|My September release!|
I started a new book this week and it’s one of the most creatively exciting times for a writer. It’s always, always something to be jazzed about, and even fifteen years after my first sale, I do not take it for granted that I’m fortunate to write books that already have a home on a publisher’s list, books that readers will be looking for.
There was a time, of course, when that was not the case. And while writing a new book as a pre-published author is exciting, it’s also nerve-wracking wondering “will this be The One? My first sale book?” I can remember so well how much I angsted over each new story set-up, hoping this time I would iron out the problems with the previous story and write a great “can’t put it down” story.
It’s so much harder than it looks. Or at least, I underestimated how difficult it would be when I sat down to write the first story. Good authors make a story unfold so seamlessly. It sounds like they lived the story themselves, gaining access to interesting characters’ minds to retell the tale of how they fell in love against all odds. There is a smooth pace, engaging dialogue and tense moments where you wonder if all is lost. But then, through personal growth and sacrifice, there is a moment of hope. Love triumphs. Often, there are tears and smiles all around.
But it’s not easy! And it truly never *becomes* easy. Even after writing seventy-plus romances for Harlequin and a handful for Tule and some Young Adult books, I am positive that writing a book will never happen as fluidly as I once naively imagined it might. Sometimes, a story happens with a bit less gnashing of teeth, but there are always days where I feel like I’ve gone astray with the storytelling and I’ll need to go back and rewrite.
So it’s almost a surprise that—even knowing how many obstacles lie ahead for both myself and my characters—I still get so excited and fluttery-nervous over typing the simple words “Chapter One” at the top of a new page. There is still magic in the process. Still an incredible alchemy that a small idea can snowball into a story that turns complex, difficult, and ultimately satisfying.
I know the process will be hard. But I’m confident at the end, there will be tears and smiles all around.
Celebrate my 71st release from Harlequin with me! Pick up Whispers Under a Southern Sky, plus win today's giveaway of Seducing the Matchmaker, a 3-in1 with stories from me, Meg Maguire and Lori Borrill, plus some cute notepads to help you get organized. To enter, just post a note below and let me know what you're reading this month. I just finished A Place We Knew Well by Susan McCarthy and now I'm hoping the postman brings Jill Shalvis' The Trouble With Mistletoe so I can dig into her latest!