On the anniversary of Mom's death, I wish to celebrate fierce women. Lizzy/Elizabeth, the heroine of my novel Seven Days, is one of them. Her younger sister, Mary Margaret, not so much. She comes into her own in my second book in the series, Seven Months, though. I've read that in good fiction, the characters grow and change. In great fiction, the reader will grow and change. We shall see. I know I have become a better person creating and learning about their world.
As I wrote and revised in both books, I kept pushing the timetable up, throwing more obstacles in the characters' way. Testing them with conflict and fire. I'm kind of cruel that way, but it makes things more interesting, doesn't it? And part of life is death. In the fourth book of my series, which involves the children's stories, I had to kill off a major, beloved character. It wasn't the first tragedy the family had to deal with, but it sucked. But, since my books are primarily love stories, I show how the main characters handle the initial notification, the shock and horror, by pulling together. I briefly mention the funeral a few years later, as a hero researches the family and pulls up the news story. That character becomes a blessing to the family, bringing them joy, when they're still grieving.
Fiction is about change and how our characters deal with that change. I've used my reactions to people in my life passing as fuel for my words. It caused many tears and there are still certain songs that I pray won't come on the radio when I'm driving, because I'll have to fumble for tissues. Needless to say, I don't listen to country music very often anymore. I have to admit, it's cleansing, though. As I unfold these stories, I hope that by sharing these characters' experiences, my readers will find some peace and comfort, along with laughs and entertainment.
Thanks, Mom, for giving me a love of romance and books. I can hear you egging me on and I appreciate it.