The Inheritance is, in essence, a story of family secrets, forgiveness and faith. It explores one man’s struggle to come to grips with the past, be reconciled with himself, his family and ultimately God, and face the future with courage and integrity. At the same time, it also explores a woman’s struggle to stay true to her faith in God and pursue God’s purposes for her life. In writing this novel, I attempted to focus equally on each main protagonist much more than I did in my earlier novels. And this brought with it new challenges such as being careful to stay in in one character’s point of view for a whole scene or chapter and balancing how often I changed from one to the other. I was very aware of the importance of point of view prior to this, but the approach I chose with this novel has meant I had to be particularly careful in this regard. The Inheritance is my first work of fiction with my new publisher, Even Before Publishing, and I am grateful for the assistance I was given to see the mistakes I was making with point of view and to learn so much more in the process.But will my faithful readers—and hopefully some new ones—like the somewhat different style I have employed in The Inheritance? Will they relate to my initially very angry and aggressive hero Michael Trevelyan and my equally determined heroine Alexandra Hope? Will they track with these two people I have grown to love as they experience so many ups and downs in their personal lives and in their ongoing relationship? What if they feel one character is not quite believable—or, worse still, both? What if they decide Alexandra is just too ‘good’ a heroine, an opinion some expressed about my main female protagonists in my earlier novels?
Yet, while I still have doubts and questions like these, the counterbalance to it all is that I do believe it is my best novel so far! Please understand I don’t say that in any boastful way, however, but rather with thankfulness to God for enabling me to keep on writing and learning and also with gratitude to my publisher who challenged me to grow.What about you other authors out there? How have you felt when your own new novel has been released? Is it a huge mixture of emotions such as it has been for me? For those not yet published, how do you plan to tackle this whole book launch experience?
Jo-Anne Berthelsen lives in Sydney but grew up in Brisbane. She holds degrees in Arts and Theology and has worked as a high school teacher, editor and secretary, as well as in local church ministry. Jo-Anne is passionate about touching hearts and lives through both the written and spoken word. She is the author of six published novels and one non-fiction work, Soul Friend: the story of a shared spiritual journey. Jo-Anne is married to a retired minister and has three grown-up children and three grandchildren. For more information, please visit www.jo-anneberthelsen.com or www.soulfriend.com.au.