Someone asked me if I had a list of characters, backstories, outlines before I began writing BRAKING POINTS. I did not. What I had were two elderly characters based in part on my father and mother-in-law, a trunk full of true episodes involving road trips, some mine, some others, including more than one from my in-laws, Maurice and Dorothy.
One story told over and over again happened in the early stages of Dorothy’s Alzheimers. They were traveling from Oklahoma to Florida where they had a park home in New Port Richey. Dorothy had curled up in the back seat, which she often did, and fallen asleep. Maurice stopped for gas in Mississippi, filled the tank, and had gone inside to pay, when Dorothy woke up. She proceeded into the station to use the facilities. Somehow he failed to see her. So climbing back in the car, he glanced in the backseat, saw her blanket and assumed she was still curled up asleep. In his defense, Dorothy was a slightly built 4’10” woman who slept all scrunched up. Off he went.
A hundred miles down the road–how far he actually got is debatable since stories like this one lend themselves to hyperbole–when he stopped so they could eat, he discovered she was missing. Since this was before cell phones, he laid the pedal to the metal, and headed back to the place he last glimpsed her for sure–asleep in the backseat. No telling what had gone on back at the station, those details are sketchy, but he found her sitting on a bench out front.
“Dorothy, why did you get out of the car without telling me.”
“I had to pee.”
He apologized to the station attendant who had been keeping an eye on her–they were ready to call the local authorities if he did not return soon. Thankfully, she was fine. She looked at the attendant and said, “see I told you, he’d be back.”
Maurice escorted her to the passenger side of the car, got her settled and kept one eye on her the remainder of the drive.
My mother-in-law drifted away from us over the next several years, but Maurice stayed the course. So when I started Braking Points I found myself on an incredible journey with Max and Lily. While on that excursion I wrote around 1500 words a day but they were basically unplanned. In my imagination, I was following along observing and recording it. Amanda popped up at one of the early stops and later Sophia joined the trip. Every day I came to the computer excited to find out what happened next? where are we going? who are we going to meet?
A friend and fellow author read the book in its raw form and said ‘you need to follow this one and find Olivia.’
If you want to know who Olivia is, you gotta read BRAKING POINTS. Just Saying….