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I'm most recently a writer.  In the six plus decades of my life, I've been a wife, mother, grandmother, Jill of all trades though mistress of but a few, and most of the time pretty content with my lot.  As a much younger person, I believed I was called to write, but life and living distracted me for most of those decades.  An unwilling transplant from the South,  twenty years ago I unintentionally landed in the geographical center of the US.  Writing came about in part due to the unwillingness, I expect.  When caring for family, gardening, and renovating a century-old house failed to provide sufficient creative outlets, I turned to the one thing I always intended to do.  Eight titles later, I'm grateful I found myself while Lost in the Plains!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Okay, About These Books. . .

Hearts unfold like flowers before thee, opening to the sun above.--Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee

I really don't intend to make this a blog about my books.  Then again, if it weren't for these books, I doubt I'd ever have thought to write a blog.  It's one of the things every writer is apparently supposed to do before they publish, but as with many things in my life, I'm coming to it a little late. 

I'll take this opportunity, on the day of hearts and love, to tell you some things about the books and how they came to be.  Then I can get back to just blogging about random thoughts (until something else comes up about the books that I really want you to know.) 

I started writing two years ago this past October.  I spilled words on paper at an astonishing rate for a woman whose typing skills had long since rusted to a crawl.  I started out in longhand actually, but my handwriting is so bad, even I couldn't stand to read it.  I had an aging desktop computer with nothing more advanced than Notepad, but I had to start somewhere.  Thank heaven my wonderfully supportive cousin put me on to Open Office.  I mastered that, which felt much like a climber must feel at the top of Everest.  Meanwhile, the words were flowing like the Ganges at flood stage.  You see, there was no reason to stem the tide because I was writing only for myself. There was never any danger that anyone would read this ever-growing pile of pages.

That said, I really wanted someone to read my story.  I had fallen in love with my characters and wanted someone else to meet them.  I twisted my husband's arm until he gave in and took pencil in hand, which is the only way he can read anything after 25 years as a proofreader.  To say I was terrified of his reaction would be the understatement of the century.  I sat tense as a cat while he turned pages and made his little marks(I'm severely comma-challenged) without saying a word.  And then the miracle moment came.  John cried.  Now you have to understand, my husband is a musician, and he gets weepy at pretty much everything from Mahler to Man of La Mancha.  But here he was, sniffing back tears at something I had written.  Talk about joy in the morning!  I could have died a happy woman right then.

We went on like that for several months, me writing as fast as I could and John reading.  We started to discuss the characters and their stories as though they were members of our family.  John began to cast the movie version, while I was riding a wave of creative euphoria.  We share almost everything in life, but this was a new high, even for us.

There came a day when he said we'd lost any hope of objectivity, that I had to let someone else read what I'd written.  He suggested I had two friends I could rely on for an honest opinion and hounded me until I called them to ask reluctantly if they would consider reading the first two chapters, basically so I could get him to give up the ridiculous notion that I'd written anything worthy of publication.

The rest, as they say, is history.  The response, from those first two honest and generous friends to the readers who email and message me today, has been astonishing.  I wrote the book I wanted to read and apparently there are actually others who wanted it too.  All those words became four books.  They chronicle the love story of two people, their friends, and the twists and turns of their lives.  It's a simple tale, really, about love in all its incarnations, not only romantic love, but the love of parents and children, the love of neighbor for neighbor.  It is, overall, the story of the transforming power of love in the context of a relationship between God and man.  The title Hearts Unfold sums it up pretty well.  In this very character-driven story, that is precisely what happens.

If you look to the right of this post, you'll see the page "Where to Buy the Books."  Click the link to any of the titles and thanks to the wonder of technology, you'll instantly arrive at the Amazon.com site.  Click the cover for a "Look Inside" and you can read a nice chunk of the book without risking a dime. Simple.  I'm thrilled you took the time to take a look!

Happy Valentines Day!

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