I finally have a working title for my manuscript. Up to this point, I have been lovingly calling my second child “A Book Has No Name” or “The Book Who Shall Not Be Named”.
So today I am excited to tell you that my manuscript is called, “Not By Blood”.
I shared with you in my 100 followers video, that my two protagonists are cousins, well, step cousins who fall in love. Throughout the story they are quick to point out that they are cousins but not by blood. My female protagonist is also quick to point out that her abusive adoptive father is not her biological dad. There is a theme of distancing oneself from relations. Family ties get cut and re-strung throughout the novel. Brian (my male protagonist) obviously wants to clarify that Emma (the female protagonist) is not his biological cousin because he is attracted to her. His denial is more than the “ick” factor of incest. His prominent upbringing clashes with the impoverished way his uncle (Emma’s adoptive father) and her family lives. He goes from living in a timber frame mansion in Alaska to a dilapidated shack in Washington State. He experiences social class shock from the first chapter. He really doesn’t want to claim any of these poor relations as his own.
Emma also wants to clarify that she is not blood related to Brian because she is strongly attracted to him. As I mentioned before, she also wants to remember that her abusive father is not a blood relation, this helps her to mentally cope with the abuse. Emma loves her biological mother, but also abhors her. She is condescending to her mother and is angry with her for marrying such a terrible man and for running and hiding from the domestic abuse by overusing prescription medication. Her strongest sense of family is with her best friend’s family who have supported her dreams and taken an interest in her well-being.
While writing this novel and my characters I realize that by dissecting this family, I am trying to discover what family relationships mean. Is blood thicker than water in only the tangible sense? How are the relationships we form by freewill different from the relationships we are born into?
COVER IMAGE PROVIDED BY MILESMCKEEPHOTOGRAPHY