I've received a few queries about RAIN, which was released as an e-book on 17 March 2011 on the anniversary of my brother, Paul's passing. Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to share their thoughts on the story. It is fascinating to see how readers react to the characters, and as an author, it is rewarding that readers feel passionately in the extremes, for example, Michael evokes hatred or compassionate understanding, but everyone seems to know exactly how they feel about him, one way or the other.
RAIN is a dark story for sure, but the key message, which only really reveals itself in the final chapter, is one of hope and renewal. Throughout the story various characters have searched for it, perhaps found it, or not. In our lives though, I believe, it is never too late to make a change and set a new course for generations to follow—what has gone before you doesn't have to follow you. That's a choice, and obviously a tough one for some to make since mistakes do seem to repeat themselves through the generations.
Regarding the title, it is also pleasing that readers understand why "rain" was chosen as the title. I did sway briefly onto another title, but I was constantly drawn back to RAIN. Rain is, I believe, symbolic of the story, and as readers would know, does feature in pivotal scenes, most poignantly I guess, in the cemetery scene in Chapter 32. And this passage from Carla's letters to her mother while she is living at the monastery:
I am waiting for the rain to pass so I can hike again through the bush—I go there in search of my guide. There is something about the rain. I have always found it comforting. It makes me feel warm even when it is cold. I love the way it smells, especially the way the bush smells after the rain. I love the way it tastes and I love the way it feels on my skin. Rain is life—everything grows from it. Maybe I should go now while it is still raining, and tempt fate. Maybe I can catch the proverbial death of a cold. Maybe a dose of pneumonia is all I need to set me free. There is nothing quite like the rain.
Ordinarily after 'finishing' a novel (although I don't believe a book is ever really finished), one feels quite euphoric, but given how many times over the past six years I've had to read, rewrite and edit, RAIN and since it is quite a dark story, I actually feel quite exhausted. I hope it passes soon, like the rain.
RAIN was dedicated to my husband, Steve and to the memory of my brothers, John and Paul.