Through the Wise Women Collective, we spotlight women whom we admire and who inspire! Today we’re spotlighting Amanda Eyre Ward, the author of our Boozy Book Club read, The Lifeguards.
Could you tell us how you came to write The Lifeguards?
It’s inspired by my relationship with my son and seeing him begin his life apart from me.
Because your novel is about three mothers who are dear friends and a night that changes their easy lives, let’s discuss how carefully mothers protect their children, in this case, three teenage sons. And at what price?
I definitely think about this a lot! But sometimes, when we think we are keeping them "safe" we are actually interfering. I honestly don't think we can really control their safety, as much as I want to!
The friendship put to the test among the three mothers is a big part of the novel. Let’s talk about that.
I became fast friends with the mothers of my teen son...but as they boys grew up, our friendships changed.
The idea that we would do anything as mothers to protect our sons is a provocative theme. What is survival once your son is threatened and how do your friends, the mothers of the other boys, factor in?
I am a bit of a control freak, and I was exploring this notion of safety with Liza's character. The real threats to our kids...climate change, world wars...are so difficult to wrestle with that I think many of us (myself included) try to allay our fear with knee pads! I do believe having a strong bond with other moms is key, however.
Self-awareness counts and for Whitney, Liza and Annette. Yet it is only once the wheels are in motion and their boys are being questioned that they face themselves.
Yes, this is absolutely true. They are focused on keeping themselves and their own kids safe...but at what price? Their deliberate ignorance about larger forces is one of the these of the book.
Motherhood matters, where you live and how you live matters. It is with Whitney in particular that we see how demanding it is to keep the status quo.
I loved exploring the insane real estate market in Austin, where I have lived for 20 years. Doomsday bunkers are actually being built here!
Your audience is welcoming of your new title. How has the book campaign been and what are you hearing from your readers?
I think these are the best reviews I've ever received! My favorite book has strong characters and a twisty plot and I hope that's what I've achieved here.
What is the most significant point you’d like readers to take away from your novel?
Lean on others, understand your community, be kind.
What’s next? Are you working on another novel to follow this one?
I am! It's called The Peacocks, and it's about a young widow who is a librarian and falls in love again! Her whole crazy family comes to the wedding in the Costa Rican jungle.