Author Samantha Stroh Bailey looks at how our pasts and the people we have met along the way shape who we are today…
We writers are always searching for a plot. My ideas generally come to me in the dead of night or just as I’m falling asleep. Finding Lucas, my debut novel, is no exception. Lying in bed beside my awesome husband, I was thinking of how long we’d been together. 17 fantastic years, which meant that I was no longer the fresh-faced and bright-eyed 22 year old girl he’d first met. The years since then have passed so quickly, and I began to reminisce. My mind wandered through university, trips abroad (that now with two young kids are distant and delicious memories) and somehow, my busy mind suddenly stopped at Jack, the guy I’d “dated” throughout high school and early university.
Jack and I had met in a math class, my worst subject, so whether I paid attention or not didn’t matter. I’d mess up on every test anyway. So, I felt no guilt as I stared at Jack. I was immediately drawn to the hint of the bad boy about him. Even at 16, he was sexy and just slightly out of reach—catnip for a straight-laced, yet a little naughty, girl like me. I was pretty stoked when Jack showed interest in me, and somehow, he became my “friend with benefits” for several years.
High school, for most of us, is a time of self-doubt, insecurity and rebellion. Having Jack in my life as I navigated friendships, school and family profoundly touched my life. We had lost contact amid the chaos of grown up life, and I wanted to know that he was happy. As I was wondering how I would find him, I realized that for so many of us, the past sometimes beckons to us and calls on us to remember. And even just out of curiosity, we women wonder what happened to the boys we knew.
Jack was kind and gentle, and I think that one of the reasons I chose a great guy to fall in love with and marry was because of the confidence my relationship with Jack gave me. But where was he? What had been doing in the 10 years since I’d last seen or talked to him? Should I try to find out?
Jamie Ross, the heroine of Finding Lucas, is in a dysfunctional, unhappy and demeaning relationship. Her boyfriend, Derek, a former bad boy, becomes the “quintessential metrosexual” whose utter disdain for Jamie’s second hand wardrobe, unusual family and low-paying job as an associate producer of a daytime talk show makes her reach a breaking point.
When Jamie’s new boss at the show comes up with the idea of running a segment on people reuniting with their lost loves, she remembers Lucas—the boy she’d loved and lost ten years earlier. Shy, reserved and not keen on change, Jamie balks at the idea of finding Lucas until it becomes the impetus to finally leave Derek. What ensues is hilarious, disastrous and ultimately life-changing. You’ll have to read the book to see if Jamie finds Lucas and what happens next.
As for me, I did find Jack, who has a crew of kids and is very happily married. He’s doing exactly what I would have expected and wanted him to do. Just like I am. I am grateful to have had such a good friend, and it’s been nice keeping in touch with someone who knew me way back when. Though Jack is not the boy who got away, like Lucas is for Jamie, he is the inspiration for Finding Lucas. Our pasts and the people we have met along the way shape who we are today. Finding out what has happened to those characters in our stories is something we all think about when we look back on how far we’ve come.
Have you ever wanted to find someone from your past? I would love to hear about it!
Can you ever really go back to the past? On her fifth anniversary with boyfriend Derek, Jamie Ross finds herself in a Montreal hotel room wondering how the carefree guy she met in a Chicago bar has turned into “the quintessential metrosexual.” Weighed down by Derek’s disdain for her second hand wardrobe, unusual family and low-paying job as an associate producer of a daytime talk show, Jamie reaches a breaking point. And when her new boss plans to reunite lost loves on the show, she remembers Lucas— the boy she’d loved and lost ten years earlier. What follows is a quest that is at times hilarious and at others disastrous as Jamie’s life transforms from run of the mill to absolutely crazy. But will finding Lucas give Jamie everything she’s looking for?
Samantha Stroh Bailey has been a writer ever since she could pick up a pen. She sent her first chick lit manuscript, Freddy the Flame, to publishers at the age of ten. A former ESL teacher, she now spends her days writing and editing as owner of Perfect Pen Communications. Her work has appeared in Now Magazine, The Village Post, Oxford University Press, Abilities Magazine, on Mommyish.com as well as her blog at samanthastrohbailey.blogspot.ca. She lives in Toronto with her husband and two children. Finding Lucas, is her first novel. Follow Samantha on Twitter, @perfectpen, read her blog at http://samanthastrohbailey.blogspot.com, visit her Facebook page or her Amazon author page. Samantha loves to hear from her readers!