When I retired early from being a professor in Teacher Education, a colleague asked me what I was going to do now. I responded that I was going to go home and write trashy novels. Thinking I was joking, she laughed and said, “That’s a great story! Keep telling it!” Another colleague commented, however, “She’ll probably do it!”
That was May, 2006. In the fall, I did start a novella (shorter than a novel and longer than a short story) and wrote the first two chapters in a local coffee shop. It began as a simple romance in a unique setting. Then life impinged as it is wont to do. There were weddings and divorces, births and deaths, retirements and moves. You know—life! The novella was set aside for several years.
About six years later, I finished the first draft of the novella and gave it to my Minnesota Lake Country friend to read. She gave helpful feedback and encouraged me to seek publication. My husband also read it and thought it had some interesting twists and turns.
Now characters tend to live in an author’s head, so as time went by, one of the secondary characters “told” me I needed to tell her story. I then completed a second novella, using the same characters, while introducing new ones as I told her story. I was motivated to write this portion while I watched the 2015 Stanley Cup hockey play-offs on television. If you get the chance to read my book, you will understand why it was motivating.
By this time, we had begun spending winters in Florida, where I joined the Sol Writers. This group of women writers were inspiring, thus motivating me to continue writing. In the meantime, a third character from my first novella had been nagging me to write her story. I felt somewhat unworthy of this task for reasons I’ll reveal in future postings. I did complete her story this spring (2016).
These three shorter works were so intertwined through common characters and setting that, for me, they belonged together. I am currently doing revisions on what I hope is the final draft of this work. What began as a simple romantic novella has grown into a three-part novel, which by the way, is not trashy. A little spicy maybe, but not “trashy.” It has become much more than a trilogy of love stories. Although that element is clearly present and the focus of the plots, readers will also learn about a geographical area and culture of which they may be unaware or have little knowledge. This book and its characters have become very dear to my heart.
Stay tuned for future installments on insights into my writing process, the progress on the novel, and its future publication. Click on the Blog post “Love on the Misty Isles“ for a short summary of the novel’s content to pique your interest.