Writing the Book of Your Heart

As writers, we’re told not to write to the market, but to write what we know, what we love. It’s safer, they say, because markets change quickly. What’s popular today might have waned by the time our book comes out.

My favorite phrase relating to this advice is, “Vampires are dead.” Yup, they certainly are. But funny thing. Those suckers keep coming back and climbing on to the charts. What’s dead today will most certainly revive and flourish at a point in the future. If your vampire book is ready to go, but the market seems shy of them, yours might be the one to bring it back.

I don’t write about vampires or werewolves or witches. I know people who do and write them well. Some of them are quite sexy. Sexy? Put a wolf in a business suit with gorgeous teeth (a couple of fangs hidden of course) and make him a hero. Voila. Sexy werewolf.

I began my career writing small town contemporary romance, not because it’s what I love, because it’s what I know. I am a product of small towns. But what I love is history, so my next book was a Regency, a genre I have read since I picked up my first Barbara Cartland in a used bookstore decades ago.

My first Regency was Scandal’s Child. The hero and heroine are kept apart by a lie which is eventually discovered, along with a lot of other secrets. It is a romance, after all, and has a happily ever after. But this book is more. It is the book of my heart.

My only sibling, my sister Deborah, had been diagnosed with stage four colon cancer when I began this book. She was excited for me and had always been my biggest fan and supporter (whether I was trying out for a play or twirling a baton or trying to land a job) and she offered to help with the research.

I needed her. She was terrific at research and sent me a great deal of downloaded information in precise files for me to use. Topics ranged from insects to furniture, styles of conveyances, dress, customs, how people were addressed. She did all this in between her chemotherapy appointments.

When I went to stay with her near the end of her life, she knew the book was finished, had finaled in a few contests, but had not been acquired. I assured her it would see print and planned to self-publish if it remained unsold. The book eventually was contracted to Soulmate, but not in time for her to see the dedication: To my sister, Deborah Ereth, who was taken from us far too earl

Scandal’s Child has become the backbone of a series that has grown to four books. It will be free from July 30 to Aug. 1 and will follow the release of my fourth book, Scandal’s Deception. Child still my favorite book, not because of its resiliency in a crowded market, but because it is and always will be my sister’s book—the book I pick up when I want to be close to her.

The book of my heart.

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7 Responses to Writing the Book of Your Heart

  1. sueberger3 says:

    Thank you for sharing that story. I am convinced Deborah’s still looking down and cheering you on.

  2. JayceeJarvis says:

    What a wonderful tribute to your sister!

  3. viola62 says:

    What wonderful memories to have of your sister! She will alway live on in that book.

  4. What a beautiful dedication. I’m sure your sister is pleased.

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