A Common Question about ORPHAN TRAIN
has to do with the added scene. If you have a first edition of the book, the added scene is not in there, but it is available for FREE download (also available in PDF format). If you have a hardcover of the book or any edition after the first, then the added scene is included.
What is the added scene?
“Vivian’s Choice.” This is a section that addresses a question I received so much after writing the first book that I felt I had to let readers in on my thinking. Consider this a spoiler alert if you are yet to read the book!
This added scene is inserted right after Vivian tells Molly about giving away the baby. Based on my research, reading, and interviews, as well as Vivian’s personality, I felt that this was her only option. But many of my readers felt that this moment was not adequately addressed or explained. So when my editor gave me the option to revise it, I leapt at the chance to do exactly what my readers wanted: to show how, and why, my character comes to this life-changing decision.
Writing this scene was easy, because I understood so deeply my character’s motivations. It was also a great learning experience. Generally I subscribe to Ernest Hemingway’s Iceberg Theory of storytelling: the reader only needs to see the tip of the iceberg; the large mass of ice underwater is what the author knows and that gives the story heft and resonance. When I was writing Orphan Train I thought that because my character’s decision was clear to me, it would be clear to my readers. But I have come to realize that sometimes, particularly in key moments, I need to tell as well as show—to have my characters articulate why they behave the way they do.
Lucky me—I got the chance to do it. This new scene clarifies my character’s motivations, answers some questions, and ties up loose ends—and is, I hope, more emotionally satisfying. Let me know what you think! I welcome your response.
PDF here: “Vivians Choice”
“Vivian’s Choice” can also be downloaded free of charge to your E-reader: “Vivian’s Choice: An Expanded Scene from Orphan Train”