Phaedra Patrick is the author of The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper.
From her Q&A with Deborah Kalb:
Q: How did you come up with the idea for your character Arthur Pepper, and why did you decide on a charm bracelet as the method by which he discovers new things about his late wife?--Marshal Zeringue
A: I showed my own charm bracelet to my son and told him the stories behind each of the charms. He’s 10 now, so this was when he was younger - around 5 or 6 years old.
The idea came to me about an elderly man who discovers a mysterious bracelet in his late wife’s wardrobe. I once holidayed in India and bought a small brass elephant pendant, and this was the inspiration behind the first charm (an elephant with an emerald in a howdah on his back) that sets Arthur off on his epic journey of discovery.
I wanted to write a story straight from my heart, and create a character that people would want to cheer, laugh and cry with. I love to collect ideas in my head, so each scene and character in the book was influenced by someone I know, something I’d seen, or personally experienced.
Q: One of the themes the book explores is how well people really know their spouses. Why was that something you wanted to look at?
A: This kind of came about organically. I actually discovered...[read on]