I’ve always seen myself as a grounded person, not overly emotional, but I think I was living in a fantasy land. Immersing myself in the life of a writer has made me question some things I had always seen as hard realities. The world in my head seems to differ from everyone else’s. I know about existentialism and a number of other theories and I know everyone’s perceptions make their world a different place to everyone else’s, but most people don’t live with people in their heads – people I know don’t exist because I’ve just made them up and popped them in there to entertain me.
Sometimes I become so immersed in the stories forming in my head, the line between reality and fiction blurs.
For example, when I was writing What About Him, a novella featuring snakes, I was very jittery. I’d arrive home from work and carefully check the front steps up into the house for snake activity. I have brick steps and a tiled porch so there weren’t going to be any snakes lurking under the floorboards waiting to slither out in front of me, but it didn’t make any difference. I still did the rounds every time I arrived home to make sure I didn’t have any unwanted snake visitors.
The Just Life series found me spending hours in a café watching the way the employees interacted. By the end of those stories I had to consciously stop myself calling some of the employees by names I’d chosen for my story. It’s not that they looked like my characters but I’d been using those bodies to block out my characters actions and, for a while, my world inside my head became more real than the one I inhabited.
I spent hours sitting in the emergency ward of the local hospital when I was writing that scene in Just in Time; so much so that the nurses began asking me questions about my hand and why I was holding it so stiffly against my body. Security increased their presence in the waiting area while I was there.
A visit to a cemetery had me spontaneously bursting into tears for nearly two months. David and Carl’s story (Between Love and Honor) was so heart-wrenching to write I had to put it aside for more than a year before I could talk to David again and help him find his own happy ending. The Courage to Love was released by Dreamspinner Press in August/September 2014.
After that I wrote Just the Way You Are which is based around domestic abuse that turns into stalking that I found extremely difficult. I started checking the doors were locked numerous times during the night. If I heard a car on the street I had to check where it was going. I woke in the middle of the night and listened to the noises the house made to make sure there was no intruder. I started when the phone rang. It was getting so I wanted to put the story away but I couldn’t. It was already more than a few thousand words playing around with a new idea. The characters were formed and meant something to me. I had to help them find a way out of the mess they were in and toward a better life. It was the only way I’d get a full night’s sleep again.
I vowed the next one was going to have to be something soft and furry to make me feel better. That was The Planet Whisperer, and Tapioca might not have been furry but she certainly made me laugh.
Warrior Pledge also gives me something to laugh about, and something to make me feel good about life. Checa and Heath are meant to be together--Heath knows it, he just has to convince Checa. There are also adorable chubby dragons who love adventures. I've just finished with the Galley of Warrior Pledge. In no time at all, it'll be on the coming soon pages and I'll be able to let everyone know how they can get their own copy. I can't wait.