“Everything’s bigger in Texas. Even the Secrets.” How many family sagas have you read that include a murder mystery in Texas, an epic romance in Japan, tragedy on the cobblestone streets of Paris, and cliff-divers and witchy-women in Mexico? Nicholas Bridwell’s debut novel, The Ties That Bind, is about five families who couldn’t be more different coming together as a community when tragedy strikes their neighborhood. From there, the story branches out into generations as we explore the fascinating lives of a young painter, a French baker, a factory worker’s beautiful Japanese wife, and a vindictive mistress who is one of the finest, most complex women in all of literature. The Ties That Bind begins with a man with a severed leg limping through the woods. Where it ends will leave you breathless.
Targeted Age Group:: 18-99
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I had just finished up a short story and I was looking for a new challenge. One of my friends pointed out that I could use a little diversity in my work. Actually, he said, “Dude, you only write about white people in their late 20s.”
I realized that while my personal life had a diverse cast of characters of all colors and creeds, my work had yet to reflect that diversity. So, I wrote a scene with an African American boy challenging the bigotry of small-town baseball players. Suddenly an entire community opened up. I began writing about even more cultures! By the time the book was finished, I had a tale about the value of community that featured families from Japan, France, Mexico and Texas.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Most of my characters are either facets of myself or people I know. I share a lot in common with Rufus McKay, the protagonist. There are parts of me in Henri and Paulo as well. Gus Murphy is very heavily influenced by my own grandfather Guy Murphy. See what I did there?
Other than that, I just use the world around me.
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