I actually had the premise of this before my divorce and before I wrote Hurricanes in Paradise. I don't even know why I got this premise. I heard Jeremiah's voice first. It stayed with me. He was strong and kind and wise. And I knew whatever he had to say I wanted to hear it. I had also never set a novel in my now home of Nashville. So I did. And The First Gardener was created.
It is a heartbreaking tale and not an easy read. But it is real. And it was honestly a tool that God used to dig up some of my own personal pain over not years of not having children and took me to some places I didn't intend. It has been a beautifully received book as well. Even though it is hard to read, there are lighter moments. I gave Eugenia her own voice with her three crazy friends so that the reader would have a place to catch their breathe at times between the heartbreak of the pages. I believe this is the most powerful book I've written. And the hardest.