Dear Author Friday is a question and answer (Q & A) series where I respond to readers and friends about my life as a contemporary romance writer.
As an author, I absolutely love to write about real-life situations that individuals face every single day. As a result, I try hard to be sure four factors are included in my stories: the power of the love between the right man and woman, the support of family and friends, ways to change the situation for the better, and most importantly, writing about those “touchy” subjects.
Domestic violence was the premise for my debut novel, When I’m With You. The premise for my sophomore release, When A Man Loves A Woman, focuses on a woman who after eight years is still battling the pain and humiliation of finding her ex-husband in bed with another man. Now it’s one thing for your manuscript to include the “touchy” subjects. It’s a whole different monster to get it published. “Nice writing, but touchy topic” or “the premise is a little too outside the box” rejection letters landed in my mailbox faster than a cold slot machine sucks in coins. Rejection letter number, heck I can’t even remember the number now, from agent what’s-his-face came along. However, I never abandoned what I felt was the core of what made my books unique and did the one thing my late mother often reminded me to do whenever I faced a tough situation growing up, which was to reach beyond the break.
I wonder if in her maternal wisdom, my mother knew I’d one day need those very words of encouragement in order to hold steadfast to what I felt was a major factor that made my books unique? Well, for once in my life, I did exactly what my mother told me to do. Why? Have you ever had a conviction hit you to the point you couldn’t let it go? Touchy subject or not, a person knows, what they know, when they know. And I knew I had two good stories. Forget what’s-his-face and all of the other agents before him who didn’t see that particular uniqueness in my books.
Oh, yeah, remember my domestic violence story? That’s the one I got enough rejection letters from to wallpaper one side of my office wall. Well it was that “touchy” subject that earned me the 2008 Romance Slam Jam Emma Award for Debut Author of the Year.
Until next time – stay well and be blessed!