I read a quote, and I don’t remember the exact words, or even who wrote it, but it was something about no matter whether a book is good or not, the writer of it put their soul into it. And that is true. They bled that book. They cried it. They lived it. I think that’s something authors need to remember. Each story, no matter its reception, is a part of us, a piece of our lives at the time we wrote it, or a sliver of ourselves we cannot, or do not, want to lose. Something we can’t forget, something we wish we could. How we used to be, how we want to be.
Every character I write has a part of me in them. Sometimes it’s a good part, and sometimes it’s a bad one.
With the upcoming release of Within This Frame, I’ve been thinking about how others can view the same thing I do, and see something else entirely. It could be more, or less, or not anything near what I see. To me, this book is the best book I’ve written. Others will disagree. Others won’t understand. Someone said I don’t write typical romances, and they’re right—I don’t. They meant it as a compliment, but I understand how others wouldn’t like that. To me, life is not a romance. Life is life with sparkles of beauty tossed in, and thrown away, and found again. And so much more.
I want to inspire. I want readers to feel what I’m writing. I want them to read a book of mine, and whether they hate it or love it, I want them to think.
As a writer, as a person, I understand these characters at a level I have not previously experienced. Maggie and Lance spoke to me, loudly, fiercely. They wrapped their story around my brain and wouldn’t let go. I’m not going to say I didn’t struggle at times, because I think with anything worth doing, you do. But every time I went to write, they were there, telling me their thoughts, how they think, why they do the things they do. They’re flawed and real and make mistakes. They have regrets. At times, they don’t love themselves enough. They hurt themselves, they hurt those they love.
Maggie is me.
Lance is me.
I’ve lived parts of their story in my own.
I write for the readers, but above that, I write for me. And no matter how this book does, no one can make me think I didn’t give it all the best parts of me it needed to have.