Interview with Dave and Mary (hero and heroine in To Have and To Hold)

I might as well have just titled the book, “The couple who never fight” because I’m at chapter 11 now where Dave and Mary are in Maine to see her ailing father who has a week left to live and to help her gain back some of the memories she lost.  Well, part of the conflict I had planned to do is crumbling because these two are on the same page–as in, they actually talk to each other openly and honestly.  What a weird couple, right?  Who in real life acts this way?  In my marriage, my husband and I argue, drive each other crazy, don’t tell each other everything, say “nothing’s wrong” when there really is something wrong, etc.  That’s normal.  Don’t get me wrong.  We’re happy, but there are days we look at each other and wonder, “What was I thinking when I married this person?”

Well, Dave and Mary aren’t like that.  Sure, she didn’t talk to him in Eye of the Beholder that time after the miscarriage, which provided great conflict, but good grief, they are talking about everything in this book.  

Dave: Why would you want us to fight?

Ruth: Well, it would make the story more interesting.

Dave: Oh, give me a break.  I fought you like crazy over Isaac’s Decision, but you didn’t listen to me no matter how much noise I raised.  I see no reason to argue with anyone anymore, and even if I did, I wouldn’t argue with Mary.  I love her.

Ruth: Married people fight, Dave.

Dave: That might be true for everyone else because they don’t have Mary in their life.

Ruth: You could avoid her questions.  Like when she asked you what you talked to her father about, you didn’t have to tell her.

Dave: I didn’t give her the details of what he said.  I see no reason to do that.  Her knowing the kind of names people called her and how they used her when she was growing up isn’t something that will benefit her.  I just told her the bulk of what he said.

Ruth: But this was the perfect chance for her to wonder and start worrying about your attraction for her.

Dave: *rolls eyes* When I could just tell her and make love to her instead?  Yeah, like I’m that stupid to pass up a chance to have sex.  I made that mistake in Eye of the Beholder.  I’m not going to do it again.

Mary: Ruth, you’re worrying over nothing.  There’s plenty of conflict in the story if you look for it.  My family in Maine is full of conflict.  Sure, I don’t remember anything to tell you what that is, but there’s a good reason why I left and didn’t want to come back.  There’s a reason why I started throwing out the letters my mom sent me.

Ruth: That’s pretty vague.

Mary: Well, you chose to give me amnesia, so I can’t help you connect the dots. 

Dave: That’s telling her, Mary.

Ruth: Dave, don’t tell me you’re still holding a grudge since I wouldn’t take your rewrite of Isaac’s Decision.

Dave: There was nothing wrong with what I wrote.  I concede that Emily is a good wife after all, but I still think you could have accepted my offer to help write the ending.

Ruth:  Sorry, Dave.  I don’t have ghostwriters.  Sink or swim, I write what I publish.  Hey, I pulled out the old GIMP program and did a poster for you guys.  Want to see it?

Dave and Mary: Not really.

Ruth: Great.  Here it is…

Dave: And you thought my writing was bad? 

Ruth: What?  You don’t like it?

Dave: Don’t quit your day job. 

Ruth: Oh come on.  It’s not that bad.

Dave: It’s not that good either. 

Mary: This isn’t going to be the book cover, is it?

Ruth: No.  It’s just an experiment I was doing on merging images and fading one into another.

Mary: Whew.  That’s a relief.  In that case, I think it’s just fine. 

Ruth: You two are all heart.  It’s amazing I don’t give up writing with all the grief you characters give me.

Mary: I said it was fine.

Ruth: Because it’s a draft.

Dave: Look who’s talking.  You brought Joel in here to criticize my writing and write those bad reviews on my work.  I know Joel made all those reviews. 

Ruth: And you wrote all the glowing ones.

Dave: What:  How could you tell?

Ruth:  All the references to Mary…  It was a dead giveaway, dude.

Mary: What reviews?  I don’t think I’ve seen these.

Ruth: Here they are.  It also includes the first ending he wrote to Isaac’s Decision.

Mary: Hmm… Does Joel write books?

Dave: I don’t think so.

Mary: Then he didn’t write those 1-star reviews.  Those were written by a writer.  Is there a writer you know who might not like you?

Dave: I don’t think so.  I mean, there’s Ruth, and she wasn’t happy with the writer’s block I gave her.  But she wouldn’t…  Hey, where did Ruth go?

Mary: Well, I guess we know who wrote those 1-star reviews.  But don’t pay her any mind.  I like what you wrote, and it was sweet of you to think of me at the end.

Dave: Yeah, I guess so.  I just can’t believe she did that.  I mean, after all I’ve done for her over the years.  You think you know someone.

Mary: Don’t worry about it.  Just make sure you don’t give her a point of conflict in To Have and To Hold.  That’ll show her.

Dave: You’re right.  *puts his around around her shoulders* We are the perfect couple.

Mary: Yes, we are.

About Ruth Ann Nordin

Ruth Ann Nordin mainly writes historical western romances and Regencies. From time to time, she branches out to contemporaries romances and other genres (such as science fiction thrillers). For more information, please go to or check out
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2 Responses to Interview with Dave and Mary (hero and heroine in To Have and To Hold)

  1. Judy DV says:

    Who couldn’t love them!
    Although it is hard to believe Dave was so outgoing and rough in those interviews over Isaac’s Decision, hardly sounds like the same gentle fellow.

    • In Isaac’s Decision, he turned out to be gentle, too. I expected there to be punching and yelling, but he ended up crying instead. Well, in my first couple of scenes, he was punching Neil, but then it didn’t feel right and I got stuck. So I had to delete the original scene and rewrite it.

      The way Dave was in the interviews was nothing like how he was in the book. LOL

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