We spend a lot of time in life hoping and waiting for the quintessential open door, and have no idea how many we have actually walked through to get to where we are.
I’m grateful for the many open doors that I’ve walked through in my life, and the people who I have met behind some of them. Their stories have inspired me more times than I can count. And a few of those chance encounters have changed me.
Life is filled with the stories of people, both true and fiction. Those stories have both challenged and motivated me to be a better person. Some have encouraged me to action while some have simply entertained. To me it was time well spent.
Personally, I believe that their is spark of the divine hidden, often in plan view, in every human and once found it becomes a treasure to inspire us. I find I get to know myself better by listening to the words of others. And when I meet that person who lives their life consistent with their words it provokes powerful emotions within me.
Yes, I’m aware that some doors are nothing more than entry ways or exits. I’ve walked in plenty, and out many with no change at all. Some I’ve merely passed through on my way to somewhere else. But every once in a while, a door is so outside the bounds of normal that it will inspire imagination. That’s how stories are born.
Even in the strangeness of this year the image of this door sent my imagination racing through ideas and possibilities. I’m convinced there’s a story waiting for me behind this door.
Key to the Past is a suspenseful, romantic fantasy about two detectives named Matt Parker and Jessie Reynolds. The eighth book in the Blue Cove Mystery Series, this book opens with Matt and Jessie finding themselves at the center of a murder mystery. The twist? To crack the case, Jessie must travel to a new dimension, while Matt stays in the present to put the rest of the pieces of the case together.
With a compelling story line, relatable characters and mind-bending twists and turns, author, Iona Morrison, has delivered a truly remarkable book. This book is a page turner that will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish!
Do you plot or let your story unfold as you write?
I’m not a plotter. I let my characters tell me where they want
the story to go. If I go a certain direction contrary to their
personalities, they seem to let me know it’s not working. It works best
when the lead the way.
Are your characters based on real people?
Some are. One is based on a
custodian at the church where I worked as an office manager. On the
first day I went to work there she told me a story
about their church ghost. Her story was the basis of my first book, The
Harvest Club. She is in most of the books after she told me you can
write me into your book. Melinda is the character lovingly called Red in
my books. Sadly, she died before the book was
published. Her family loved the book, and I dedicated it in her memory.
Radar the bloodhound is in all my books and he is based on a real dog
and his handler.
When did you decide to become an author?
I came to write later in life. I took a writing class called Breaking into Print.
I thought when I started the class that I wanted to write
non-fiction, but soon found out I loved writing fiction. The teacher
encouraged me to try my hand at writing a novel because my stories had
legs. My first attempt at it was The Harvest Club. That
was a little over six years ago. My favorite so far is Key To The Past,
it’s a blast from my past.
Who is the biggest influence on your writing?
My teacher Mary
Rosenblum. She had a way of critiquing me while making me laugh the
entire time. She was killed in a plane crash two years
ago. I miss her and her steady guidance. I still can hear her voice
inside my head when I head hop or don’t give it my best shot.
Is there a message in your novels that you want readers to grasp?
write about subjects that are important to me, like human trafficking,
or organ harvesting. But the big take away
from each of my books is love always wins.
and to get a little personal…
Who do you see as a heroine in your life?
My mother will always be my heroine. She is the one who taught me
the love of reading. She also was one of the kindest people I know.
Have you ever found true love?
I can answer with an emphatic yes to
this question. He was a hippie
and I was a straight girl when we met at a protest rally. We went on
our first date on April 12, engaged by May 15, and married three months
and five days later. His big, blue eyes, and his smile won my heart. I
still love him forty-eight years later.
What makes you cry?
True stories about people, some happy and some sad. I’m an equal story crier.
This pandemic has intensified that.
I watched the 2020 graduation ceremony on TV last night. The one takeaway of the night among many highlights was how the pandemic upended this year’s senior class. They missed proms, spring sports, and had no opportunities to have yearbooks signed or hang out with their friends. As a matter of fact, most of us watching could relate, never imagining when 2020 began that we would be watching graduations by video either.
Listening to the speeches got me thinking back to the day when I waited impatiently to hear my name read on graduation day. I don’t remember any of the words spoken or songs sung. They were forgotten quickly. All I wanted at the time was to be done, to get to the family party, and out for a night with my friends. Sadly, outside of ZOOM, this year’s seniors were denied that too.
As hard as it is to believe when your young, life rarely goes as planned but it does often work out for the best. If I could have written a detailed future for myself all those many years ago, I could have never imagined all the places my life would take me. That well ordered plan was limited at best, and would be altered by new dreams, as well as disappointments. I’m often still surprised by where life leads me and the new experiences that await me there. Life is wonderful, sometimes sad, but also curiously fun, and challenging.
Since your senior year ended in such a strange fashion, I can’t begin to imagine what awaits you. Ready or not you are on your way. Not as a child anymore, but new to the whole adult thing, I can only offer the sound advice that was given to me many years ago. Strap yourself in and hold on because life is quite a ride. Enjoy the trip and make your mark. More than ever the world needs your new and fresh ideas.
Social-distancing doesn’t come easy for me but in the face of the unseen enemy racing across our country it is a necessity. I try hard to express my feelings through words every chance I get. For me each day comes with a myriad of different emotions and finding something to be grateful for has helped. Listening to the real human stories in this crisis are the reminder for me of what’s really important. Courage in the face of fear, kindness in the midst of pain, weeping with those who weep; stories that help me maneuver through my world’s changing landscape.
New heroes have risen; doctors, nurses, and grocery store workers; the police, firefighters, and those who pick up the trash. I am grateful for each of them and the jobs they continue to do daily. Staying home seems like such a small thing to do to make their jobs easier.
I find joy in the little things like groceries being delivered and placed outside my door. Taking the trash cans out once a week is nice, especially if I see another person walk by to say hello to. Are there things that I miss? Of course! I miss times with my sons and their families. Grandkids’ hugs are gone for now, but hopefully will return again some time soon. But Zoom is a great way to stay in touch with family and friends and social media too.
I hope that after living during these times that things will not return to the old normal for me. I can see now that normal wasn’t working for so many people in our country. I don’t just want to go back to the way things were and be content. If I do I will have squandered the opportunity to rise and do better; to improve as a human living in a world in dire need of compassion. For now I will try to find the beauty in life whenever it shows up and do my best to pass it on. Having a home and staying there is in itself a blessing.