Inkwell Guest: Francis Ray on A Family Affair

Hi, everyone. Today, I’m pleased and honored to host fellow Texan, award-winning and NY Times & USA Today Bestselling author, Francis Ray. She’s a school nurse by day and an author by night. I hope you’ll leave a comment to say hello and answer her question below.

Welcome, Francis!

Many years ago, when I was in the initial stages of plotting I KNOW WHO HOLDS TOMORROW, I asked a question of my female co-workers and immediately realized the plot I had in mind would be a hot-topic of conversation and debate. The question: would you raise the infant daughter of your recently deceased husband as your own. Some said yes; some said no way. Adding that if “you” didn’t take the infant it would be placed in the foster system didn’t change my co-workers’ initial answer. What really was an eye-opener was hearing from a couple of the women that their father had “another family,” and that their mother and the town were aware of it. As the women spoke, you could still feel their anger, bitterness and embarrassment. I left the room thinking what kind of man did that to his family and, just as importantly I thought, what kind of woman let him.

In writing I KNOW WHO HOLDS TOMORROW, I tried to explore and answer those questions. Madison Reed, a successful TV-talk show hostess in Dallas rushes to the hospital of her critically injured husband, Wes Reed, an award-winning journalist. She quickly learns a drunk driver hit Wes and the woman whose tire he was trying to change on the freeway. The woman was killed instantly. Her nine-month-old daughter in the back seat of the car escaped injury and is in the children’s hospital in the medical complex where her husband has been taken. Imagine Madison’s shock when Wes announces that he is the baby’s father and asks Madison to care for the child she had just returned from visiting – then Wes codes and dies. What would have been your answer?

I KNOW WHO HOLDS TOMORROW came out in 2002. In the book, we learn that Wes wasn’t the only “absent” father. One man bragged of his “bastards” that he would never claim. Through the years I wondered about those “bastards” and how their careless, ignorant and absent father’s refusal to claim them had affected their lives. Finally, the answers began to form. WHEN MORNING COMES is the result.

One of those unwanted babies is now an adult, but the scars of his childhood run deep. Placed for adoption on the day he was born, Dr. Cade Mathis, fights for those with his renowned skill as a neurosurgeon because no one ever fought for him. He thinks he wants a solitary life – until Sabrina Thomas, patient advocate of Texas Hospital where Cade is revered – pushes her way into his life. However, neither expects the gut-wrenching consequences this will have on both of them.

Please look for WHEN MORNING COMES June 5th. I also invite you to pick up a reissued copy of I KNOW WHO HOLDSTOMORROW October 30, 2012.

Thanks for spending time with me, and please don’t forget to answer the question – what would you have done in Madison’s place?

By Michelle

I wish you all could be inside my head. The conversation is sparkling.