I can totally identify with the photo of the coffee spilling on the keyboard! Anyone else? As my social media feed (particularly on Instagram) becomes overly filtered and posed, I’ve come to appreciate those people who still share “real” life. Not that I don’t love those beautiful posts–but “real life” stuff has it’s own kind of beauty. I love it when people are authentic and don’t sugarcoat…it’s those people who I think I identify with the most.
I’ve mentioned before that I’m in the process of going back through my older releases and getting them ready for RE-release. It’s kind of fun because to be honest, I don’t guess I’ve read through those stories since I turned in author galleys prior to their release dates. Once a book makes its way out into the world, I don’t read it…because when I read back over my own work, I am never quite satisfied! I’ll always find things to change and fix…and so once release day happens, I really have to just let it go.
So it’s been neat to read my earlier works, kind of like having a reunion with old friends. One thing that’s struck me is that the issues my characters faced in the beginning stages of my writing were a little “easier” than the things my later characters have faced. Those early characters would’ve had picture-perfect Instagram feeds! I think back then, I was scared to tackle things that were even semi-serious, so early on, my characters’ lives were a little simpler and a little more perfect than those of late.
I’m sure it has to do with my own life as well—as I’ve grown and lived through more experiences (both good and bad) I have more things to draw inspiration from. And as I mentioned above, I think the older I get, the more I appreciate authenticity. Life isn’t perfect all the time. But even in the difficult times, there is happiness, laughter, and beauty.
I think one of the things I struggle with in my writing is finding the right balance between “keeping it real” and telling a story that allows readers to escape. I guess I tend to be drawn toward more lighthearted stories for my own personal reading. I love nothing more than to get lost in a story that makes me laugh and even though it may deal with serious topics, it does so in such a way that isn’t depressing. Remember when “chick lit” was all the rage? I loved those stories. In fact, my first two releases were originally “chick lit” style, told in first person point of view with no hero point of view at all.
I ended up having to change both of them for publication—but even today I still enjoy reading stories told in that style.
So when it came time to decide which of my older books to re-release first, I chose one that I think walks a good line between serious and lighthearted. A Wedding to Remember in Charleston is out now, and for those of you who haven’t read it already—here’s the blurb:
Summer Nelson is planning her dream wedding–for someone else. Minimal instructions and a generous budget mean that the successful wedding planner can indulge her fantasies for the extravagant wedding at a swanky Charleston resort hotel. And that’s just the distraction she needs since her own marriage is on the rocks and her future is uncertain.
Luke Nelson has always had trouble sharing his feelings. After months of being separated from Summer with no sign of reconciliation, Luke knows he made a mistake–but has no idea how to fix it.
As Summer arrives at the resort to put the finishing touches on the wedding, the city is shut down in the face of a massive hurricane. Just when she thinks nothing else could possibly go wrong, Luke shows up.
As the gale winds howl, Summer and Luke find themselves stranded together. Can the estranged couple find a way to weather the brewing storm?
A Wedding to Remember in Charleston is available on Kindle now and will be available on other platforms in the near future.
As InspyRomance celebrates 5 years, I’m so thankful for this platform and for the chance to have met so many amazing authors and readers! What a wonderful community this is! You all have been so supportive and given so much amazing feedback—I’ve really loved being able to be a part of things here. I’ve had to make some difficult decisions lately though—my life really needs to be simplified, at least for a little while. One of the things I’m giving up is my place here at InspyRomance—but I sure hope to be back again someday! And I’d love it if you’d find me on my Facebook page or sign up for my newsletter so we can continue to keep in touch.
And now…because I always like your input—I’m curious. If you had to choose, do you prefer a lighthearted read (think romantic comedy) or something that is a little deeper?