Writing the Book of Your Heart

As writers, we’re told not to write to the market, but to write what we know, what we love. It’s safer, they say, because markets change quickly. What’s popular today might have waned by the time our book comes out.

My favorite phrase relating to this advice is, “Vampires are dead.” Yup, they certainly are. But funny thing. Those suckers keep coming back and climbing on to the charts. What’s dead today will most certainly revive and flourish at a point in the future. If your vampire book is ready to go, but the market seems shy of them, yours might be the one to bring it back.

I don’t write about vampires or werewolves or witches. I know people who do and write them well. Some of them are quite sexy. Sexy? Put a wolf in a business suit with gorgeous teeth (a couple of fangs hidden of course) and allow him to live in daylight. Voila. Sexy werewolf.

I write contemporary small town romance, not because it’s what I love, because it’s what I know. I am a product of small towns. But what I love is history—small town, county, state, country—all eras and places. So, I tried my hand at Regency romance, a genre I have loved since I picked up my first Barbara Cartland in a used bookstore ages ago, advancing to the popular Regency, Georgian and now Victorian writers of today.

In Scandal’s Child, the hero and heroine are kept apart by a lie which is eventually discovered, along with a lot of other secrets. It is a romance, after all, and will have a happily ever after. But this book is the book of my heart for other reasons.

My only sibling, my sister Deborah, had been diagnosed with stage four colon cancer when I began this book. She was excited for me and was my biggest fan and supporter (whether I was trying out for a play or twirling a baton or trying to land a job) and she offered to help with the research.

I needed her. She was terrific at research and sent me a great deal of downloaded information in precise files for me to use. Topics ranged from insects to furniture, styles of conveyances, dress, customs, how people were addressed. She did all this in between her chemotherapy appointments.

When I went to stay with her near the end, she knew the book was finished, had finaled in a few contests, but had not been picked up. I assured her it would see print and planned to self-publish if it remained unsold. It was eventually contracted to Soul Mate Publishing, but not in time for her to see the dedication: To my sister, Deborah Ereth, who was taken from us far too early.

Scandal’s Child may be the only Regency I write, but it is the book of my heart.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.