Isaac’s Decision Trivia

The cover was made by Bonnie Steffens (one of my awesome readers). 😀

I knew Isaac and Emily would end up together while I was writing Eye of the Beholder. This was while both Cassie and Mary were pregnant. Cassie was further along than Mary was. Cassie was surrounded by Neil’s mom and two friends (Connie and Maureen) while they were talking about Cassie’s baby moving in her womb. Cassie offered to let Mary feel the baby move, and when she did, I thought, “Mary’s child is going to marry Cassie’s child. Dave is going to be pissed.” 😛 Hey, every story needs conflict right? So that’s when I decided Mary would have a boy. I knew right away Cassie and Neil would have a girl. I felt Neil needed a girl after the way he treated women all of his life because it would show him how wrong he’d been to use them the way he had. Only a daughter was going to turn him around.

This book was completely different from how I had envisioned it when I started the story. Originally, Isaac and Emily were supposed to elope but Isaac was going to have no clue when it came to providing for her. The two were going to be knee-deep in financial problems. Emily was supposed to feel like she had no place to go to since there was supposed to be this blowup between Dave and Neil, and she didn’t want to make things worse. So she was going to leave and search for her real mother. Cassie was going to be in this huge house entertaining guests and having a wonderful time. (Sorry, but Cassie didn’t end up in a ditch somewhere, which I’m sure is what most people wanted to hear.) The basic idea was that sometimes bad people get away with doing bad things (at least in this life). Emily was supposed to feel like she had no one, but Isaac was supposed to follow her and tell her he was sorry and that he loved her and was going to do whatever it took for them to be together. Then somehow, they were going to work everything out between Dave and Neil. That was my original plan for the book. As we all know, the characters went on a totally different tangent.

Dave’s hope that Isaac would marry Eva Connealy was based partially off of my mom’s hope that I was going to end up marrying a guy I was dating in college. She was very excited about him. He was a nice guy, but there was no “spark” between us. I tried, but you can’t force something that isn’t there. Poor Isaac was in the same situation with Eva.

I really liked Eva, but since I already knew Isaac was going to choose Emily, I had decided I would do a book for her in the future. That book ended up being Boaz’s Wager.

Emily felt the same way about book reports that I did in school. I loved to read, but I hated doing those reports.

A minor character I had mentioned but never showed in the story was Mrs. Ritter. She was pregnant and worked in a factory. Her husband had recently died. I had planned to set her up with Isaac’s friend, Wiley. Other stories, however, took over, and I never did write it.

In the first draft, when Dave found out Isaac had eloped with Emily, he punched Neil out. After some time to think it over, I decided that was too extreme. Plus, I had no idea how Dave and Neil would ever be able to work things out after that. So, I deleted that scene. Instead, I opted to have Dave in tears as he wondered where he went wrong.

I had Isaac tell Emily (disguised as Elmer) about The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg because I wanted a book that would shock Eva. Eva was created to be a contrast to Emily. So I had to pick something that would get Emily into trouble. The Confession book fit perfectly. I found it during a search on Goodreads, and I read through the plot descriptions and the spoilers. To this day, I have no interest in reading that book.

Another little trivia is that I have never read over half the books I mention in my stories. Some people are under the impression that I enjoy reading certain authors just because my characters do, but that’s not true. Some of my characters love the books they do because I’m conveying something about their personalities. For example, Eva loves the classics, and she hates dime novels. To Eva, dime novels are fluff. They are a waste of time. I, personally, prefer entertainment over the classics because I like fluff. I read to relax. Eva read to be educated. I still like Eva, though. But her choice in books says a lot about her, as does Emily’s choice in books.

It was nice to finally heal old wounds between Dave and Neil. It paved the way for me to write another story where one of Dave and Mary’s children would marry another one of Neil’s kids. That led to His Convenient Wife where Harriett Larson married Stan Craftsman.

About Ruth Ann Nordin

Ruth Ann Nordin mainly writes historical western romances and Regencies. From time to time, she branches out to other genres, but her first love is historical romance. She lives in Omaha, Nebraska with her husband and a couple of children. To find out more about her books, go to
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2 Responses to Isaac’s Decision Trivia

  1. Erica says:

    Great trivia. Fantastic book and I am glad the characters chose the paths they did, because that made this a truly inspiring story. I liked that even though he was so young, Issac was a true Larson and took responsibility seriously. It’s a real sweet romance.
    I always wondered if The Private Memoirs book was a real one and now I know.
    Please do Wiley’s story! That sounds great. It must also be fun to pick names for all your characters. Do you ever look to see what the popular names were at the time?
    I was so happy that Dave and Neil finally became friends. Neil is one of my favorites and I was glad that Dave was humbled to realize he did to Emily what Neil did to Mary, and that was judge a “book” by its cover. Thanks again for the trivia and for writing, and I look forward to the next one.

    • I’m glad you liked the way the story turned out. Looking back on it, it was best to go in the direction it did, especially since back then it was common for men that young to be on their own and earning a living. One of my boys just turned 18 in August, and I have to keep reminding myself that he’s an adult. It doesn’t feel that way to me. It’s so weird how I look at him and remember the kid heading off for kindergarten. When my mom said time goes too fast, she wasn’t kidding! 😀

      Yep, it’s a real book. I would never read it, but I think the author posed a good idea on how people can justify anything they do for religious reasons.

      I have the hardest time picking names, mostly because I’ve used up so many already. I like to do a Google search for 1800s names for the historical westerns. For the Regencies, I look up Regency era names. Early on, it was easy. The name would just pop into my head.

      I’ll see what I can do to get to Wiley’s story. Isaac’s friends seemed like fun when I wrote them, and if memory serves, Wiley is a bit on the goofy side.

      You know, I hadn’t thought about the judging a book by its cover thing, but you’re right. Dave did do that with Emily, just as Neil had earlier done that with Mary. 😀

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