I could say the answer is that I have tangible multi-dimensional, realistic and believable characters who take the readers by the hand up a steep and jagged coarse and then drag them down like a rollercoaster ride gone haywire.

Maybe it’s the circumstances that make the shoebox unique. To lose someone so integral in one’s life and suddenly have absolutely no contact with and no quick and sure proof of a means to find them can be devastating to anyone. Remember people, internet and google and social media didn’t exist. Hard to believe since we are so horribly pampered with everything and all information at our fingertips.

Maybe what makes it unique is the intensity of the love and passion Peter felt for Maddy throughout his entire life. Although his life changed at each stage, he never truly lost sight of what he once had.

Honestly it could be anyone of those. My feelings are biased. I love these forces that fight all obstacles to be together. I’m a great believer in fate and karma and the great God above. I believe that the universe listens and while we make the choices whether wrong or right ones.

Peter chose to stay monogamous in his heart. Maddy had set a precedence for Peter and although he handled every obstacle in his life with the utmost grace and respect for himself and others, his love remained constant.

I think some of us long for the constant, the never changing and the familiar. At least I do. The saying that love conquers al is something we all want to believe in.
In The Shoebox, love does conquer all, even through death. So yes there are many books out there that have painful and triumphant stories of love and devotion, but what is the one thing that sets them aside from all others?

For me, it is when a character begins to take on a life of their own in your mind. When the beings written and carefully crafted begin to take on form and become somewhat real. They find a home in your inner psyche and you are forced to search for their traits in those you encounter and know.

My cousin said to me after reading my book, “Why was it so sad? Why did it have to end that way?

I responded with a simple answer. If it’s not as close to real life as possible then it’s not worth telling. Haven’t we all lost chances with people we have never again seen? Haven’t we all had someone leave our side whether by choice or by tragedy?

We all have high ideals and standards about love and relationships but one of the common threads we all understand is the fact that nothing is perfect and nothing is forever. We are all flawed and imperfect and in the imperfections and through the flaws and cracks, that is were we find honesty. That is where the true beauty lies.

The characters that are not perfect and magnificently together are the ones that we relate to the most. Sometimes there are rare characters that are fragile and human and yet stoic in some way. They are able to take on what comes with dignity and strength. Those are my favorite. Peter is one of those.

For me, Peter was both strong and tender, and although he was torn with his decisions and haunted by his regrets, he always remained strong in his comportment and respectful of the path he had chosen. Both Maddy and Peter were strong individuals who never gave up on the love they both shared for one another giving the saying “till death us do part” a whole other meaning all together.