A Touching Review
I’m always so excited when someone reads my books and loves them. It’s an author’s greatest wish to touch readers on a visceral level. I don’t have have to tell you that in the romance genre, that’s sometimes difficult to accomplish. We’re entertaining our readers, taking them into a fantasy for a short time, and always, always giving them a happily-ever-after.
Yesterday, Becky Condit of Mrs. Condit and Friends Read Books reviewed Sex and the Widow Miles, the second book in my Women of Willow Bay series. Her review included a personal story about how she related to the heroine, Julie Miles, because she too lost her husband to a sudden heart attack. I couldn’t help getting a little bit choked up when Becky wrote that I’d gotten the emotions of the situation right on. She should know—and I confess, I don’t. But I’ve seen friends lose their spouses and I’ve witnessed the paralyzing grief, the unbearable sadness. I tried to portray that emotion in Julie’s struggle to get her life back after Charlie’s death. It warms my heart to know that for one dear widowed reader, it worked.
Part of being a writer is paying attention, watching, examining every situation you see. And it’s not because your friends and their pain and joy may end up in your novel. Writers aren’t taking notes during their friends’ and family members’ crises—well, at least this writer’s not doing it. But most writers I know have amazing memories and imaginations. We use our memories to bring life and realism to the gritty situations in our stories and our imaginations help us when we can’t quite find the level of emotionality we need to convey. But we take a chance when we write about situations we’ve never experienced. There will always be someone who’s actually experienced or is experiencing the same exact things our characters are going through. It’s great to know when you got it right.
Romance is fantasy, our heroes are bigger than life, our heroine’s are often the women we wish we could be. But here at Fine Wine Romances, we try to bring the real world into our fantasy just enough for readers to feel a connection. Our characters are aging. Our men are sexy if a tiny bit paunchy and gray around the edges, and the women are beautiful because time is showing in the fine lines around their eyes and the bellies that are no longer tight and flat.
The Women of Willow Bay and the men who love them are real people who are getting a second chance at life and love… come join them on their journeys, won’t you?
It can be difficult to write about something emotionally charged when you haven’t experienced that particular thing, but I think that with empathy and compassion and being aware of what others have experienced, you can write about it. If you are talented, you can write about it well. You, Nan, write about it well. I love that you are writing about “seasoned” characters. It gives me hope that at the advanced age of 53, I might still find my Mr. Wonderful. 🙂
Oh, Skye, I’m absolutely convinced that your Mr. Wonderful is out there waiting for you–maybe he has some stuff to clear out so there’s plenty of room in his heart and life for you. Sit tight, baby, and in the meantime, enjoy your life! He’ll come along when you least expect it. Thank you, sweetie–I’m glad you’re enjoying the books!
What a great post. And I thought, of course, well, Nan, I’m a writer and my memory sucks! But, even though I don’t remember events in good order, I do remember how they made me feel. How someone else’s eyes darkened when something hurt. Tears in eyes before someone turned away. You are right, again–those memories do work their way into our imaginations.
Thanks, Liz–I always have the same thought when I read your posts! And you definitely get the emotion whether you remember it or not–all your books show how much you get it!