"Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements." Napoleon Hill
Readers have asked many questions about Peace by Piece—are my scenes autobiographical/ based on my own life experience, is Maggie me, and are my characters real people I know?
Years ago, I heard a writer say in an interview—sorry, can’t remember who it was—that every character and scene must be part of me somehow, since it all comes out of my head. I have had pieces of Maggie’s experiences, or felt her feelings, but not always in similar circumstances or for the same reasons she feels them. There are more differences than similarities between Maggie and me—maybe the most important—I had the good fortune to marry the love of my life the first time around.
Some of my own traits and the mannerisms and quirks of people I know regularly show up in my characters, but no character is based solely on one person. For instance, Rose is named after and physically resembles a kind-hearted neighbor from my childhood, sews and cooks like my Aunt Mary, and her quips and humor come right from the mouths of Bella and Julie, my Scottish friends from across the pond.
A more personal question for me to answer is why did I publish as Carol Fragale Brill, using my maiden and married names, when for years I have been known simply as Carol Brill? That is a question I have also asked myself.
When we married 30 years ago, I intended to use a hyphenated name. Imagine my surprise when I returned from our honeymoon to find my employer had changed my name on my office door, ordered new cards and a desk placard, and changed all the company directories to Carol Brill. I was in banking at the time, and my boss convinced me we needed to keep my name simple for customers. In hindsight, I gave in too easily, but that is a blog for another time.
This is where the quote that headlines this post comes in.
You may know me well enough to know I have never had children, and even if I did, they would be Brills and wouldn’t carry on the Fragale name. Neither of my brothers or our one male Fragale cousin has children either. That means our branch of the Fragale name ends with our generation. Sure, there will be other Fragales in the world, but none of them will be direct descendants of my father and his siblings. That makes me a little sad.
And so, Peace by Piece, and my second novel in progress, Cape Maybe—the children of my soul—will in their small way, carry on our Fragale name!