The $64,000 Question — Ane Mulligan
I’m hoping this was run at the correct time, and if it’s a rerun, that’s okay. Ane is a marvelous writer and friend, and deserves more publicity 🙂
Today I’m thrilled to welcome author Ane Mulligan back as she explores her past and how it relates to her characters.
The $64,000 Question
Do you remember that old TV Show The $64,000 Question? It was the forerunner of Jeopardy. In my life the $64,000 question was: Who Do I Look Like?
I was adopted as an infant. They tried to match backgrounds, but my adoptive daddy was of Norwegian and Laplander. My adoptive mama was German and Scottish. I was Irish with two drops of French wine. I didn’t really look like anyone in my family.
Every time I passed a mirror I looked in it, hoping to catch a glimpse of someone I knew—other than myself of course. When I was at school and later in work, I always searched for someone I might look like. If I found one, I wondered if they could be a blood relative.
None of this is to say I had a horrible childhood. I didn’t. I had a great home life. My adoptive parents were loving. I was a chosen child and always made me feel special. The funny part is I always wanted to feel ordinary. One of the crowd.
As I grew older, and unexpected changes came upon me (who expects to grow old?), I’d look in the mirror and ask myself, “Are those my mother’s wrinkles? Whose ears are these?” Well, you get the idea.
Then in 2009, I became one of the crowd when I found my birth sisters—or rather they found me. You can read that story here. Then one day, a woman at my church knowing I was adopted, came to me with her excitement of adopting a child. One of those writerly “what ifs?” popped into my mind: What if the child she adopted was the grandchild (yes, I was old enough to be her mother) of one of my birth sisters?
That sparked When the Wind Blows (to release early 2018) and tells the story of two women brought together in Atlanta when each is at her most vulnerable—and the God-driven resolution that transforms pain and uncertainty into triumph for them both.
When the Bough Breaks, Jan 12, 2017, is a bit more my story. The main character, Sienna O’Shea is of Italian descent adopted by an Irish couple, who later have four children of their own. Sienna looks like no one. It’s the story of her struggle to belong. A struggle I know well.
The two most important things I’ve learned in my life are that I belong to God and that’s enough. The second is that He is trustworthy with our dreams. I incorporated those themes into When the Bough Breaks.
When the Bough Breaks
Her dream job has a Catch 22—and time’s running out.
Rookie lobbyist Sienna O’Shea is determined to make a name for herself in New York’s capitol city and use that influence to gain easier access to her birth records. For years she’s searched for her birth mother, but when she’s handed her first assignment—to lobby support for the permanent sealing of all adoption records—her worlds collide. Swept up into the intrigue of backroom politics, falling in love was not on Sienna’s agenda, but the candidate for Lt. Governor runs a formidable campaign to make her his first lady. When an investigative reporter discovers foreign money infiltrating political campaigns, the trail leads to Sienna’s inner circle.
Ane Mulligan writes Southern-fried fiction served with a tall, sweet iced tea. She firmly believes coffee and chocolate are two of the four major food groups. An award-winning multi-published author, Ane is the creative director of a community theater and a contributor to Novel Rocket. She resides in Sugar Hill, GA, with her artist husband and a dog of Biblical proportion. You can find Ane on her website, Facebook, or her Amazon author page.
When the Bough Breaks
Sienna O’Shea slammed the door of her red Volkswagen Beetle, trying not to slip on the icy patches in the parking lot. She hurried to the elevator for the Legislative Office Building and her dream job in New York’s capitol. New York! Her heart kicked up its heels and she could hardly believe she’d made it. Her second day on the job and already she’d been assigned to testify before New York’s Senate Judicial Committee. She might be a rooky at lobbying, but she’d show them.
It took her half the night to work up her presentation, praying the whole time it would be good enough. It should be, her old friend Matt Dressler gave her the background information. If it was, she could leverage her position as team newbie into a force to be reckoned with—someone they’d be proud of. And for once, it would be because of something she did, not who she was.
She pushed the button and waited, catching her breath that came out in little puffs of fog in the frigid air. A long-legged man in a dark grey overcoat approached from between two cars and stopped beside her. He tipped his hat.
A courteous New Yorker? Wow. And a handsome one. Double wow.
The doors opened and they both entered the elevator. He stood in front of the numbered panel, blocking it. She’d been told the Senate Hearing room was on the third floor. Since he didn’t move…
“Third floor, please.”
He grinned and punched the button for the first floor. Sienna blinked and stepped back. So much for courteous, that was downright uncivil. Her heartbeat accelerated and she forced herself not to look at him. He could be a pervert. Good looking or not, the dude better not try anything.
She slipped her hand into her coat pocket and wrapped her fingers around the cold cylinder of mace. The same one she’d laughed at when Mom made her promise three times to carry it in her pocket. Well, she wasn’t laughing now. If he made a move toward her, she wasn’t going down with a whimper.