I find when I’m too familiar with something, I forget to see the beauty in familiarity. Growing up on the rez, the huge, beautiful lake surrounding the community where I swam or ice-skated as a child was familiar. […]
Life is definitely getting harder. The news is more terrible everyday: children are killing children, Mother Nature is angry and more and more people are suffering. Sometimes just getting through the day is difficult.
What helps? Respite. A break. Something better to aim for. And that’s what romance books give us. The victory over conflict, the answer to uncertainties, the happily ever after.
Maybe they don’t convey world-changing ideas or cure disease, but they give us hope. And, as Emily Dickinson said so poignantly:
““Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –”
And what are the stories romance writers write? Magical stories of good triumphing over evil, true love conquering all and yes — happily ever after.
In times like these, we need to believe there is hope, […]
Readers and writers – a symbiotic relationship. Ideas spark writers to create stories and build worlds and characters for readers’ consumption. Readers add imagination and thought to interpret those stories, deriving meaning and enjoyment in the process. A story is incomplete without both reader and writer.
And yet, so many authors I know mumble and grumble about their writing: Why hasn’t novel two done as well as novel one? Why is writer X getting so much attention? How should I adjust the manuscript to attract more readers? Why did my publisher reject my latest effort? How can I find the readers who will love my stories?
The grand bargain between writers and readers is a challenging one.
What then do readers want? What constitutes a compelling story? How do men and women differ in their preferences? Where do readers find recommendations? How do readers share their book experiences? These and other questions are […]
I’m not sure about you, but to be perfectly honest, I’m more of a graham cracker and starlight kind of girl.
I fell in love with nature at a young age, and was fortunate enough to spend several years working as a park ranger and a naturalist. Eventually my life went in other directions, and I settled into a career as a novelist. When I got ready to write my newest series, I was drawn to my memories of working in these amazing places. I couldn’t imagine a more exciting and romantic location to set a story than our national parks. Wilderness holds inherent danger as well as beauty, and that […]
My career as a writer didn’t begin like most authors. I wish I could say I wanted to become a writer since I was five years old. Or that I wrote my first book at the age of ten. Or that I have several books under my belt. The reality is, I am embarrassed to say I didn’t even like to read recreationally until I was out of college. I picked up my first novel by accident as I scanned the small bookrack at a convenience store while I waited in line to pay for my bag of potato chips. Map of Bones by James Rollins sparked my love of reading. Something about the cover caught my eye. Once I flipped open the first page, I was in love. The rest is history. I’ve been an avid reader ever since.
I was a little worried that the heroine of my newest Romantic Suspense Cold Blooded comes across as a little overemotional at the start of the story. The readers meet her under duress, and then it gets worse. Pip West finds her best friend face-down in the lake and spends an hour trying to revive her before paramedics arrive and pull her away. Naturally she’s devastated, but there’s a certain dispassion to a book’s audience, especially when the reader has only just met the heroine.
“Don’t make her a whiner.”
In the back of my mind, I hear former editors’ comments about how “no one likes a crier.” And “not to overuse tears.” So, I allow Pip to cry for a little while but then I force her to get a grip and pull herself back together from those million, non-orgasm induced, shattered pieces.
It got me thinking about friendship. About women. Those deep […]
I write contemporary romance that’s driven by music and by characters who live life resiliently. Why do I write emotionally driven books? Well, it’s because people amaze me. And I don’t mean that in the way you hear a lot nowadays, about how horrible people can be. I mean it in the way that people are INSPIRING. I’m sure each of you reading this would amaze me because you have all suffered losses in your life and are still here. Still moving forward. Still trying to find a new normal in your life after the last loss you faced.
When I lost my grandmother while in college, a friend gave me a book called How to Survive the Loss of a Love by Harold H. Bloomfield, M.D., Melba Colgrove Ph.D., and Peter McWilliams. When I read the book, I realized that I’d already experienced a lot of losses in my life. Losses that I hadn’t called a loss. Losses that I’d […]
I love romance for the same reasons I love other genres: intriguing characters with problems, who need others’ help to find solutions. In romance, the main romantic couple are generally the intriguing characters, and they help each other to solve the problem […]
I first started writing Collision while sitting on my couch in a sling just after shoulder surgery. I had not turned thirty yet, and in addition to the excruciating shoulder pain, I was experiencing unhappiness in another area of my life – my marriage. My very good friend, Dorthy, sent me some books to read to keep myself from going stir-crazy. As I read them, I imagined what it would be like to know a man like the love interest in any of those books. I held a pity party for myself, and felt saddened to think that those fictional men don’t exist in real life. (If they did exist, I would have met at least one, right?!) I decided that if I couldn’t find the kind of man I longed for – I would write him into existence.