Erika Liodice attended our October meeting as the guest speaker.
This meeting was very exciting since the author is a local to the area and attended the meeting. Erika's book is based loosely on a story in which she had heard from a relative. She then did some research and was fascinated, if not also appalled, by the idea of maternity homes. Erika said there were about 4 million girls between 1940 and 1970 who were made to go to maternity homes and forced to give up their babies.
Readers noted that there must be a lot of shame on the women's parts because of these occurrences. When discussing the novel, some readers thought that Kate was pregnant at the end, while others did not. Erika said she left it open for the reader to interpret however he or she wanted. Also, it was noted that there seemed to be a disconnect when Kate saw James after so many years. This was discussed in depth at the nature of the relationship and how Erika saw the interaction.
Erika likes to read women's fiction, so she is drawn to writing it. She has in fact written another novel, which she did not publish. It took her 3 years to write Empty Arms while she worked full time in marketing. Currently, she started her own publishing company, Dreamspire Press, and now writes full time.