1) Screenwriter, Blake Snyder, said that every hero needs a good six things that need fixing. These are character traits and flaws (some natural and others brought on over time). Simply put, they are behaviors that need to be addressed. If we leave them as they are, the characters can't experience real change. What are six things you notice, right from the start, that Leila needs to fix?
2) In all fairness, what are six things about Emre?
3) In what ways would you say that our modern world (and nearly everywhere) paints a similar scenario as the setting of this story?
4) Do you share Leila's convictions? Do you have a hard time reconciling the world's portrayal of love with your own?
5) Do you find yourself to be more sympathetic to Emre's struggles than you ever thought you would be?
6) What are your thoughts on forgiveness as a theme in this story?
7) Leo Tolstoy once said, "Everybody thinks about changing humanity. Nobody thinks about changing himself." What can you, a single person, do to remind yourself that you have worth? What can you do to remind others that you see their worth, too?
8) As a small group, what act of kindness can you do to help one (or more) of the millions of people--women and men, girls and boys--caught up in slavery this very hour?
STARTER QUESTIONS FOR SMALL GROUPS...
I didn't set out to write a love story. (Not that I don't love a sweet romance, because I assure you, I do.) I honestly wanted nothing more than to write a story that looked deeply into the issues of slavery. Little did I realize, I was allowed about two hours of daydreaming where this story was leading, and then I heard one simple song on the radio. And...my characters took full control from that point on.
This story is complicated. I get it. It doesn't wrap up nicely. The characters make decisions that maybe you don't agree with, or you wouldn't suggest someone else choose the same path. All I can tell you is that...I felt completely driven to let them be themselves. I wrote them as I felt them. I let them have skin, and I let them teach me a little about what I thought I wanted to say. I absolutely love them. They have given me a new take on love, freedom, and forgiveness.
Amie O'Brien ~ Historical Romance Author