Today I would like to welcome on my blog
and her book Finding My Escape
Fran Veal fell in love with stories when her fourth grade teacher, Peggy Greer read stories like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory every afternoon after lunch. Her first attempt at writing stories was in the fifth grade when she began writing and drawing a cartoon for her friends. Fran graduated to writing romance in ninth grade, which was more interesting and, no, there were no pictures (much to the readers’ relief).
It wasn’t until Fran had a teen daughter of her own that she actually began writing again. Finding My Escape was her debut novel. The sequel, Finding My Way Back was released in August 2013. The third installment Finding My Way Home will be released in 2014
Fran currently resides in the beautiful city of Murfreesboro, TN with her husband of twenty-seven years, fifteen year old daughter, and one extremely snarky cat.Social Media Links
Finding My Escape
by Fran Veal
Published August 13th 2011 by Smashwords
Hannah Jordan’s life is shattered when she walks in on the double homicide of her parents. Transplanted from Atlanta to a small town in East Tennessee, she finds her solace in running the beautiful mountain trails behind her aunt’s house. Until she begins dreaming of the mysterious, but handsome Josh, that is.
As Hannah is tortured by memories of the night her parents died, she is disturbed by the idea that she may be forgetting something important. Aided by her best friend, Matt, she begins to uncover clues indicating that what she had believed was a simple home invasion was actually something much more sinister. And the killer is still out there.
Finding My Escape is a teen novel mixing romance with suspense and a twist of the paranormal.
A twig snapped behind me. Jerked out of my thoughts, I jumped up and spun around. My heart stopped. Before me hair gleaming in the sun, stood an angel. Okay, slight (and I do mean slight) exaggeration.
He was tall with muscles that rippled under his red T-shirt. His hair was blond and tousled, with one wave flipped just above his eyebrow. He stood there, staring at me with eyes as deep and blue as the sea. I forgot to breathe.
Then the angel frowned.
“What are you doing here?” he asked. Okay, so he was also self-absorbed, stern and nosy.
My chest started to hurt, and I realized I was holding my breath. It came out in a rush. Who did he think he was, anyway?
“What do you mean, ‘what are you doing here’? I was here first.” I stood, planning to have it out with Mr. Perfect.
“I’m sorry,” he said politely, “Let me rephrase that. What I meant to say is that I’ve never seen you here before.”
His sudden change in demeanor gave me whip-lash. I tried to hold my cool under his steady gaze. I struggled to think of something brilliant to say, but I was, at the moment, absolutely speechless.
The angel seemed to be studying me as if puzzled. Finally, he spoke. “You seem real enough.” He paused, brows furrowed, “I’m… Joshua, but you can call me Josh.”
The sound of his voice was soft, lyrical, mesmerizing. He looked straight into my eyes without flinching or glancing away. My anger melted away. I had to shake myself to clear my head.
I was torn between being captivated and scared out of my mind. He might look like he’d stepped off the pages of a magazine, but for all I knew, his looks were the only good thing about him. I stepped back cautiously, eyeing the trail to my left.
“And you are?” he asked, stepping toward me.
“Leaving,” I started to back up, but a strong hand grabbed my wrist. My heart was pounding as I struggled to break free.
“Hold up. What’s your hurry?”
He was so close, I could smell his cologne. Part of me just wanted to stand there and take it all in, but the part that had just experienced major trauma wanted to run away.
“Back off,” I warned.
“Okay, okay,” he dropped my arm and backed up a step, “I won’t hurt you, scout’s honor.” He held his hands up in surrender. “I just want to talk to you. Look, I’ll chain myself to that tree.”
“That won’t be necessary. Just back up another three feet, and we should be good.”
He deliberately took three steps back.
“Better?” he grinned.
“I guess,” I said rubbing my arm. I wasn’t completely convinced, but I felt more comfortable with the distance between us. At least I could breathe again.
We stood there for a moment, studying each other. I finally broke the silence. I was still a little annoyed, but my instincts were telling me that the guy was basically harmless.
“You know, you could try to come off as a little less menacing. Didn’t anyone ever tell you that it’s rude to go around scaring people like that?”
“My apologies,” he said in a southern drawl, “I really didn’t think you would react like that.”
“It’s just that this is the place I usually come when I want to think. When I saw that there was someone else here, I was surprised, that’s all.”
“By the way, what did you mean when you said that I ‘seemed real enough’? That’s kind of a weird thing to say.”
Josh laughed and shook his head.
“I guess it must have seemed strange to a newcomer. It’s just hard to tell the physical entities apart from the spirit ones.”
Okay, so the guy was a head case.
“I don’t follow,” I said, inching toward the trail.
“You really don’t get where you are, do you?” He stepped closer.
“Let’s see,” I said, heart pounding, “I’m standing in the middle of a clearing, in Summer Cove.”
He laughed and shook his head.
“I’m not in Summer Cove?” I asked sarcastically.
“No,” he said, “You’re dreaming.”
- The idea for the book came from an incredible dream I had one night. It got me to musing and then writing.
- When I was a kid, I used to wonder what would happen if my dream world were real and my real world were the dream. The dream I mentioned in #1 refueled the idea of “what if”.
- The story is set primarily in East Tennessee and the Smokey Mountains.
- The character names of Jessie, Melissa, and Dr. Katie are from my daughter’s name and my nieces – Sarah Jessica, Janey Melissa, and Katie.
- I wrote the book in about a month, but I spent a year editing it!
- Initially, the murder at the beginning of the story was just an event to cause the trauma that caused Hannah, the main character, to find her way to Valeria in her dreams, but as I wrote, it became central to the plot.
- The character names and Matt and Josh are the names of two of my second cousins, but that was totally unintentional. I didn’t even realize I’d done that until my aunt (their grandmother) pointed it out to me.
- The clearing Hannah finds when she’s running in the woods is based on an actual clearing I found when hiking in the woods near my grandmother’s house when I was a girl.
- Dave’s Diner is based loosely on a little shop my dad had when I was a teenager. It was an ice cream and sandwich shop.
- Aunt Laura’s house is my dream home. I’d love to have a house in the woods somewhere that was mostly glass windows with lots of private decks!
- The ending has a cliff hanger that had one of my friends throw the book against the wall – before she turned around and purchased several more as gifts. (I promise it gets resolved in book 2.)
- When I was writing, I accidentally changed Jessie’s hair color, but I got that corrected before the book was published.
- So far, no one I know of personally has figured out the entire ending before they finished the book.
- I lost my father within a couple of weeks of my starting the book which may be the reason I was able to finish it so quickly. Writing helped me take my mind off the pain and helped me really identify with the pain Hannah experiences after losing her parents.
- A friend pointed out that Valeria (the name for the other world Hannah finds her way to in her sleep) is a derivative of the word valerian. Valerian root is often used as an herbal remedy to help one sleep. Between that and named the two guy main characters after cousins, I must have really had some subliminal stuff going on.
- I’ve had people ask me if Hannah’s character is based on me, and I’d have to say that Hannah is more like I wish I had been as a teenager.
- I wrote a lot of the book sitting at the food court at a local mall. Believe it or not, during the week, it’s a pretty quiet place to write.
- I wrote the first book completely without an outline. I had a beginning and an ending, but nothing else. For the second book, I had the majority of the book outlined first. I’m just starting the third book, and I’m not sure which method I’ll use. Maybe I’ll come up with something completely new!
- My daughter and nieces were the first people to read the book. They were instrumental to a couple of the ideas in the plot development. For instance, initially, I had Hannah running in the first few chapters to get away from her pain, but sort of dropped that later in the book. My niece pointed out that running was important to the character, so I made a few changes to the plot to allow Hannah to spend more time running.
- Initially, the murder at the beginning of the book was just going to be a home invasion, but it not only became integral to the book, it’s the pivotal event for the entire series.
- When I was initially writing and telling people about the story, my friends kept comparing it to Inception, which I’d never seen at the time I wrote the story.
- Initially Charles Jordan’s first name was Michael until my sister said, “Seriously? Michael Jordan?”
- Initially, I was going to make Hannah’s home in Nashville before she goes to live with her aunt. I changed it to Atlanta, and, to be honest, I couldn’t tell you why.
- If I were casting a movie of the book, I would cast Shailene Woodley as Hannah, Callan McAuliffe as Matt, Sophie Jordan as Jessie, and Alexander Ludwig as Josh.
- When I started writing the book, I didn’t have a clear idea of who was actually behind Hannah’s parents’ murders. I was about halfway into book two before it became clear to me.
I would like to Thank Fran for stopping by my blog today with her book Finding My Escape
and Thank you for stopping by to check it out
If you are interested in being a Spotlight on my Blog Please check out all the details HERE
Have a Great day and Happy Reading!