Isn’t funny how falling in love again with something makes everything better?
I know. All those things make this a little too vague.
For months I’ve been trudging through the world of writing and romance and what used to be my dream but suddenly seamed more like a nightmare. For the first time in memory I let myself think that being published wasn’t going to happen.
I don’t know why. Maybe it’s that I let doubt demon win. Or that I was tired. Or that I was sick. Or that I couldn’t find a book I loved, not even the ones on my keeper shelf.
I don’t know.
But for whatever reason, that’s what was happening.
And then I rediscovered my joy for the genre.
It started with Karen Templeton. For a week I thought she was just a genius writer who understood the heartbeat of romance and publication. (Okay, so she is all that!)
But then yesterday a couple strange things happened. (There goes that vague thing thing again.)
I picked up a book. Not just any ol’ book, but one I’d thrown back in the TBR pile after one chapter. I don’t know why I’d thrown it back in the pile. Usually if I don’t like a book it gets shoved in the give away or trade box. But not this time.
I’d tossed it back in TBR even though I really hated the book. It was totally unbelievable and the heroine was a wimp and the hero was a jerk. I mean I REALLY did not like this book.
Until I picked it up again yesterday and started reading and realized how cool the plot line was. And soon I was noticing how that wimpy heroine wasn’t really wimpy. And the jerky hero was just responding to a very bad situation. And before I knew it, I was reading the book and enjoying it.
So then, on a whim, I picked up another book, this one in the trade box. And yep. I liked it too. So I picked up another and yep, you guessed it.
Suddenly my scimpy TBR pile was full again.
And then the best thing ever happened.
The doubt demon disappeared and I looked at my 10 rejected stories and got excited about their potential and my potential. For the first time in a long time I WANTED to write. Really write. Write the stories I love. The stories about HEA. The stories about a guy, a girl, maybe a baby, and falling in love and wanting and needing and feeling like all hope is lost but then learning in the end that love really does conquer all.
And then I realized that even though a lot of people poo-poo the stories I love for that PollyAnna look on life, I like that look on life.
And HEA isn’t PollyAnna anyway. Trust me, I know. My grandma’s been married for almost 70 years. She tells me all the time that marriage is hard work and compromise and respect and love. And she and my grandpa are still totally in love with each other. Shoot when I was a kid, they chased each other around the house. Every once in a while, we’d hear a smack and Grandma’s “Oh Odell, stop that!” and we’d know ick, they were making out.
I don’t know what happened over the past few weeks to make me fall out of love with writing love stories. But I sure am happy I fell in love with love again.
I discovered Karen Templeton this week. And after reading one of her books I rushed to the local BookRack pretty sure there was no way all her stuff could be as good as the book I’d read, but still willing to take the chance.
So far I’ve only read two of her books. But I gotta say they’re two of the best books I’ve ever read in my life. She totally captures the fairy tale feeling of falling in love. And her books run the emotional gamut. And they seem very real even though they’re fairy tale romances. And I LOVE them.
I really needed this because other than a few hits like Suzanne McMinn and RaeAnne Thayne, I haven’t found much to love in the romance world and it was driving me crazy.
Thank God for finding new authors. Especially new authors I can learn from.
The latest rejection really hit in a weird way. It made me wonder if I know what the heck I’m doing. And as I read or tried to read all these books and none of them were grabbing me I wondered why other people can get bad books published but I can’t. And then I realized one of the problems with the books I’ve been reading is that they’re all so much the same or so completely unrealistic or simply not romances. And then I read Karen Templeton and remembered what I love so much about the stories I want to tell.
The promise of forever, the passion of new love, the excitement of seeing someone and wating and not even knowing what it is you want but knowing you by God want it, and I realized that yummy feeling is what’s missing in what I’ve been trying to do.
Will that discovery lead to me finally breaking through? Who knows. It won’t until I start to write again. 🙂 But in the mean time, I’m going to read and think and play some.
I’ve tried to read three books this week. All category romance because during the work week, I can read a category and get my fix :-). Usually when I read, I like to get to the end within a couple days and I can’t do that with big booksand still have a life. So category it is.
The first, Karen Templeton’s Swept Away, was incredible. The characters were real. The writing sparkled. It was different, it was fun, it was sexy and snappy and everything I love about category. Only not because it was so different.
Then I picked up the next book in my TBR pile.
I gave it two chapters. The characters were cardboard, the situation cliche, the writing so similar to everything else out there I could care less about it. And this was from an author I’ve really enjoyed in the past. I hope this was just an off book.
Today I picked upanother. This one by a best selling author. I didn’t even give it two chapters. The entire situation set up was so ridiculous and the heroine so uninspiring I put the book down. It wasn’t worth it for me to keep reading.
And now I wonder if that incredible book by Karen Templeton is why the next two books couldn’t hold my attention.
Do I want too much?
I don’t think so.