What Many Women Experience

Kirsten Pursell Author Interview

Long Enough to Love You follows a middle-aged woman who feels like something is missing in her life and must decide on a safe or fulfilling life. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?

A story with this much raw emotion can only come from personal experiences and feelings. I had given so much of myself to raising my family, but as the nest started to empty, I found myself reflecting on my own life. I questioned my marriage. I questioned what I wanted the rest of my life to look like. Talking to friends who were in similar situations, I was comforted by the reality that so many of us go through this process. I wanted to tell a story that mirrors what many women experience emotionally.

I also needed the character to really challenge her convictions by facing unexpected challenges. My own diaries gave me the fuel for the first love part of the story. I had forgotten so much of that first love and was reminded of it when I rediscovered my diaries. You get one first love, and imagining what the range of emotions of reconnecting might be like decades later was intense. How crazy, beautiful, painful might it be to reunite with that first love and be reminded of the person you were once when you could love with all your heart without walls or pretenses? Reliving those moments was a rush of emotions and I was able to incorporate that into the story. I think it added to Jenn’s difficult decision of choosing safe or fulfilling. It added layers to the already raw and emotional journey Jenn was going on as she was figuring out how to be true to herself. Like most women, making that kind of decision is hard without the added reminders of the past. Those emotions are real for so many women, just as I imagine Jenn could be so many women. Society says we’re too old to start new. It says be good with what you have. Starting over in your fifties is a brutal thought to most any of us.

Was there anything from your own life that you put into the characters in your novel?

While this story is fiction, it is predicated on real emotions. I think it’s what has resonated with readers. I knew the beginning and end long before I ever started writing the book. And I knew I wanted it to be about second chances much later in life. My diaries gave me the idea for Tripp. My mom got sick when I started this book and I found myself spending a lot of one-on-one time with my dad. I cherished that so much and it inspired the dad in the story. My mom, however, is nothing like the mom in the book! Hard conversations in my own marriage definitely found their way into parts of the story. And animated conversations with friends did too.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

I wanted this to be an honest look at a marriage from the woman’s perspective. I wanted her issues to be front and center as she figured out their importance. I wanted it to be okay for her to not choose safe even if society said that’s what we should all want. There is such a stigma as we age that we’re too old or incapable of wanting or needing more and that’s so wrong. We should be allowed to ask for things in a marriage. Even little things go a long way and Jenn was missing that. I think, too, it’s easy to forget that women, as we age, still want to be seen as sexy and beautiful and we like the idea of a man challenging us. Jenn was open to all that, even if it meant being uncomfortable and sometimes awkward while trying to figure it out. In the end, I wanted to write a story that was fair to the process of being true to yourself even if it hurts.

What is the next book that you are working on, and when is that book due out?

I am in the early phases, but the ideas and words are coming to me faster than I have time to sit down and write them. It’s called The Scarlet D. D standing for divorcee. And it takes the perspective that not all women are the ones scorned in a marriage; we aren’t always the victim. I enjoyed writing Long Enough to Love You and tackling the whole later in life love and second chances thing that I wanted to continue to build on that. I think women are often just as culpable in marriages ending; owning it in settings where the others you’re with were the victims presents a new set of challenges too. The book will also serve as a reminder that women are sexual humans regardless their age. I have been so busy promoting Long Enough to Love You that this book is happening in spurts. But I’m hoping that I can have a rough draft done in the next six months.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

A coming-of-middle-age novel that challenges the assumption that the status quo is as good as it gets.

A love story of self, of past, of present, of future. One woman’s journey to put the pieces of her life together in the most meaningful way – at times chaotic, at times cathartic, but ultimately beautiful in all its imperfect pieces.

Jenn, fifty-something and empty-nesting, feels like a donut: whole on the outside but missing the middle. The deafening sound of silence in the picture-perfect, oversized home she shares with a husband who does not see her makes the voices arguing in her head hard to ignore. One voice tells her to stay because safe and simple is good; another says leave so you can be the version of yourself not defined by others. The thought of ever after without happily feels like purgatory.

The chance discovery of her long-forgotten diaries unearths memories of a first love long buried, reminders that the most beautiful love is sometimes wasted on the young. Her words become a very real reminder of everything first love had been when she reconnects with Tripp in unexpected ways.

Long Enough to Love You by Kirsten Pursell follows Jenn – a courageous yet vulnerable protagonist – as she dissects and unpacks her marriage in an emotional journey to stay true to herself despite societal norms and middle-age stereotypes that would suggest otherwise.

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on March 2, 2023, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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