Rekindled Friendships–or Lack Therof

Yay! Chautona Havig’s new book is officially available! To celebrate its release, we are doing a series of blog posts along with a giveaway. Chautona got to pick the topic, and this is what she said:

In The Title Wave, Ezra and Henri were friends for a long time (each actually really cared about the other but never said anything). But after eight years apart, they have to rediscover each other and their friendship… or more.

So… have you ever rekindled an old friendship after several years?

When I first saw this question, I thought I was really in trouble. I couldn’t think of one friendship I had rekindled. You always run into friends or spend time catching up, but I wouldn’t classify it as a rekindling. Usually, lives change, you’re not in the same place you once were, and it’s just not the same or better than it once was. Honestly, I couldn’t claim a lot of friendships that are worth rekindling simply because I couldn’t claim many friends!

I was painfully shy growing up. Like next-level, please-don’t-even-look-at-me shy. The few friends I had as a child ended up deciding they didn’t like me and moved on. My friends in high school were very few, and I wasn’t outgoing enough to pursue doing social activities outside of studying by myself. In college, I had one friend—the same friend from high school who became my roommate.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve changed. I’m still introverted, and the shy little girl is still in there. But being a mom helped me come out of my shell and pursue friendships. At some point, I realized that I couldn’t expect anyone to be friendly to me if I wasn’t willing to be friendly first. Today, I have a few friends I consider close. And I have my sisters who I am blessed to have as forever friends. A sister doesn’t need rekindling. She’s always there. I have other friendships that have come and gone, and I’ve realized that God often brings friends into your life for a season. They serve a purpose in your life, and you have a purpose in theirs. Then life moves on, and you drift apart. And that’s okay. Your paths come together and you walk side-by-side for a time, but eventually, those paths take you in different directions. I have been very blessed by such friendships, but I acknowledge they served a purpose, but not a forever purpose.

So I thought of all that, and then I remembered one friend, Hannah.  We first met on my way home from my parents’ house one day. It was one of those unexpected friendships. She was a little younger than me and was going through a lot in her life. She kind of carried me along with her. She wasn’t perfect. At times, she aggravated me. But I’d just had my second baby. So many times she’d be there spilling her guts to me late at night when the rest of the house slept, or didn’t sleep, as is more accurate in the case of my babies!

Then life moved on. My writing career took off. We lost touch. I wanted to keep the friendship, but it was difficult when other friendships and the business of life crowded it out. I intended to reconnect, and eventually I did. Not quite in the same way. This time around, I connected more with her daughter, Noelle. She, too had an amazing story, just like her mom.

And just like her mom’s story, I wrote it.

You see, Hannah and Noelle were my imaginary friends. Every time I write a book, the characters become very real to me. They become my friends. Hannah was my first friend that I wrote an entire book about. I got the idea for the story when driving down the road on my way home from my parents’ house. What started as a short story about Hannah turned into six books. I knew there were two more books in my head, but after six books, I was tired. Hannah’s story was complete, and I had a long list of other books that needed to be done. So I put my friendship with Hannah on hold and made some new character friends. But I had a lot of requests for those last two books in the series. Though I told myself I didn’t have to write them, I wanted to. As difficult as it is to write a series, it’s even more difficult to stop a series and then pick it up again, especially when that series involves an intricate time-travel plot. I literally reread all six of my previous books and took notes. Then I made friends again with Hannah and her daughter, Noelle, and wrote the amazing story that existed in my head—the one I was never quite sure I could pull off.

So there you go—I rekindled a friendship with a fictional character. 🙂 (Sorry, Chautona. That’s probably not what you intended! You know I like to draw ever-so-slightly out of the lines!)

Interestingly enough, even those fictional kinds of friendships tend to be only for a season. I’ve had a lot of fictional friends come and go. Just like the real friends, they served a purpose in my life and, hopefully, the lives of my readers. However, there is one area where fictional friends cannot compare to the real ones. There is no two-way purpose in make-believe friends. They can impact my life, but I can’t impact theirs. Maybe that’s one reason I refer to my readers as my “reader friends,” which are far better than fictional friends. With a reader, again, it’s a friendship that goes both ways. Readers bless me by reading my words, leaving reviews, sending messages, and letting me into their lives. Hopefully, in turn, my words bless readers, give them joy, and cause them to see the world from a slightly different perspective. So every time you pick up an author’s books, you are rekindling a friendship more valuable than the friendships with fictional characters.

Just so you know, I’m always hoping for more friends and wouldn’t mind rekindling friendships with a few more readers!

And now you get to make friends with Chautona and a few of her fictional friends in her new book! Happy reading, and happy “friend-ing!”

The Title Wave by Chautona Havig

Protecting her without her knowledge might get them both killed.

Grief has held Eve “Kensi” Kensington captive long enough. Determined to move on after the death of her fiancé six years ago, Kensi moves to St. Alyn to help Ezra with the new boat book business. That there’s a great therapist on the island is just a bonus.

When the West Coast Agency learns that the former fiancée of a deceased informant is under the radar, Simon Garver is tasked to protect her—without her knowledge if possible. Great. Listening in on her therapy sessions might be the worst thing he’s ever had to do as an agent

Nope… scrap that. Falling for his client takes the cake.

When Kensi learns Simon has been keeping secrets from her, she’s done.  Too bad the arrival of a guy sent to “take care of her” means she needs him. She’ll cooperate until she’s safe, toss the trust exercises her therapist has insisted on in the trash, and get back to her job on Ezra’s boat.

If only her heart would listen to the plan…

Take a trip to the Suamalie Islands where palm trees sway, the sand and sea pulse with life, and the people will steal your heart.

Check out some of the other stories of rekindled friendships by the other Suamalie Islands authors!