I love reading books where the heroine’s career is unexpected, which is why I had so much fun writing about boat mechanic Joanna Weaver in Meet Me in River’s Edge. I think as women writers (and readers), we want our heroines to have fabulous careers that crash through the glass ceiling and show them as smart, sophisticated women.
I’ve written a female lawyer, a photographer and concert pianist, a firefighter, a freelance editor, a marketing expert, a heart surgeon, and even a mayor. I’ve also written teachers, homemakers, and a woman whose abusive husband forced her to leave her home and start a new life. Each of these characters had an definite arc that took them into a conflict and brought them out on the other side, stronger, better, happier.
Jo Weaver’s life in Meet Me in River’s Edge feels small at first, although her career as a boat mechanic in her family’s marina business is certainly unusual and took a great deal of apprenticeship with her father and grandfather. While her two sisters went to college, then moved away and found new lives and careers, Jo stayed rooted in River’s Edge and feels safe there with the people she grew up with in the familiar town of her childhood.
As often happens in life, though, things changed for the Weaver triplets. Jo’s sisters come home, and serendipity brings a new man into her life who helps her realize that she might be a little stuck and needs to reevaluate what she wants. Maybe that means that Jo will take steps toward a new life, but never a new career, because she loves working on boat motors, she thrives in the marina atmosphere, and she’s damn good at what she does. Her new love gets this about her, cherishes who she is, and isn’t about to ask her to change that part of her. As Alex Briggs says in Meet Me in River’s Edge, “Who knew the smell of two-cycle oil could be such a turn-on?”
So, women and careers—does it matter whether we went to college or trade school or simply ended our formal education in high school? Is it important to the whole feminist journey whether we are homemakers or attorneys or bank tellers or teachers or store clerks or doctors or stay-at-home moms or… writers? Not really, it only matters that whatever we do, we give it our very best.
Thanks for being here—I hope you enjoy Jo Weaver’s story and your trip back to River’s Edge, Indiana.
About the Author.
Nan Reinhardt is a USA Today bestselling author of sweet, small-town romantic fiction for Tule Publishing. Her day job is working as a freelance copyeditor and proofreader, however, writing is Nan’s first and most enduring passion. She can’t remember a time in her life when she wasn’t writing—she wrote her first romance novel at the age of ten and is still writing, but now from the viewpoint of a wiser, slightly rumpled, woman in her prime. Nan lives in the Midwest with her husband of 50 years, where they split their time between a house in the city and a cottage on a lake. Talk to Nan at: firstname.lastname@example.org