As my readers know, I have recently embarked on a new writing project, my first contemporary romance in over a year. Yes, yes, me. The one who writes about bear shifters and Greek gods and selkies. “How could she possibly write about real people and make it credible?” you ask.
Believe me, I asked the same question of myself. When you hang around with immortals all the time, you sometimes forget the beauty of simple humanity
The trick to writing a good contemporary, I believe, is getting down and dirty. No, not in an erotic sense, although that’s helpful for certain scenes too. I mean down and dirty and emotional. Gritty is a good word. And no matter how imaginative the writer, eventually we all have to call upon our own emotions in order to do our job well. I’ve had to do that for this work in progress, tentatively called Vice.
And let me tell you, it ain’t always easy. As flawed humans, we all have bad memories, things we’ve shelved in the back part of our brains. Events, or people, we don’t like to revisit. For Vice, I forced myself to confront a painful part of my past.
I went back a long way, too. Suddenly, recollections from my childhood seemed close to the surface once again. Faces I’d purposely blurred came into uncomfortable focus. My back bristled with unease and the hairs on my arms stood on end.
Why? Why would an author do this to herself?
Because it’s impossible to fake it, for one thing. Like they say in writing school, “write from experience.” I also endured the emotional barrage because I knew it was good for the manuscript, and that it would hopefully inspire others and show them they are not alone. If I can do that with my little story, I will have accomplished what I wanted.
Yes, I will be revealing hidden pain, and to a larger audience than ever before. My emotional minefield will be exposed in this book, and you will see all the pockmarks in my surface. It’s been hard, but strangely freeing too.
It is my hope that Vice will bring a sense of freedom to someone else out there as well.