May 25, 2010

Guest Post: Helen Ellis : The Adoption Allure

Today I have the pleasure at welcoming Helen Ellis to my blog! My first guest post by an author. I recently read Helen's new book The Turning: What Curiosity Kills and thoroughly enjoyed it. I asked Helen about the prevalence of adoption in her book and here was her answer. I will add my review of The Turning later this week!

Half of my characters are adopted in The Turning: What Curiosity Kills because my husband and I have thought about adopting for years. When I started the novel: us; me and him; a happily married couple living on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. And then I did what we haven't had the courage to do-took in two eight year-old girls. When the novel begins, Mary and Octavia are sixteen. They were the first two characters to show up in my imagination and thus what I imagined what life would be like with them. Instead of playing house, I wrote it.

From what I understand about closed adoptions, adoptees' family and medical histories are locked away in a literal file drawer. Mary and Octavia were foster care kid, so they have some memory of the families they lost, but questions linger. Those questions are what I wanted to and want to continue to explore with the series. Are you your biological parents? Or are you something few people--this author included--have ever heard of?

Without history, you are a mystery. And every good story has a mystery at its core.

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