Excited to have Christine Nolfi on the blog this week to discuss her latest novel, A Brighter Flame
Author Name: Christine Nolfi
Book Title: A Brighter Flame
Book Genre: Book Club Fiction
Release Date: September 27, 2022
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Welcome, Christine! Please tell us about A Brighter Flame.
What happens when estranged sisters—unexpectedly living under the same roof—are forced to reexamine the past? A Brighter Flame explores the unreliability of memories as Vale and Blythe examine the family secrets that tore their family apart—and forge a surprising path forward to heal their relationship.
What sparked the idea for the book?
Often sister stories are written as lighter fare; I wanted to depict the pain evident in many blended families. As half-sisters, Vale and Blythe have very different memories of childhood and how they were treated. In many ways, they’re both victims of an emotional triangle between their mother and respective fathers. How they come to accept this reality—and move past it to build a loving relationship—gave the book heft, and some wonderfully poignant scenes.
What drew you to writing book club fiction?
I love delving into the true-to-life issues many families confront. Our closest relationships are often the most nuanced, frustrating, mysterious—pick your poison. And finding a solution for past grievances (whether real or imagined) takes effort. A Brighter Flame also required medical research and related interviews that were quite fascinating. I hope the story will have book clubs debating the novel’s secrets long into the night.
What about the publishing life do you find most surprising?
The letters from readers, many of which arrive years after a book’s publication. Like most career novelists, I’m deep into the creation of the next story whenever a new book hits the shelves. Receiving those notes makes the long hours of writing and editing worthwhile.
Any words of wisdom for a new writer?
Turn off your internal editor until you’ve completed the novel’s first draft. It’s much better to let your inner child create unhindered. Once you have the first draft in hand, then begin editing. And don’t stop revising the pages until they sparkle.
Are you working on a new project?
Of course! My current WIP is a bit darker than A Brighter Flame, with a cast of complicated and deceptive characters. The book will feature a dual timeline and lots of surprising twists. It’s a story with similar drama and tension as my 2021 bestseller, The Passing Storm.
Where can readers find you?
Thank you, Christine! A Brighter Flame is on preorder NOW.
She’s always wanted a sense of belonging. The last place she expects to find it is home.
Vale Lightner’s dreams turn to ash when the Pittsburgh bar she owns goes up in flames. Just like the past she escaped, very little seems salvageable. Facing unavoidable change, Vale returns to her hometown of Philadelphia to stay with her grandmother.
She knows that returning also means facing everything she left behind: a mother and stepfather who shunted her into the background from the day they married, and her charmed and favored half sister, Blythe, who has abandoned a perfect marriage and is now at a crossroads of her own. Everyone has their secrets, and this reunited family racked by them is about to reach a crisis point.
For a mother and her two daughters, this reunion is a chance for closure, newfound love, and forgiveness. As each of them reassesses her own memories of the past, only the truth can bring them together—in ways that could last forever. From the bestselling author of The Passing Storm comes a poignant novel about family secrets, healing, and the hope of second chances.
Christine Nolfi is the award-winning and bestselling author of fifteen novels, including The Passing Storm, cited by Publishers Weekly as “Tautly plotted, expertly characterized, and genuinely riveting” and gold medal winner in general fiction, International Book Awards. Look for Christine’s 2022 release, A Brighter Flame.
Other works include The Road She Left Behind, a top book club pick by Working Mother and Parade magazines, and the award-winning Sweet Lake Series: Sweet Lake, The Comfort of Secrets, and The Season of Silver Linings.
A native of Ohio, Christine now resides in South Carolina with her husband and their crazy wheaten terrier, Lucy. For more information, visit www.christinenolfi.com.