Hey Readers of Traveling With T! Today I have an Q&A with author RaeAnne Thayne and thanks to Little Bird Publicity- a copy of Serenity Harbor to give to a lucky (continental US only) reader! Follow me for more details…
Q&A w/ RaeAnne Thayne — SERENITY HARBOR
Q: A major theme in this book is the idea of challenging people’s expectations—for Kat, this means fighting people’s idea that she’s flighty and a boy-crazy flirt, and for the wealthy and successful Bowie, it means proving that he is neither as arrogant nor as entitled as people think he is. Is that feeling of being misunderstood something that brings Kat and Bowie together, and what helps them see each other for their true selves?
A: Kat and Bowie both struggle against the expectations everyone else has for them but also against their own concept of themselves, I think. Kat still fears she’s that flighty flirt and knows that’s in direct opposition to what she wants to be, while Bowie still feels like the 15-year-old computer genius who basically raised himself and ended up hacking his way into college. It definitely brings them together, I think. They’re both two people who have fought hard against their circumstances yet still don’t quite believe in their own strengths and abilities. Milo plays a pivotal role in bringing them together. Their interactions with him illustrate how very far they’ve both come. Bowie is drawn to Katrina’s caring and compassion for his half-brother, while Katrina can’t help falling for Bowie as he struggles to open his heart and his home for this boy he didn’t know existed until a few weeks before the book opens.
Q: Bowie’s young half-brother, Milo, has moderate to severe autism, and at one point Kat explains to another character that “Milo has autism,” rather than “Milo is autistic.” Why did you want to make that clarification—to put the person first, then the condition—and what do you think people often misunderstand about autism?
A: The People First concept is much more than just political correctness. It emphasizes the person, not the disability – a reminder that someone’s condition does not define who he or she is. It helps rid our language of generalizations and stereotypes. People with autism and other disabilities are so much more than syndromes or labels. They have dreams, hopes, likes, dislikes, talents. Milo’s autism is only one part of the whole person.
Like with other conditions, people make sweeping generalizations that everyone who has been diagnosed with autism has certain consistent behaviors. The reality is, it’s called the autism spectrum for just that reason, because each person with autism is unique.
Q: Although Kat bonds with Milo fairly quickly, part of the novel focuses on Bowie’s struggle to learn how to connect and communicate with his younger brother. Why was it important to show that struggle, and how did you want their relationship to develop throughout the book?
A: I wanted to show Bowie gradually coming to accept and embrace the brother he has only just met, not in spite of his condition but as an important part of what makes Milo the amazing boy he is. I also wanted to show it can take time and patience to get to that place but that the journey is worth the effort.
Q: Which character in this book was the most fun for you to write?
A: I felt deeply connected to every character in this book but if I had to choose one, I would have to say Gabi, the little girl Katrina wants to adopt. Though she provides a strong motivation for every choice Kat makes in the story, Gabi only actually shows up in person (spoiler alert!) during the epilogue. That doesn’t stop her from stealing the scene! She was absolutely adorable, and the moment she stepped onto the page, I wanted to give her a giant hug!
Q: We have to ask, what’s next for you? Are you planning more Haven Point novels? If so, can you give us some hints about what readers can look forward to next?
A: I just finished the next book in the series, which is the long-awaited (and frequently requested) story of Jamie Caine! He is a sibling to many characters who appeared in my earlier Hope’s Crossing series and it was so much fun to once more bridge the two series. For some reason, readers really connected with him, and I’ve had many people ask me to write his book. It’s been on my mind for a long time, but I had to wait until I found the perfect heroine for him. I never would have expected quiet Julia Winston to be the perfect one for this sexy pilot but, as always, my characters love to prove me wrong. SUGAR PINE TRAIL comes out in October, and I really hope readers adore them together because I loved writing their book!
Summary from Goodreads:
In the town of Haven Point, love can be just a wish—and one magical kiss—away…
Computer-tech millionaire Bowie Callahan is about the last person that schoolteacher Katrina Bailey wants to work for. As far as she can see, he’s arrogant, entitled and not up to the task of caring for his young half brother, Milo. But Kat is, especially if it brings her closer to her goal of adopting an orphaned little girl. And as her kindness and patience work wonders with Milo, she realizes there’s more to sexy, wary Bo than she’d ever realized.
Bo never imagined he’d be tasked with caring for a sibling he didn’t know existed. Then again, he never pictured himself impulsively kissing vibrant, compassionate Katrina in the moonlight. Now he’s ready to make her dream of family come true…and hoping there’s room in it for him, too…
One copy of Serenity Harbor by RaeAnne Thayne for (continental US only) readers. Giveaway is sponsored by Little Bird Publicity and Harlequin Books. Winner will be emailed (check your spam folder). Check the Rafflecopter for more details.
Happy Reading and Bookishly Yours,
T @ Traveling With T