Thursday, July 26, 2012

Hot weather? Escape with hot writing


I was asked why, with my background as a psychiatric nurse, I decided to write light paranormal romances instead of something grittier, like murder mysteries…

Well, the easy answer is—because writers like to escape as much as readers do. I worked in the psychiatric field for fifteen years. When I left, I was jaded and burned out. It took a while to get back to my old self, but I finally did. Sure, I have stories to tell, but I don’t want to. Simple as that.

I might violate the confidentiality aspect too. I heard intimate secrets that would make your skin crawl…and I was told those things because my patients knew they could trust me. Sure, they might never read one of my books, but can you imagine doing so and recognizing your story? Patients want to forget about grim reality too—especially theirs!

However, all that experience contributed to my writing in one important way. With a degree in behavioral sciences (a psychology-sociology combo) and having observed people for most of my life, I “just know” how my characters are going to behave.

Writing paranormal characters can be a challenge, because you have to put yourself in someone else’s paws, never mind shoes! Or you need to think like a vampire who’s technically dead, only comes out at night, and needs blood to survive. And ghosts! You don’t realize how much writers require body language and facial expressions to communicate until you can’t use it. But, I like a challenge.    

And I love a good laugh—more than anything. I think this world needs more laughter and love. I’m fortunate. I have a wonderful marriage. MR. Amazing makes me laugh regularly, challenges me intellectually, and still—even after eighteen years of marriage (twenty-two years of togetherness) turns me on. Who wouldn’t want that?

Sometimes I think of my writing as a public service. Seriously. I’ve worked hard to hone my craft and put a smile on your face. Since reading works for me when I need a lift, I imagine it works for others.

When both of my parents were terminally ill at the same time, the stress showed. A friend and fellow nurse shoved a book in my hands and said, “Here. Read this.” She didn’t tell me anything about it, and I didn’t recognize it as a romance novel from the cover. It’s a good thing or I might not have read it.

The book was the first in Diana Gabeldon’s Outlander time travel series. I ate it up. While they slept, I was transported to another world. I forgot my sorrows for a time and experienced a mini mental vacation. A desperately needed, healthy escape. 

When I turned to writing I realized that for me, it was more than a job. It was a privilege.
And it still is. I’m grateful to have an audience with whom I can share my creative outlet.
I hope my series Strange Neighbors and the spin-off Flirting with Fangs (coming Spring 2013) transports readers into my wild imagination and allows them to have some fun there—whether they need it or not.      

10 comments:

  1. It still amazes me that people read my words and join me in that world inside my head. It really is a privilege. Looking forward to Flirting with Fangs!

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  2. I'm looking forward to Flirting with Fangs too :-)

    And you've totally hit the nail on the head with escaping into books. Real life can be hard and that mental break can make all the difference sometimes. And besides that, if I want 'reality' I'll read the papers. I love paranormal and HEA *sigh*

    Peggy

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  3. Thanks for reading my post, ladies!
    Reading and writing is such a healthy escape. I wish we could convert addicts and others who have less healthy coping mechanisms. It might make reality a better place.

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  4. Hi Ash....as you know I'm also an RN, and I don't know how many times I've been asked why I don't write medical romances. My answer is similar to yours (apart from the fact I don't like them LOL) is that I don't want to write about my day job! I want to escape to somewhere else where I can immerse myself in a different world for a while.

    I do love your books, and they always give me laugh out loud moments so YES you have achieved that for me. I can't wait for Flirting with Fangs!

    Mwuaah!

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  5. Aw, Maggie. I could kiss you. It's been one of those days when everyone I run into is either stupid, mean, or ungrateful. You saved my day, Mags! Bless you. (Could be the heat!)

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  6. Heat definitely changes your perspective some times :-) I hope you get some cool breezes through soon.

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  7. I love the Outlander series, too, Ash and return to it often just to wallow in a story well told. Of course if I want a laugh, I go to your stories! Love your sexy light paranormals.

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  8. Thanks so much, Mia!

    I needed that boost after just going through line edits. (Ugh.)

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  9. I enjoy the lighthearted feeling your books convey! Thank you for sharing your world with us!

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