Friday, February 16, 2018

Dani Collins: Rock Bottom and From The Top

I talked in my last post about how my grandmother had inspired the name for my new series, Blue Spruce Lodge.

I can also credit (blame?) Grandma for my aspiration to write romance. Along with my mom, she read romance and we often talked about the books we shared. "That was a nice one," she would tell me as she handed over a stack.

I always imagined surprising her by putting a book with my name on the cover into her hands. Alas, it was many years after she passed away that I finally published.

The disappointment of not realizing a dream like that is pretty deep. It actually took me twenty-five years to publish and I have to admit to having some dark days in those years when the rejections piled up. I completely lost faith in myself and thought very seriously about quitting more than once.

Persevering after your expectations have been dashed is hard. Fortunately, I had family who gave me some 'chin up' speeches, plus I felt I'd come too far to quit. I finally got The Call in 2012 and I've been publishing seven or eight books a year ever since.

But I brought that experience of failing and losing hope to Ilke when I wrote From The Top.

She's an alpine skier and, like writing, there's a lot of commitment and self-discipline, even some self-delusion. You have to believe you can do something you've never done.

In Ilke's case, she didn't have a support structure. She's even a bit pigheaded about getting to the top on her own, not relying on anyone. It's is a character flaw that needs ironing.

But she also winds up failing when she thought she would sweep the podiums at this year's Olympics. It's a huge blow. And unlike my receiving a rejection letter, her loss means she loses her sponsors. Her income. All the pieces of her carefully planned future fall apart.

Then she realizes she shouldn't have been skiing at all. She's pregnant! Now what? The only thing she truly loves--skiing--is denied her. She never wanted to be a mom, doesn't know how to be a parent, and has no one to turn to except the baby's father.

Nate has some issues of his own. He wants his baby, make no mistake, but there is ambivalence on both sides at first. They both have a lot to navigate, but when it comes to solid-gold, that's what Nate is.

Here's the blurb:

Their hot New Year’s Eve wasn’t supposed to have consequences… 

Fiercely independent after a difficult childhood, Ilke Lunquist devotes herself to one thing: skiing. She’s on the cusp of gold when an unexpected pregnancy throws her future into chaos.

Nathaniel Hart takes on the daunting project of restoring Whiskey Jack Ski Resort to be close to his young son, but with one failed marriage behind him, he avoids serious relationships.

They might be virtual strangers with only a baby in common, but Nate is determined to be part of his child’s life. Ilke didn’t become a champion by ever backing down from a challenge, especially not one where her child’s happiness and her own heart are on the line. When tragedy strikes, heartbreak draws them closer together. Nate discovers he’s more than ready for a bigger family and maybe, just maybe, Ilke will find the home that has eluded her all her life.

From The Top releases on all platforms Feb 27th. Read the first two chapters now.

USA Today Bestselling author Dani Collins writes contemporary romance for Harlequin Presents and Tule’s Montana Born, but her backlist of forty books also includes self-published erotic romance, romantic comedy, and even an epic medieval fantasy. When she’s not writing—just kidding, she’s always writing. She lives in Christina Lake, BC with her high school sweetheart husband who occasionally coaxes her out of her attic office to visit their grown children.

1 comment:

dstoutholcomb said...

Thanks for sharing the story about your grandma.