Updated: Sep 5
The labor of love for writers who write fiction is creating an experience for readers. As a writer, I don’t write for my friends, family, or myself. I write for the pleasure of it, moving creative energy onto paper. I write for the reader to feel an experience. I believe if I stopped to wonder what someone else would think, or what I’d feel if my novels were read by others, I would be paralyzed. The swing would never swing, or I would never feel what life offers or see the light at the end of the tunnel. I probably wouldn’t write and publish anything. To swing with joy, and feel life, and see the light, I keep going straight through with only the story in mind and its journey. It comes to me like waves moving in and out on the shores of our great country. There is always a wave kissing the shores. Sometimes the kiss is sinful and sometimes it is angelic.
Not that I’m making a divide between good and bad because sometimes it's hard to see the difference. I'm making a point because my stories are about people's lives. When I wrote my first book, Plantation Hill, I thought . . . I didn’t write this. This story is epic, it's soulful, it's real. The love between father and daughter and evil coming between them. People have come into my life I thought were good and they turned out to be evil. Too many to count. I thought very carefully about these characters and their relationships. What is this story trying to tell me? I got the message and I hope the reader does too. The story doesn't shock me anymore, yet there’s still a strange moment with every book I write when I move from the position of the writer to the reader. I suddenly see my words through the eyes of the cold world, scrutinizing my words in the voice of a southern woman. It would never be real if I wrote the story in another voice.
The story Inside Glass Towers was the story that shocked me. When I wrote the story, I felt as if the Heavens opened up and memories of a young lady who was kidnapped 35 years ago needed to come out of me as a reminder that life has not changed from years past. I was so excited about telling the story that I couldn't sleep or eat. It was so hard to stop writing the story. I’ve read it many times since, though more often these days I go back to why I wrote the story. When you open the book, you will feel tragedy and joy simultaneously. The up-and-down relationship between mother and daughter. Yet all the things the characters go through will leave you feeling hopeful and a fighting spirit to change the world for the better. I felt the women in the story getting stronger and stronger with each chapter as they went through life experiences together.
In the story At Her All, the main character Lara Faye Edison makes some life decisions that alter her life. She had the sense of fate overtaking her in a cruel way, or may I say she had to learn the hard way to find her way. Yet there’s a great love and understanding that prevails through it, and a knowledge and acceptance of each other’s idiosyncrasies, a tolerance of them, and an acute enjoyment of the dramatic in people. That kind of responsiveness to the world, to whatever happens, out of the depths of the character seems very southern to me. It would be like exposure to the sun. Being open and authentic is real. I took a temperamental delight in this character's journey and gradually the connection became real to me concerning my own ambitions. People who cross our path there’s an invisible thread connecting those who are destined to be together, regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may stretch or twist, sometimes even have a knot, but it will never break.
There’s a sense when I write that someone is looking over my shoulder, guiding me. It’s necessary to trust the moment when I'm sure I've done my best for that time and place the story has taken me. Hopefully, the reader will have a love/hate relationship with the characters I've created and share the experience from the story. And those are the readers I write for.
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PLANTATION HILL (first series)
NECTAR (second series)
HART to HART (third series)
INSIDE GLASS TOWERS (Standalone)
AT Her ALL (first series)
AT His ALL (second series)
All IN All (third series)
Nine Husband of Aunt Ida (Standalone)
Peaches and Cream (Standalone)
Complicated (The Little Black Dress Series)