clearly presents the gospel so this is a great witnessing tool as well. Can't wait for the next book!

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