Mining for emotional gold

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.

8 thoughts on “Mining for emotional gold

  1. I knew as I read Vice that the emotions and thoughts of the heroine were close to home for you.

    Uncovering and exposing the minefields of your past is a courageous act. Writing is not for weak people – it is very often a cathartic process for authors. If by revealing your pain, it helps others confront their own and helps them experience their own catharsis, then you’ve done your job as an author. And I think Vice will make others think — at the very least, about how events or people in their past have made them the people they are today.

    Oh and those paranormal books? You do the same thing in them, just with preternatural creatures. 🙂 It’s just more distant, and the reader has to delve below the surface and see what you’re revealing with heroines like Charlotte in Predator’s Claim. The emotional catharsis is there also — it’s just layered under all the fantasy.

    Can’t wait to see Vice come out. It’s an emotional read, people. The ending is satisfying on all levels.


    • Thank you so much, Moni, for your support and for being the brave soul who beta read Vice for me. As I mentioned to you earlier, this book has been brewing for a long time. It’s a relief to finally see it come out. I hope it sees the light of day soon, and thank you for your huge part in getting it out there.


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