I’m so excited to be here on InspyRomance with so many awesome inspirational romance authors! And it’s even more special to be here blogging during our launch week. I feel like I should have brought confetti and party hats. I’m glad you’re here too—because that means you and I have a lot in common. We get swept away by stories of hope and love!
Fiction is fun. I’ve always loved it because you can go anywhere between the pages of a book. When I was younger, I visited Wilbur and Charlotte at Zuckerman’s Farm, even though I was as much of a city kid as you could get. As I got older, I put on a hoop skirt with Scarlett and while other pre-teens checked out their crushes in Bop and Tiger Beat magazines, I could quote obscure Gone with the Wind trivia (Margaret Mitchell originally named her heroine Pansy O’Hara). I even bought a Teach Yourself Gaelic CD so I could better understand what Jamie was saying to Claire in Outlander.
I love books. I love being a part of the world created by books. I always have.
And now, as an author, I love when MY books reflect a part of me. Write what you know, goes the writing mantra. I believe this deeply. By weaving places and themes in my book that I know or have lived gives me a chance to truly see through my characters’ eyes. I’ve been there, done that. I know what they’re going through. And I hope it makes the characters and the story more vibrant. My high school English teacher called it verisimilitude—the quality of seeming real.
In my current release, New Year’s Eve—the first book in my Holiday Hearts Novella Series—I set Eve and Spencer’s story in a place that’s very special to me, Galveston, Texas. Galveston, an island off the coast of Texas, is where I was born and I lived there for several years as an adult as well. I’ve walked the same beach, eaten at the same restaurants, and shopped in the same stores. I tried to bring to life a unique coastal community for Eve, Spencer, and my readers. In fact, I did an entry on my own blog with some behind the scenes “extras” for my readers to bring those sights, sounds, and tastes to life even more.
Saving Gracie, my Love Inspired debut from last year featured a topic that is part of my life as well—education and the Spanish language. Gracie Garcia, runs her own English as a Second Language school that’s threatened by the latest project from local developer Jake Peoples. My mother is a former English as a Second Language teacher, and my daughter is enrolled in a Spanish Immersion program at school. At age 5, she’s fluent in both Spanish and English! She started at a local Spanish Immersion preschool and we’re fortunate that our local school district offers a similar program in our neighborhood elementary school. I’m pretty sure she has no idea that most people in our country speak only English in school!
In The Cupid Caper, my upcoming February release, I’m bringing to life another Holiday Hearts Novella Series story. Amanda, my heroine, is a high school English teacher with a passion for romanticism and the classic stories of centuries gone by. She’s a girl after my own heart. And Gorilla Dating, my light-hearted inspirational women’s fiction story coming out this summer, got its start when several of my friends asked me to write the story of my worst date ever. Seventy thousand or so words later, the rest is history!
What about you? Can you tell when an author has a special connection to the subject matter? Does it make a better story for you as a reader?
And this week (Feb. 4-7, 2014) you can win a copy of my latest release, New Year’s Eve here on Inspy Romance! Just leave a comment here about your favorite setting in a book and I’ll pick a winner on Saturday, Feb. 5. And please stop by my blog and take part in the New Year’s Eve launch party! The winner will be announced Saturday, Feb. 5 too! You can win a turquoise necklace inspired by Eve’s from the book, a prize pack designed to help you make this the best year yet—including iBloom’s iChoose2 Love My Life book, and more!