Why I write love stories

 

Romantic couple on beachI’ve been accused at times of being a hopeless romantic and I think that’s probably true.  I prefer to approach life by giving people the benefit of the doubt and forcing them to subtract from that rather than making them earn everything from the start.  Once they abuse that privilege it is pretty difficult to earn my trust and respect back.  Despite my optimistic outlook, and as I’ve said to a number of people since I published my first book, no one was more surprised than I was when I ended up writing a love story.

My reading taste in novels has always been pretty eclectic,  When I was young I read all the horse and dog stories, then gravitated to what passed for sci-fi (Tom Swift series) for kids.  I’ve read serious sci-fi, mysteries, fantasy, spy thrillers, love stories, and other genres over the years.  I’m not a big Western reader although I’ve enjoyed some of them.  I have similar feelings about horror stories.  I particularly enjoy good character development like I find in contemporary books by Nelson DeMille and Pat Conroy.  In romance novels I enjoy Nicholas Sparks and Nora Roberts, among others.

I’ve always wanted to write a novel and assumed it would be a thriller or mystery a la Tom Clancy or Robert Ludlum.  In fact I seriously started one back in 1996 entitled The Message.  It was all about an email that reached an unintended recipient and set off a chain of events.  Most people with whom I shared it thought it was really good and wanted me to continue, but despite a number of attempts I could never complete it even though I got pretty far along.

In 2012 I decided that if I was ever going to cross that particular item off of my bucket list I needed to sit down and actually write a book.  So I did just that and finally managed to complete a novel.  I ended up writing a modern day love story that incorporates legends and mythology.  That book was Black Diamonds and I self-published it in January of 2013.  I was so excited that I finally managed to get a book written that I mapped out a trilogy called Colors of Alaska in which it is the first book.

In October of 2012, while Susan and I were sitting on the back deck of our home in the North Georgia Mountains, I took a picture of a glass of Conundrum 2010 White wine in which the trees and their fall colors were reflected.  In December of 2012, while on a local winery tour, we met a couple that was turning their grandparents’ and parents’ dreams of a winery into reality.  Those two events became the inspiration for Appalachian Gold that was published in April 2013.

I like to walk for exercise and have a regular route I take from our home in the mountains that can range from 3.4 to 5 miles depending on how much time I have available and how energetic I feel that day.  It was while I was walking that I finally figured out why I ended up writing love stories.  It is the same reason my reading of thrillers and spy novels has diminished.

In a nutshell it is because I am so sick and tired of the negativity that exists in our world today.  Every time I turn on the TV news or pick up a newspaper or even check into current events on the Internet, I feel bombarded with negative news.  In politics neither party seems interested in solving our country’s problems and instead focus on belittling those with differing beliefs.  Rather than biting the bullet and balancing the budget they keep plunging us further and further into debt by mortgaging the future of our children and grandchildren.  Corporate America CEOs are focused on, and rewarded for, maximizing short term gains rather than building a long-term business that includes valuing employees, even though those are the people who actually make the money these CEOs covet so highly.  On TV and in movies viewers, both adults and children alike, are constantly exposed to violence of staggering proportions.  Violence occurs in comic strips and the latest reality series.  The difference between the haves and the have-nots continues to grow.  Everyone wants to get rich quick, but few are willing to put in the time and effort to make it happen.  Instead they try to shortcut the process by suing someone or placing their hopes on the lottery.  Don’t get me wrong, I’d enjoy winning the lottery as much as the next person.  I’m just not counting on it.

I guess I just decided I didn’t want to continue the cycle by writing books where people kill each other because somebody has something that someone else wants.  I prefer to tell a story in which people value and care for each other.  I want to create books that entertain people and make them feel good.  If nothing else, I hope reading what I write provides people with a means to escape, even if it is only a brief respite, from the harsh reality of today’s world.

 

 

 

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