by Jamie Brazil
Getting to know my “sister” Soul Mate authors and reading the daily entries has become a favorite part of my day. Last week I enjoyed hearing about those first novels. We all have them tucked in drawers and closets, don’t we?
My first book was a mystery. Sort of. Armed with the “Weekend Novelist Writes a Mystery,” I calculated that I was just 52 weeks away from a completed manuscript. WRONG.
Several chapters in, I learned I had no business writing mystery. Red herrings and cozy whodunits weren’t my thing. And “Frieda, my crime solving antique dealer from the fictional town of Madrona Falls, Washington,” was outta gas and clueless. But she was something else, too.
Frieda was in love.
About 100 pages into the manuscript that will never see the light of day, I made a shocking discovery about myself: I was a romance writer. Struggling through the basics of writing I cleaved to the romantic subplot that made sense. In fact, the love story took over. In the space of one afternoon, after I reluctantly chucked out the rummage sale murder, I embraced that love story. Suddenly, my imagination was brimming with ideas for plots and characters.
I haven’t looked back. Though I did return to Barnes & Noble and bought “The Weekend Novelist,” also by Robert Ray, and quickly finished a first draft in just a few months.
Like the above-mentioned Frieda, I love a tag sale in a church basement. Ditto for flea markets, garage sales and white elephant tables. In Prince Charming, Inc. my protagonist is a matchmaker by trade, but she carries a bright orange, ostrich-skin Hermes handbag bought… where else… a rummage sale.
The bag is similar to a European designer purse I bought this past summer. At a yard sale, of course! I’d love to share that story, and a picture, over at my blog: