Archive for July, 2015
Hello again, lovely reader.
Frank got his wish and I plotted out a romance novel. Just the beginnings, but with my ideal reader present and attentive (meaning caffeinated), I was able to immerse myself into an outline that appeared in paragraph form. Truth be told, the idea had been percolating around in my head for some time, but I’d never really sat down to discover what might appear should I dare to put pen to paper.
Now, some of you might ask, “Stephen, how can you write a romance? You’re a fantasy author for Light’s sake!”
True. I’ve been writing fantasy for some time. However, I would like to point out that SOME people call fantasy, ‘bro-mance.’ So, if that’s true, then I have been writing romance for a while – just from a different perspective.
We shall see.
it’s fun, though. In fact, I even got a tad bit emotional when I came to the end of my paragraphical (<- probably not a word) outline and wrote the ENDING, or a part of it anyway. It just seemed right to do so. if everyone knows that the book has a happy ending, then why not start there and work backwards? Or at least KNOW how true love wins in the end. I cried, so at least I liked it.
Frank did, too.
Besides, it could change by the time I get there again. Probably will. Characters tend to do that: re-write what you THOUGHT they wanted into what they REALLY wanted. And that’s what makes it so fun.
Something else you folks might point out to me, is that my ideal reader (Frank) is male. Mhmm. I thought about that. Not many men wandering the romance aisles. Or so I thought.
I sat in a Barnes & Noble the other day and watched. Lets just say I was pleased with the results, and eager to move onward with my little project.
So the story is set in 1840’s New Orleans. The leading male is a rascal named Tomas J. Laiche` who suddenly becomes owner of a shipping company and a sugar plantation. Family duty demands he fall in line with the aristocratic ways of plantation politics, which causes issues – especially regarding whom he should marry.
Our leading lady is named Simone Plachette, a free-spirited stage performer and artist who falls in love with our rascal, yet discovers that plantation politics do not treat women such as Simone with great kindness. In fact, art isn’t even TAUGHT in New Orleans at that time (true fact). Better yet, her style is decades away from being accepted, meaning she is quite the extremist.
So there you have it. A tidbit to whet your whistle.
We’re off and running like a herd of turtles, and next post, I’ll talk about the historical significance of the title, where some of the names came from and give a bit of credit.
Fair Winds and Following Seas,
As many of you know, my ideal reader is named Frank. Interesting fellow, quite sociable in the mornings – especially if I bring coffee. Which, of course, I always do. I like the company.
Well, he’s grown weary of the Fantasy work and has demanded something new. In fact, he’s insisted.
How do I know? Well, just he other day as I sat down on my deck to begin a morning writing session, Frank pulled up a chair opposite of me, kicked his flip-flops off (too hot for boots, he later told me) and said, “I want something Romantic!”
I practically spit my coffee, sending the cat scurrying for the door. He must be joking. A romance novel?
“Excuse me?” I said, wiping my mouth with the back of my hand. I hadn’t spilled my coffee, which was good. Computers and beverages do not mix well.
“You want a Romance, now?”
He nodded, that friendly smug smile I’ve come to love/hate gracing his face as he lifted the coffee to his mouth. Coffee I’d made for him, of course. He never brought his own.
“Yup,” he said.
“A historical one, too. Without all the magic and swords.” He waved his hand to emphasize his point. “Maybe in New Orleans. You have family there. Make it work.”
I shook my head in disbelief. Yes, I had family there. A strong tie to the city that went back generations, to the very first days of it’s founding. But a Romance? I considered the idea. It would be fun giving it a whirl. Good audience, especially if done well.
“Stevie, my boy,” he said after realizing I wasn’t going to speak.
“You’ve taken so long to write that fantasy novel for me, that my kids have all grown up and don’t want to read about that any more. In fact, I read alone these days, so it’s time for something new.”
I sagged, feeling the weight of his words sink in. That hit home. Sure, I’d taken a wee bit of time to get to the end. I had created a world, for Light’s sake! Did he seriously think that creating worlds happened in seven days?? Well, to be honest, I ‘visited’ a world, really and just took notes; but exploration takes time, resources – things like that.
“Nope,” he said after another swig. “I need something new. Something that makes me dream of things I wish I’d experienced when I was younger. To dance all night, love all day… be with someone who was my soul mate.”
I watched Frank carefully, especially his eyes. They glazed, looking into a distant past or a wished for future – something far yet felt. His voice faded, his breath stilled. He wanted magic he could connect to and build from, that give him hope for something possible, not fantastical. He wanted to cry for love.
I nodded, feeling Frank’s thoughts. I followed his eyes, his gaze, looking over townhouses and the north shore mountains – into the past, to a place by a pond…
“Beside still, dark waters of a Lilly pad pond, a bench sat beneath the Willows.”
And thus it began.