It’s Right to Write

I Love Romance Novels

It’s no secret that romance novels are my life. I write them, I read them. I devour as many as I can get my hands on.

But I read an article a few weeks ago about people mocking each other for what they read. I remember when 50 Shades of Grey came out people loved it, but the ones who were against it called it “mommy porn” and said it was trash.

Who cares what you read?

It bugs me when people are judged for what they love. One of my favorite quotes is from a letter Ray Bradbury wrote. The end says:

Be your own self. Love what YOU love! ~Ray Bradbury

I try to live by that quote (even to the point that I intend on getting it tattooed on my wrist at some point). Which is why I could care less if you read romance novels, mysteries, trucker magazines, or children’s books. But for me, romance novels are the only option, or at least my favorite one.

I’m a die hard romantic at heart. Falling in love in real life is hard because of all the uncertainties and doubts. But falling in love in a book takes away all those worries because you know what’s going to happen.

Heartbeats

Romance novels put words to the heartbeats in a love story. I love looking inside a person and hearing their thoughts, seeing their emotions. Romance novels, and all books really, let you know what is truly going on inside a person’s head. It answers the questions you wanted to ask when you were falling in love. You find out what the character is thinking, getting inside their head and feeling the same thing they are.

As hard as it is to fall in love in real life, falling in love in a book is so much better. You get to experience all the good parts, cry through the bad parts, and have it all be over in a few hours.

It’s like watching a great movie, except we all know the book is always better!

Love is what makes life worth living. Without love, life feels empty. Romance novels give you the chance to experience love over and over again.

And remember that each love is different.

When you think about your first love, hopefully you look back on it with fondness, remembering the good times. I hope you feel that way about every past love in your life. I’m sure there are some that ended badly or that weren’t what you thought they were, but none of that bad stuff lingers in a romance novel. Everything is wrapped up into one neat little package.

One package that gives you hope, lets you love, and provides an escape all in one.

I still don’t care what you read. I know what I like and why. I’m assuming if you’re reading this you like romance novels, at least a little bit. But I’m just happy you’re reading!

Why do you love romance novels?

Posted in Amazing Books | Comments Off on I Love Romance Novels

Let It Rain

The parking lot outside my building, in the rain!
The parking lot outside my building, in the rain!

As a kid, I was good at making things up. I lied more than most people, and no I don’t advocate it, just telling the truth (now). I guess in a way it was preparing me for life as an author where telling stories is a way of life. In elementary school my third grade teacher had us fill a composition book with stories – you remember those ugly black and white marbled cover books. I hated those things because you can’t flip the cover all the way around without breaking the binding (don’t ask how I know). Anyway, I think that class helped me love writing and gave me the foundation for it, even though it took me another 25 years to realize it! One of the stories we had to write was about the weather or being outside. I don’t know exactly what the topic was, but I remember writing a detailed story about how much I loved the rain.

What’s funny is I realized as I wrote that I was writing the truth.

After that essay I loved the rain. I know I wrote about how quiet it is in the rain because everyone else is hiding indoors and how nice it always smells after it rains. Even the sound of rain is soothing, as long as there’s no thunder. Outside my apartment right now, it’s raining. It’s been raining since last night sometime. When I dropped princess off at school this morning she was disappointed that it was going to rain because it would mean she couldn’t go on the playground at school, but for me, no big deal. I’m not an outdoorsy sort of person. I hate bugs, dirt, and sunshine. I’m a weird one. But the rain always makes things fresh and new. In the rain, the bugs are hiding and the dirt is washed away. And of course the sunshine is hiding. It’s odd to me how something that seemed right in front of me my whole life was something I hid from. The rain has brought out the writer in me again and whenever it rains I say a little prayer of thanks that I found my true calling. I also find myself grateful that I never stopped looking for what made me happy. Next time you feel a little lost, wait for the rain, and let it wash away all the extra stuff until you find the real you. It worked for me!

What’s your favorite weather?

Being Brave

We reached a huge milestone in our family this week. My daughter decided to get her ears pierced!

New Pierced Ears!
New Pierced Ears!

Hubby and I told princess when she turned five (last August) that it was up to her when she was ready to get her ears pierced. It was a process thanks to our decision to take her to a piercing studio instead of the mall because of this article. We knew we were doing the right thing for her, but it was also a bit of a hassle. Not only did we have to get a signed letter from her doctor (state law requires physician approval) but we also had to do one ear at a time – not easy with a nervous five year old.

But she did it. It was scary and it hurt, but she did awesome. I was a very proud mommy.

And yeah, I learned something from her about bravery.

For years I loved reading and writing, but never saw anything with it as a potential career. I know a part of me was scared, just like my daughter sitting in that chair on Tuesday afternoon.

Over the last few months I’ve been writing like crazy. I’ve felt called to be a writer. It might sound strange to think God was telling me I should write romance novels, but I really do feel that way. It’s odd and a little uncomfortable to imagine him reading over my shoulder, but hey, why not!

Bravery is something we all have to have at some point in our lives. For my daughter bravery came when she sat in that chair and not once, but twice, had to be ready for her ear to be pierced. For me bravery comes every time I hit publish. I love writing and think I’m good (let’s face it, I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t believe in myself), but it’s easier to believe in your talents when you’re getting justification in the way of sales!

Being brave is hard. Matt, the man who pierced princess’s ears, said, “Bravery is not not being scared. Bravery is being scared but doing it anyway.” I know I’ve heard that before, but it rang true with me this week.

Playing By The Rules finally went free last week on Amazon. I was excited, but also terrified. I was really putting my work out there. I knew it would get in more hands and I would be opening myself up to bigger rewards but also bigger let downs. Still, it had to be done if I was going to move forward.

As I write this Rules has been downloaded hundreds of times. It is top 1000 on Amazon’s free books and top 50 in two women’s fiction categories. I’m thrilled by that. But it has one review on Amazon and  one on Smashwords (both are five star reviews so that made me incredibly happy).

I sit back and worry that hundreds of people now have my book in their library and only two of them decided to write anything about it. Does that mean it sucked? Does that mean no one else had anything nice to say about it? Or does that mean nothing?

I have no idea.

What I do know is I have to be brave.

So I sit down at my computer day after day and I keep writing. I’m working on my next book. I’m planning out the ones that will come after that. I develop ideas and social media posts and blog posts and push forward.

Because maybe, just maybe, of those hundreds of people who have my newest book, there are some who loved it and just don’t like leaving reviews. Maybe they’re thrilled with what I’ve written but don’t realize how important reviews are for a writer.

Who knows?

But being brave is my only option. If I love my work (which I do) I need to keep writing and believe in myself. I’ve gotten lots of great feedback from readers and it keeps me going. I have no reason to doubt it.

I might sound like a spoiled child looking for her parents’ approval. In a way I guess I am! Honestly, I crave positive feedback, just like everyone else. One of my favorite authors, Gretchen Rubin, writes all the time that she wants “gold stars” for the things she does. We all do. We want to know that what we say and what we do has made a difference to someone.

So I sit back and I think about the people who’ve downloaded my books and I thank them for taking a chance on me. Then I think about the people who leave a review for me and thank them for their kind words and their belief in me. Then I think about the people who’ve signed up to be on my mailing list and thank them for liking my work enough to want to follow me.

And I know I’m on the right path.

But I still have fears. I worry about the first negative review (because I know I’ll get some). I worry I won’t be able to focus on the great words I’ve gotten and will instead focus on the bad ones. But the truth is, if someone doesn’t like my work, they are just not my ideal client. And that’s okay. I still need to push forward.

So I’m going to be brave, just like my princess.

What inspires you to be brave?

More Than Adopted

More Than Adopted

My latest book, More Than Adopted, is almost ready. I’m heavily into editing it and will have it finished within a few days. And the best news is, it’ll be free!

What I’ve decided to do with this book is offer it for free to anyone who subscribes to this site. This story is very personal for me. It was the first book I ever wrote. I loved the story. And it held a lot of personal elements. And I struggled with putting it out there. I wanted it to be special. I wanted it just for you, my faithful readers.

The story is of Autumn Alexander. She is a wedding planner who’s struggling to find herself, literally in many ways. Autumn has always been in love with her best friend, Ben. Ben barely knows Autumn exists, at least as anything other than his friend.

Autumn was adopted as a baby and decides to search for her birth parents. She’s scared and confused and needs her friend to rely on. But just as she gets into her search, she meets another man. One who knows she’s there and treats her like she’s always dreamed Ben would treat her.

Go with Autumn on her discovery to find who she is, where she comes from, and where her heart really lies.

Like I said, this story is very personal for me. I was adopted as a baby and I’ve never sought out my birth parents, but I identified with Autumn a lot in this story. She is someone I liked learning about, enjoyed writing about, and was thrilled to see happy in the end.

Sign up below or in the header for my mailing list and get your copy of More Than Adopted, plus other great goodies!

Seven Reasons I Write

Seven

I’ve always loved to write. Growing up it was a way for me to create something new and different. My sister is an artist – as in she draws, paints, and has a degree in sculpture. Her talents always made me feel like I wasn’t creative. I was so impressed by her and thought I wasn’t any good.

I also found that math and science were easy for me. With those subjects, you either know it or you don’t. There isn’t any room for interpretation so if you’re good at it, you don’t have to try so hard. With English, Language Arts today, there was more opinion than I could ever handle. My teachers made me feel like I was wrong. We would try to understand Shakespeare and I was wrong, every time. We would read historical novels and I just didn’t get it. I ended up hating English.

Until college.

I don’t remember the class now, but I remember my English 102 class my freshman year of college. I had a grad student as the teacher and she was awesome. She really let us figure things out and let us interpret things our own way. I found my love for English again.

But it was still another fifteen years before I decided to become a writer. Why now?

1. I’ve always loved to read. It sound cliche a little bit, but you do what you know. Well, I know books. I read about one book each week on average. I’ve read a book in a day before. I devour books, and it made sense that I would write them.

2. I love getting lost in another world, or another life. When I write, I lose myself in the characters I’m creating. My first book, still unpublished, the main character is someone I relate to. She’s similar to me in a lot of ways, so it was easy to relate to her. The books I’ve written since, the women and men are very different from me. But each character has a little piece of the person I wish I was, or the person I am. And it’s exciting to be that person, just for a little while.

3. A book can change your world. I remember reading Ordinary People when I was in high school. I don’t remember much about it now (I really need to re-read it one day) but I know it had an impact on me. I told my friend, later my boyfriend, about the book. We were talking about what we were reading and his English class was reading something else. He read it a few weeks later. He hugged me and thanked me for telling him about the book. He said it truly changed his life. That’s what I hope to create one day.

4. It comes easy to me. That sounds conceited or crazy, maybe, but it really does. At first I fought it, but after I started, I couldn’t stop writing. I can finish a book in about three weeks, before editing. That sounds like a long time, but there are a lot of authors out there who write one book each year. They are immensely talented, but they get tied up in a lot of other things. For me, I just get to write, and the words flow.

5. I’m living my dream. When I was in elementary school, I wrote a short story, a few of them. I remember the thrill I got from writing. From sharing my ideas and being able to talk about what was interesting to me. And I never let go of that. I pushed English to the side as I realized I was good at math and science, but writing was always something I came back to. It’s my dream to be a writer, and I know this is what I’m meant to do.

6. I listened to my friends. There were many times that I was told, “you should write a book.” Most of the time it was about advice I had given on different subjects, but the intention was there. I started to let myself think I could write a book, and when I finally jumped in, I loved it.

7. Writing is a part of me. I’ve always been a good writer. I edit everything I read as I read it (not to say I don’t make mistakes too) and I think about how I would have said something. I can’t write a short e-mail (one reason I suck at Twitter) and I will always give you more information than you need. But writing is right for me. I haven’t always kept a journal, but I have always written. Sometimes it’s e-mails to friends, sometimes it’s a way to get out my thoughts and ideas, and sometimes it’s just creativity flowing. But writing is in me.

Writing is perfect for me. It’s something that makes me feel like I’m whole. My last career left me feeling empty, so I know this is the right fit for my life.

So what about you? Leave a comment below and tell me why you do what you do. If you’re not doing what you love, tell me what you would love to do and why!