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Please welcome Ann Garvin, author of the new novel, On Maggie’s Watch!

Accept No Substitutes, by Ann Garvin

I’m often asked what my inspiration was for writing a story about Maggie Finley, a quirky woman, filled to the brim with, a sort of hilarious fear. What was so interesting about how this mother-to-be with an unusual sense of justice? The thing is-I’m fascinated by parenting. My own experience was an almost cavalier leap into pregnancy not understanding in the least bit what I was taking on. Not only would I be directing a person (!) through life, but my happiness would forever-and-a-day be linked to my children’s. Who knew? Seriously, who really knows but mothers (and fathers)? I wanted to explore the Mother Bear phenomenon that appears when your child comes on the scene. I think Maggie’s mother, in my book, says it best when talking to Maggie who is afraid to put all her eggs in one basket.

Maggie’s mother said, “How could you not put all your eggs into one basket? This is precisely what happens, what must happen, when a woman gets pregnant and agrees to have a child. Whether you know it or not, you take your sanity, fold it, tuck it into your children’s hearts and they carry it with them unceremoniously and unaware.” She patted her daughter’s sternum. “You have always [amazonify]0425236781[/amazonify]held mine. And this one,” indicating Maggie’s belly, “will always hold yours. That, my darling girl, is both the hard and soft candy center of life. You just can’t get one without the other. It’s a twofer every time.”

I wanted my book to be homage to the craziness that is parenting. It’s such an emotional rollercoaster of wishing, hoping, wanting, and loving. I wanted to deconstruct it for what it really is… a chance for us to, in a world so filled with fear and pain, demonstrate a kind of love for the ages. As a result sometimes we go a little nuts. We coach every basketball game, helicopter our children into college, and brag incessantly in Christmas letters. We make sacrifices that require working more, giving up eating out, and driving cross states to watch our children Irish Dance, Play Hockey, compete in Spelling Bees. One family I’m close to followed their child to Washington DC to compete in a geography bee. The mother can’t find her way out of her home town and her child could name every tributary in Madagascar. Don’t you just love it?

Parenting brings out the best and worst in us. My good, most poised friend lost her voice lately from yelling during Christmas break and then baked a puffy pancake the size of the Rock of Gibraltar in apology. Becoming a parent clarified what love is for me; an enduring desire to protect, defend and give. Accept no substitutes.

My luxury?

That’s easy. Time. When a meeting gets cancelled, an event goes usunder, day light saving time (the part where you get an extra hour) comes around. Any unearned hour that magically comes my way. Time

Check out our review of On Maggie’s Watch!