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A Feeling Of Belonging

Connecting Through Storytelling

While Jill Fordyce loves being a lawyer, she always wanted to write a novel one day. On January 30, that goal was realized when her book, Belonging, was released.

What drew you to writing?
For me, story is the most powerful thing we have as far as understanding each other. To be able to create a story from things I've either observed or experienced and be able to put that out there just always felt really, really important to me.

Describe your style of writing.
I feel like I learned more about writing from listening to music and lyrics than I did from studying literature. When I was first writing this book, I wanted it to feel the way a favorite old song makes you feel, and for it to feel universal so people could connect their own experiences to it.

What inspired you to write Belonging?
My original inspiration for the book was this idea of a childhood friendship that was so deep that it kind of guided each of the parties throughout their lives, across distance and time, and even death. And I wanted to tell that story from Jenny's [the protagonist] point of view because it was also important for me to write a book that conveyed the experience of growing up in a home with an alcoholic mother in a very intimate and realistic way. Since I have experienced alcoholism in my own family, when I recognize a young girl who has those same types of traits as the character - being very independent but also needing a type of nurturing she maybe did not receive as a child - I wanted to be able to speak to her through story and character.

How do you want people to feel when they read Belonging?
My biggest hope is that they feel less alone by really being immersed in Jenny's life and finding her as somebody they can relate to. One of the themes of the book is forgiveness and this ability to forgive the alcoholic in your life and move forward with grace and peace in your own way. I hope that the book itself conveys a sense of warmth and hope.

You live in California but bought a home in Leiper’s Fork in 2018. Why was that?
We just love it here - it’s so beautiful and peaceful. It also has accessibility to all the arts with the music and great literary communities nearby. I love the village and being close to downtown Franklin as well. It's such a friendly place. My next book, which I'm working on now, will actually take place in Middle Tennessee.

You can find Belonging at Barnes & Noble and wherever books are sold. Jill will also be at Bound Booksellers in Franklin on February 10 from 1 to 2 p.m.

BarnesAndNoble.com/w/belonging-jill-fordyce/1143762745?ean=9798888451748

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