Thursday, July 31, 2014

Behind the Scenes with Lisa Loomis

I love when I have a chance to learn more about the characters in a book.  If you are anything like I am when I read, I love to get lost within a book.  I love knowing everything about the characters and thought it would be fun if we could go behind the scenes with one of the characters of the book!  I hope you enjoy Lisa Loomis's guest post as much as I did!  Be sure to check out the additional posts about the book today as well!

"A Horse Named Joe"

Recently I had a review in which the reader stated she didn’t grasp the horse thing. Every reader is not going to get every book, I understand that, but if she didn’t grasp Joe she missed a whole lot of points about what he meant/showed Roni Dugan, the main character. When Roni first meets Joe in the middle of the road, she is frustrated by his presence there. He’s blocking her way and appears not to care. Even when she tries to shoo him away, he seems to disregard her. It’s not until Devin arrives that she comes to understand Joe doesn’t see so well. Once Devin gets the horse to move, Roni finds the whole encounter incredibly funny….something that wouldn’t happen to her in New York.
When she stumbles on Joe another day as she’s exploring, Roni meets his owner, Calvin, and Joe’s best friend, a pig named Bacon. Again Roni finds the humor, something that’s been missing from her life since the financial meltdown of 2008, when she lost her job at Lehman Brothers. She enjoys Calvin, can see she will like the people on the island, and finds the animals and Calvin’s attitude “trouble-free”.
Another day she runs across evidence of Joe by his “messes” in the street, as Devin had described them. Joe then becomes a topic of conversation with Devin, her husband back in New York, and new people she meets on Green Turtle Cay. She even sends her son a picture, which he makes the comment “Joe looked laid back and cool, the king of his job”. This makes her reflect on her own lost job, a job she’d let define her too much; who she was, and what she had. 
 She loves the fact that Joe is so independent; “It amused her that he got to roam free—the big horse and his tiny island”. It made her feel happy every time she saw him. During a point in the novel when she is reflecting about things she has lost, a second home, a boat, she comes to the conclusion that if she got another boat she’d name it Joe because he represents freedom to her. It becomes the norm to her, Joe in the road, Joe in other people’s yards, Joe messing up the roads as Devin said; Joe was able to do what he liked. 
 There is a funny encounter when Roni seeks Joe out at his home and a family from Idaho is there on the grass visiting him. They were told about Joe by the local grocer, making her realize Joe is sort of the island mascot. When her girlfriends come to the island and they meet Joe, Roni realizes deep down she wants to be like Joe, or really what he embodies, independence, freedom, no-worries.
As she is getting ready to leave the island she runs into Joe in the road again and goes to him to say good-bye. A man comes to an abrupt stop in his cart and rudely asks Roni to move her horse. “Well, Mr. Memphis, let me give you a little Green Turtle Cay 101. This is not my horse. This is Joe. He runs the island, goes where he wants, does what he wants, and he doesn’t particularly like men,” Roni said, leaning forward, challenging. “He bites them, so if I were you I would stay out of his way, not the other way around.”
Having been to Green Turtle myself several times, I felt the same way about Joe that my character Roni did. I loved catching glimpses of him. It tickled me when he’d be standing in someone else’s yard peacefully eating their grass, just like he was supposed to be there. And yes I ran into him in the road a time or two. I’m going back to Green Turtle over New Years with my family and I can only hope we will see Joe on several occasions!

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