Apr 15, 2011
Writing a romance novel-the fulfillment of a dream…sort of!
People ask me all the time if I always knew I wanted to write or I always dreamed of being a writer. Well, yes. Sort of. I always had a fertile imagination. When I was twelve I told everyone in the town where we lived that I was going to Hollywood to star in a movie. (We lived in a small town and of course no one believed me!)
In high school I wrote a one act play entirely in French and I was always making up stories with my friends. Sometimes I would scribble these ideas down for “later” – no one told me that “later” really comes later.
Through the next several years I was alternately inspired and jammed up by life. Creative writing kind of took a back seat. I did take a class at night, just to keep my creative juices flowing, but raising a family and working took most of my energy. I did have a long stint as a reporter for a string of weekly newspapers, which sharpened a lot of my skills and taught me “an economy of words”.
The last place I worked before retirement was a private university and let me tell you, universities are fertile places for material, especially the people who work there. My co-workers teased me all the time about the notebook I was always jotting things down in – ideas, characters sketches, anecdotes. But I just grinned and kept scratching away. Retirement was just around the corner and I was preparing to write the next great American novel.
When you sit down in front of that computer, all ideas seem to crumble and your brain idles in neutral. On top of that, I seemed to be on the wrong path. I grew up reading mysteries. Always mysteries. My mother and sister were addicted to them so naturally that’s what I picked up to read.
That first book was gong to be a mystery. World class. A roman a clef with all the characters thinly disguised representations of the people I knew at the university. I even had a title – Murder at Mass.
But here came the problem: I wrote the first three chapters, struggling with them, and a month later that’s what I had. Three chapters. I thought, what on earth is going on here?
Now, I have to confess. Up to that point in my life I had never read a romance novel. Wait. Don’t throw stones at me. My mother never read them. My sister never read them. So where was I going to learn about them? And here I was, trying to write a mystery “with romantic elements”.
And then a strange thing happened. At that time I was a member of The Mystery Guild and many of the books in their monthly bulletins were crossovers – romantic suspense. As I sat at my desk scratching my befuddled head I opened the latest bulletin and there, featured on one page, was Linda Howard’s Cry No More. When the book arrived I read it in two nights – and fell in love.
This – this! – was what I was meant to write.
I wrote that first book, a romantic suspense, in two weeks. Of course it was gawdawful, but it was a beginning for me. And my brain began to work overtime.
It took five years to whip that book into shape for publication but as I completed other works I always went back to it. Signing the contract for it was a milestone for me, the realization of a dream that had been lurking in the back of my mind for a long time. And the more I wrote romance novels, the more I fell in love with love stories,
Elements of that first story found their way into Downstroke, release #100 – and a romantic suspense. To me this book is the culmination of everything I’ve worked for since I sold my first story and I’m very excited about it.
But here’s a hint – don’t look for Murder at Mass any time soon!
It’s been twenty years since Charley Roper and Dallas Creed parted with great bitterness. In that time she’s made a career for herself with the FBI and private security and he’s been a country rock music icon…tumbled to the bottom and risen again. Now someone’s trying to kill him and Morgan Creed wants Charley to protect his brother and find out who’s after him. When they meet again after all this time it’s obvious the chemistry is still there, stronger than ever. They’re older but are they wiser? Caught up in the bitter wash of memories and the tension of a killer in stalking mode, Charley and Dallas begin a roller coaster ride that is emotional erotic and suspenseful. Is their love strong enough after twenty years to pull them back together?
Twenty years ago Dallas Creed and Charley Roper were lovers with their entire future ahead of them. Until they split. Badly. Now he’s a country rock icon who made it to the top, hit bottom but is back at the top of his game. And Charley’s the private security specialist hired to protect him from an unknown killer in stalking mode. Caught up in the bitter wash of memories they begin a roller coaster ride that is suspenseful, emotional and erotic. Is their love strong enough to erase the past and bring them back together before the killer strikes again?
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Website - http://www.desireeholt.com/
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