Behind the Book: Deceived
with Irene Hannon
At one point in Deceived, Connor says that coincidences are small miracles in which God chooses to remain anonymous. Do you believe that? Talk about a coincidence in your life that somehow seemed to be more than that.
I’ve always believed that many coincidences are more than that—and I have lots of personal evidence to support that. At the same time, I’m careful not to overuse coincidences in my books. Reviewers often chastise authors who do so for “taking the easy way out.”
Nevertheless, I do sometimes put coincidences in my stories. For example, in Deceived an older friend of the heroine tells her about a time years before when she and her husband were hiking in a very remote area of Ireland. It was a misty day, and they were having trouble finding the trailhead, when another couple emerged from the fog. They struck up a conversation—and discovered that not only were they all Americans, but they lived ten minutes apart. When they returned home, they became fast friends.
In the book, the heroine’s friend uses that story to make a point. Is that coincidence too far-fetched? Simply the product of a writer’s overactive imagination? No…because the story is true. It happened to me and my husband…with one caveat. We didn’t end up becoming friends with the couple we met.
Here’s another very recent example of a “coincidence.” Earlier this summer, as a three-generation trip wound down, several of us got a weird flu bug. We were bummed to end the trip on a sickly note—but even worse, my mom couldn’t seem to shake the malady. When we got home, we convinced her to go to an urgent care center—where they discovered that sometime in the past couple of days she’d had a minor silent heart attack. That led to tests, which revealed a calcified aortic valve. That, in turn, led to open heart surgery, from which she is recovering as I write this. But had she not had the flu, her heart condition might not have been discovered until she had a much more serious heart attack.
A lucky coincidence—or a small miracle in which God chose to remain anonymous?