I’m going to try and blog once a month and keep everyone up to date on my latest book news, and also share a little about my writing process. Being painfully shy, and as an extreme introvert, it’s not easy to talk about yourself, but I find it easier to type than talk, and I really enjoy responding to all the lovely emails I get from my readers, so a blog seems a great way to keep in touch.
If anyone has any questions about my books or anything else, please don't hesitate to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
So onto my first blog, and I thought I might as well jump in at the deep end and talk about my life as a hopeless romantic and let out one of my secrets about my writing process…
A Hopeless Romantic’s Problems
Hopeless romantic. This phrase is often used by romance writers. I use it myself all the time, and in fact, I describe myself as such on my twitter bio, but when you think about it, it's a phrase with a slightly negative tinge.
People often use it, as do I, as a self-deprecating explanation or excuse as to why they like romance books or romance films, as if you need an excuse.
I think it's time to stop making excuses and reclaim the title of hopeless romantic as a badge of honour. If you are a hopeless romantic, you are in touch with your feelings, you wear your heart on your sleeve, and have faith and hope that no matter how bad things can seem, there's always a fairytale around the corner.
So wearing my badge proudly, how does this hopeless romanticism present itself? Well, if you were to ask my family or my partner Lou, they would tell you I'm extremely over emotional and cry at the drop of a hat. I've lost count of the number of songs I can't listen to, TV adverts I can't watch, and films that are no go areas, unless I want puffy red eyes and a headache. I couldn't listen to James Blunt’s song, Goodbye My Lover for years. (I'm totally serious!) I would end up with tears running down my face and saying, ‘Don't leave him!’
James Blunt - Goodbye My Lover
It's not only James Blunt, who is on the no-no list. The film, Cloud Atlas is one. I read the book and was so looking forward to the film, but I can't even get through the trailer without buckets of tears falling.
Next is the Katy Perry song, The One That Got Away. My nieces always make fun of me for crying to that one. Seriously, have you seen the video?
Katy Perry - The One That Got Away
Rivers of tears, not to mention a certain scene in Harry Potter, but we won't go any further into that. ;-)
Amongst the things that set off my water works, one is... writing. I've never told anyone before, except my partner Lou, but nothing surprises her when it comes to my roller coaster of emotions.
I've never told anyone because I thought myself rather odd. How can an author cry while they're writing a scene, when they know how it ends and know that everything will end in a happily ever after?
Chalking that up as just one of my many odd character traits, of which there are countless, I thought no more about it until I started reading a book called, The Writers Journey by Christopher Vogler.
In it the author talks about the wisdom of the body, and how our whole body is involved with the writing process, not just the mind. There was one quote when I read it that made me realise I wasn't alone or odd in my visceral, over emotional response to writing scenes. It goes...
 “I realized that the good stories were affecting the organs of my body in various ways, and the really good ones were stimulating more than one organ. An effective story grabs your gut, tightens your throat, makes your heart race and your lungs pump, brings tears to your eyes or an explosion of laughter to your lips. If two or more organs of the body are not squirting fluids, the story's no good!”
This made total sense to me. Now I embrace the emotion and if I haven't cried at least twice while writing, then the story isn't working. In my latest book, Courting The Countess, there were at least four times the tears started falling, and I hope that is a good sign. You could probably guess which scenes if you’ve read it, but one of the most emotional scenes for me was perhaps surprisingly a sex scene.
Here’s an excerpt…
Chapter 21, Page 533—539
Annie groaned and traced her fingers teasingly along the belt. “I’ll give you anything you need. Just tell me.”
Harry grasped Annie’s hair and pulled her closer. “Why do you keep doing this?”
“Giving everything to me, your body, your heart, when I don’t give you what you demand?”
“Because you need me,” Annie said simply.
It’s a highly emotional scene and those words, Because you need me, get me every time. If you haven’t read it, check it out here-
Bold Strokes Books
The moral of this story is don't be embarrassed by whatever your writing process is, and listen to your body. It never lies.
 Christopher Vogler, The Writers Journey, Micheal Wiese Productions, 3rd edition