Ever wonder how an author gets inspired? Well here's a sneak peek into my head. But I warn you, it's a dangerous, sometimes twisted place. ;)
As in the case of Hatter I was recently told, 'WOW... I never expected the heroine to have cancer... that's pretty deep for a romance, no?'
And my answer is, 'yeah, it is.' But you know I can't pretend that tragedy doesn't exist in this world. Back in '06 I was diagnosed with a very rare form of cancer. Choriocarcinoma, for any of you who want to google. I went through chemo, various doctor check ups, but I was LUCKY. If there's any cancer a woman wants to get, it's that one. It's basically the jackpot of cancers. The cure rate is over 97%, and that's even if its metastisized to all parts of the body, the only exception is when it moves into the brain. I only had to undergo 5 weeks of chemo, but only once a week. But sitting in that sick room, watching some people who were nothing but skin and bones and knowing I would probably walk away fine, even while most of them wouldn't... I wanted to cry. I saw one man kneeling over his wife every week, rubbing her hand while she sat in the chair getting hours worth of chemo, I saw her become more of a shell each week and I always wondered about them. Even when I was given the all clear, even now (6 years later) I can't stop thinking about that image. A strong virile man with his forehead resting on her tiny hand. I wanted them to have a happily ever after and so I modeled my Hatter and Alice after those two. Alice is sick, deathly sick, and she will die... but this is a romance and I just couldn't let it end in tragedy, I fixed their ending... something I couldn't do for that couple in the hospital room.
Gerard is different, while it's a fun and sometimes irreverent retelling of Beauty and the Beast, I wanted to include an aspect to the story that was nowhere in the original because it happens to hit very close to home for me. I have a niece, a beautiful little girl. She's 6, she smiles so big, and is always so happy. She will also never mentally age much more than a second or third grader. I love her, she's perfect, that's how I see her and that's who I modeled Briley after. He sees the world through eyes so different than ours and yet because of that he can see straight to the truth of a matter, there's no deviousness involved, no mind games, he is what he is and other's can't help but love him because of that.
For me, the romance genre transcends more than man meets woman, woman and man fall in love, and that's the end. There's so many variations of love, and romance, and I feel they're all needed in romance. I'll never write a romance without a happily ever after because if there was any aspect of real life I wish I could change it would be that bad things don't happen to good people... in my world, it doesn't, and that's all I hope to achieve when I write.
If I can leave the reader smiling, happy, and sighing, then I've accomplished my job!
And if anyone is interested in reading Gerard, it will be going FREE on amazon the 8-10, this Wednesday through Friday, so if you'd like to check out my work that would be the time to do it! :)