Today we have author James J. Cudney IV in the house! In this guest post, he shares with us about the inspiring female character of Olivia in his debut book Watching Glass Shatter. I have a copy of the book and look forward to the read. Cheers to wonderful visions of women like the one James tells us about below.
When Christy and I chatted about writing a guest post for her blog, I was honored and scared – who wouldn’t be? ‘When Women Inspire’ spotlights inspirational women and ways to make positive impacts. I was scared because I’m a male author writing as a female character, but honored because she knows I solidly support equality and love across all aspects of life. As an author, I have a few stories or characters that might fit the message, but the first that came to mind was Olivia, from Watching Glass Shatter.
Olivia’s husband perishes in an automobile accident at the start of the book, leaving her as the head of a family with five adult sons, each who has gone off on his own path much to Olivia’s dismay. When Olivia learns a heartbreaking secret confession in her husband’s will, her entire life comes into question as she tries to assemble what’s left of her family. Only a strong and determined woman could be successful at such a task, especially when learning your sons have also been keeping secrets from you.
Olivia is the glue
Although the book changes perspective to focus on each of the five sons, it’s Olivia who is and will always be the glue that holds them together. As a mother, she’s had to make tough decisions to mentor and discipline her children. She’s had to make choices that might not always seem fair to those who have never been in her position. But she is only capable of playing such a dynamic role because she is a strong, intelligent, focused, dedicated, persistent, and powerful woman.
When I pictured Olivia in my head as I wrote the novel, she was always someone I admired, even when she did something wrong. No one is perfect, but she always finds a way to bring the family back together again. She gave up many things in a previous life, but she also found a way to build a new one that made her happy. Although Olivia is not based on any specific woman in my life, different parts of her personality, her thoughts, and her actions come from the strengths and power of many of the female role models I’ve been lucky enough to have in my own life, including my mother and several bosses in Corporate America.
Writing the character of Olivia
To me, Olivia is someone we all know and love. She has had to be everything to everyone at some point in her life, putting others first and solving all the drama and dilemmas her family has faced through the years. I found myself wondering what it might be like to have a traditional English tea with her or to partner with her on one of the various charity organizations she ran. I imagined her dancing with each of her sons at their weddings and holding each grandchild for the first time. She was someone I wanted to know… someone I cared for… someone I wanted to succeed.
There are women like Olivia all around us whether it’s at home, in the office, or in our social circles. Sometimes they’re tough on the outside, but they’re also the ones we count on to move a mountain when we need to reach a goal or need a helping hand. Olivia Glass, like most women I’ve known in life, is someone I’d be proud to call a friend not because she’s my favorite character, but because she’s an inspirational leader who can make a positive impact on those around her.
About James J. Cudney IV
James is my given name, but most folks call me Jay. I live in New York City, grew up on Long Island, and graduated from Moravian College with a degree in English literature. I spent 15 years building a technology career in the retail, sports, media, and entertainment industries. I enjoyed my job, but a passion for books and stories had been missing far too long. I am a voracious reader in my favorite genres (thriller, suspense, contemporary, mystery, and historical fiction), as books transport me to a different world where I can immerse myself in so many fantastic cultures and places. I am an avid genealogist who hopes to visit all the German, Scottish, Irish, and British villages my ancestors emigrated from in the 18th and 19th centuries.
I write a daily blog and publish book reviews on everything I read at ‘This Is My Truth Now’ via WordPress. Most of my free time is spent with family, friends, my significant other, and our shiba inu dog, Ryder, who even has his own Facebook page. My first novel is Watching Glass Shatter, and I chose my second novel, Father Figure, through a poll on my blog where I let everyone vote for their favorite plot and character summaries. It will be released in early 2018. To get a strong picture of who I am, check out my author website or my blog where the 365 Daily Challenge reveals something about my personality every day. It’s full of humor and eccentricity, sharing connections with everyone I follow, all in the hope of building a network of friends across the world.