GROUNDED IN JANUARY
By Savannah Hendricks
Kate Wilson hates to admit it, but she’s unhappy and can’t figure out why. Fearful of flying yet determined to find a reason for her unhappiness, she boards a flight headed for her Washington hometown.
Inn of the Woods owner and pilot, Oxnard Swanson struggles with accepting his multiple sclerosis diagnosis, realizing his dreams of marriage and a family might be over. Determined, he bides his time managing the inn, piloting his Cessna, and training his rescue dog Bayou.
Sparks quickly fly between Oxnard and Kate, when a snow storm forces her to find refuge in the Inn of the Woods. Maggie, a wise guest, suggests the couple step outside, where the magic of the snow offers answers to their search for happiness and a second chance at love.
Kate and Oxnard find love is like a snowflake, a unique and beautiful reminder of life’s continuation, as each snowflake melts into the eternal hope of spring.
About the Author: Savannah Hendricks
Savannah Hendricks has worked as a medical social worker for six years and prior with special needs preschoolers, and spent seven years as a nanny. She holds degrees in Early Childhood Education and a Master’s in Criminal Justice. She is the author of Nonnie and I, a picture book about the first day of school anxieties set in Botswana. Her stories have been included in over 20 children’s magazines, and is the co-author of Child Genius 101: The Ultimate Guide to Early Childhood Development: Vol 1 & 2. She has two picture books releasing this year, Winston Versus the Snow and The Book Who Lost its Title.
Available for Purchase:
What was the inspiration behind Grounded In January?
I wanted to write a funny romance story, but one that touched on multiple sclerosis, a disease close to my heart. My goal was to create something set just after Christmas in Washington (where I lived for over twenty years). I’m always so saddened when the holiday movies end and the snow seems to disappear from everything. I needed to write a story about vulnerability and courage because I felt that was an important story to tell. Raising awareness for MS was my top goal with Grounded in January.
What is your favourite thing about this story?
My favorite thing would be a tie between Bayou, the rescue English Lab, and the sarcastic banter between Kate and Ox. Even after a tenth or eleventh round of edits I found myself smiling or laughing.
How did you convince yourself that your characters' motivations were believable?
Great question! As a social worker I see a wide range of people and ages. Thankfully, I can tap into that when creating characters. There is a common goal most people have and most people want love and acceptance, regardless of their status or gender. When I was editing, at all stages, I held firm when I thought that a suggestion didn’t match the character. Even with, Bayou, the dog, I wanted to make sure that everything he did was something a dog could and would do or act.
What does your writing process look like?
Tons of focus and tons of breaks. I don’t have much time to write outside of the weekend and so it’s important that when I do have time I don’t become distracted. But I also need to make sure I have time to rest too. From a story stand point, I get a title and idea and roughly plot out what will take place. Then, I dive into writing, letting the story unfold and worry about the rest later.
What was the publishing process like for this book? How did you select your publisher?
I was lucky to land a small publisher because it provided me with a lot more say on the story and cover. When I was searching for a group of publishers to submit to, Brother Mockingbird stood out because they’d been very receptive of two prior submissions. I can’t lie, them being in the south was a factor as well, because I’m rather obsessed with all things southern. The publishing world is rough to break into and even when you are in, it’s tough, so I was grateful they loved Grounded in January enough to accept it. While the manuscript was in edits there was a lot of back and forth over the cover trying to find the right couple to match the story. I could not be happier about how the cover turned out and it’s something that when the cover reveal came everyone raved about. Everything happened rather quickly after those things finalized.