Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Reader in Me

Barbie is hanging precariously from the hardware of my mother's drapes, while Ken runs to her rescue. Neighborhood war is declared. Ammunition and walkie-talkies are dispersed after a lunch of grilled cheese sandwiches and kool-aide milkshakes. Charlie has a new assignment for his Angels. They will be teaming with Bo & Luke Duke to secure the micro-chip hidden in the barn via bikes. Even when the small town of Macungie, PA is quiet, it is necessary for a girl to keep a fake gun her purse. You never know when Archangel may arrive in his helicopter with a crisis.

My childhood was a mix of television, books, and pure imagination. There was and is always some adventure brewing in my head. A constant stream of images of what if's about the world, my favorite characters, and everything in between.

 As a child these images were acted out in play, and then later on the stage and on paper. To be honest, not much has changed. I started writing as an addition to imaginary playtime. It was a catalog of events, and when we would do what. When Barbie would finally kiss Ken, or how Chris Monroe would find out her partner Kelly was captured by the villain. My muse developed a taste for adventure, and I explored it through acting, theater, screenwriting, and then finally the almighty novel.

My books start as a song lyric, a single line of dialog, or an image.  There is also a magical time of day (or night) my Muse loves, specifically, the time when you are laying in that place halfway between an awake mind and slumber. It is a magical realm, and many a scene and a lot of dialog have spawned from that place of peace.

Romantic Suspense is a natural flow of energy for me. It fits my personality. I have attempted other genres, and I have always ended up with the 38 Special in my hand bag.  For me, love is no fun without some treachery, and a few life and death moments. One of the challenges I put forth on myself in writing any novel is first, I have to love it, and second, there must be a balance. Too many times I will read romantic suspense and it is more romance than suspense or visa-versa. I want a good chunk of both. I want them to drive each other.  I love reading romantic suspense, and frankly I was unable to find a book that fulfilled the above need, so I wrote my own. 

The inspiration for my first published novel started small. I became intrigued by the relationship of two brothers on a popular television show, and I started watching a little closer. Then the lyrics of a song developed the plot and angst, and I went with it--Two people, breathless and desperate to kiss each other but unable to act on their feelings. I focused on the single image, rolling all of the possibilities in my head. Why wouldn’t they be able to fulfill their desires? What was holding them back, and what would make them so desperate to act? Where did the need to be in the others embrace stem from? What were the consequences if they acted on their desires?


The answers to each of these questions are of course endless, but in the end Trust Me was born. The two people became Rebecca Gailen and Eric Stiles. The scene wound up in a very different place than I imagined. It, and its consequences, were shattering to both characters. The Trust Me Trilogy is my all time favorite series of books. As a reader, they have everything I want in a romantic suspense! There is action, suspense, romance, chemistry, passion, angst, ranting, crying, fighting, deception... you name it, it's in there. As a reader I think I succeeded in my efforts, creating tales you can immerse yourself in and experience the adventure from the comfort of your favorite chair. 

They tell every writer to write what they love. I am a writer because I love to read. I can only hope readers love what I write.

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