This is my first time participating in Read a Romance Month. What a great concept.
Before I wrote romance, I wrote non-fiction for magazines, etc. And while that was excellent training for writing snappy prose on deadline, joy is not the point. In fact, one recent job had me writing only articles about safety. In other words, every article had me preparing the reader for disaster.
It was soul-grinding.
When I finally made the risky decision to stop chasing journalism gigs and write romance full time, it was such a huge relief. Very Bad Things are real in life. And they absolutely happen to many of my fictional characters. But I'm allowed to help them find joy on the final page. Not only is that good for the reader, it's good for me. The exercise of creating joy on the page helps me through the rough spots. It reminds me that joy is always possible.
So, thank you, readers! Each time you pick up one of my books, I get to share that experience with you. And that's amazing to me.
1 - Tell us about a moment in your life when you experienced sheer joy.
This past week I hit a big bestseller list (USA Today's) for the very first time. Now, this serves no purpose except as a feather in my cap. But it was joyful!
2 - Tell us about a place that brings you joy, or is attached to a memory of joy.
We eat dinner as a family together every night around our somewhat battered dining table in front of a row of windows. I love that spot.
3 - Tell us about a sound that brings you joy.
At night we hear bard owls hooting outside our window. The sound reminds me of the wild place we live. I love that.
4 - What recent book have you read that brought you joy. (Or a book you read in your life that brought you so much joy you’ve never forgotten it.) Why?
84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff is not a true romance. It's a collection of letters between two friends during wartime-a bookseller and his customer. It is adorable, and everyone should read it. And who knew books were once so difficult to attain? :)
5 - Finally, a random joy.
A well made latte. Naturally.
Thank you readers! And thank you Mary Jo Putney and Huntley Fitzpatrick for recommending me to Read A Romance Month!