I have always been the person who takes the guaranteed path. Get the degree that guarantees you a job. Take the job that has security. Follow the path that guarantees you a consistent paycheck and gives you future you can count on. I was good at what I did and I liked it, but I didn’t love it. When I was asked what I love, I always said reading and writing. I knew since I was a teenager that all I wanted to do was write, but I also knew that writing wasn't a guarantee, so I didn’t pursue it.
Almost 10 years ago, I took a creative writing course and the final assignment was a 20 page short story starting with the line “Chris began to question the wisdom of this trip.” Throughout the course we had been working on writing from different perspectives and the other requirement for the assignment was that it must contain at least two flashback scenes. I decided to tell the story almost entirely in flashbacks with the present setting being the trip that Chris was on. In that short story, I created three main characters: Chris, Jonathan, and Kevin and three minor characters: Holly, Linda, and Mark. The feedback I received was great. I was encouraged to continue to work on the piece and given some areas to really “go there” and “take it that direction.” I was also encouraged to develop the characters more. Life got busy. Work got busy. I got married and had a baby. I never did anything further with the piece and only person outside of the people in the class ever read it, my best friend since I was 14, and the only person who ever knew that I wanted to write.
In May, in the midst of shelter-in-place during a pandemic, supervising my daughter’s distance learning and working from home full time providing services to students remotely, I was also dealing with the grieving process after losing that same best friend unexpectedly. His death hit me hard. By the end of May, I had made it through the end of the school year, somehow still somewhat holding myself together for end of year IEP meetings and services. I knew I needed a creative outlet since we were still under shelter in place guidelines. I pulled out the original story and began working on it. I called it my “super shitty rough draft” and I let a friend read it. I didn’t tell her it was my piece because I needed brutal feedback and I told her that the author was thinking about taking it a different direction. She agreed that the story would be better in that direction. I reworked the piece turning it into what it is today.
The final product is a full length novel told in dual perspective from Kris and Jonathan. There is a chapter told through flashbacks by Kris. Holly, Linda, and Mark all have much larger roles and even have bonus epilogues at the end. I have some work drafted for ideas for stories about these characters in the future, so their stories may continue in the future. I added the romance scenes that turned the book into the steamy-romance that it is today, while keeping the sweet love story that develops. If you don’t like the F-word, I apologize now, but it’s in the book and will likely be in most things I write, because it’s my favorite word. When used well, it has impact.
Hopefully, you enjoy this book as much I have enjoyed writing it. I am really looking forward to the possibility of future stories with characters, but for now this is a standalone novel. My next project is a four part, possibly five part, small town romance series. The first book will be out in October.
(Preorder available now on Amazon for e-book - click cover image to be redirected to purchase)