Less Busy, More Nature

With so many things here in the PNW still closed I’ve spent the past several months getting outside as often as I can. Our weather is often rainy right up until July 5th or so, and some years it’s just not feasible to get out there and enjoy some early summer rays.

I’m grateful that this year we’ve had a fair amount of sunshine interspersed with our typical gloom since I’m now using the great outdoors as my gym, therapist’s office, and entertainment source.

Over the past three months I’ve learned how much nature really centers and, much like creativity, it’s also a balm for the soul.

The lush greenery of Washington is also inspiration for a new series I’m working on. Originally I’d planned to set this series in a bustling metropolis, but the past couple months getting back to nature convinced me to create my own world. One where there’s a small college city nestled in the mountains, near water, and that also boasts a burgeoning nightlife scene.

The town of Cascade Falls, Washington has captivated me and I hope it will enthrall my readers as well. Stay tuned over the next couple months, as I share more about Cascade Falls and the people you’ll meet there!

Creativity is a Balm in Tough Times

Do you have to go through dark times in order to be more effective in your creativity? I’ve had this debate with myself for years now.

While I know I don’t subscribe to the outdated thought that I have to suffer for my art, I think in tough times I turn to my writing as a way to cope. And because of that I’m more productive, and perhaps, I dig into a different place within myself and my writing just “feels” different during times of strife.

For the past few months I’ve walked this weird line with my writing. I find real solace there, when I’m creating. But also, when I’m writing I struggle so effing hard. I doubt. It’s a slog. Most of the time it feels like I’m doing a 300 lb. dead lift with my brain. I’m most definitely not what I think of as being in the flow state, yet my editors are praising the things I’m writing right now as some of my best work.

Say whaaaaat?

mug of coffee and a laptop

I’ll be the first to admit that creativity is weird, and a process that is both unique for everyone and something we can’t fully understand.

I try hard to keep this space light and fun, but it’s difficult when reality is heavy and heartbreaking. I don’t want to be tone deaf, but I do want to offer people a space that is positive and try my best to fill the world with love the only way I know how, by sharing stories about flawed people in an imperfect world finding their way to each other.

And the only way I can do that is keep going in my creative work.

 

 

What Will the Post-COVID Romance Hero Look Like?

I’m a life-long romance reader. And I’m old enough to remember the surge in paranormal romance novels that flooded the market in the years following 9/11.

During that time readers couldn’t get enough of supernatural romance heroes. Successful series that launched during this time include The Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward and The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer, (both in 2005).

So why was paranormal so hot in the early 2000s? Because we’d lived through watching real-life heroes like police, fire fighters, and military personnel lose their lives to the tragedy of September 11, 2001. Post-9/11 we craved a hero that wasn’t of the same world where the brave can fight valiantly and still be helpless to stop bad things from happening.

a man with glasses and dark hair

I’ve been thinking about this a lot over the last several weeks, and I can’t help but wonder what kind of hero readers will want and authors will write in a post-COVID-19 world. I can see a resurgence in supernatural or paranormal heroes. I can also envision the rise of medical heroes and heroines.

Above all, I think readers are going to continue to turn to the lighter side of romance, like romantic comedies and romance novels that either dial down the angst or at least balance angst with light-hearted settings and sympathetic characters.

Speaking of, stay tuned because I have a series launching at the end of summer that takes place in a bar (a light-hearted setting, indeed!) and the series is filled with ultra fun and sympathetic characters. More on this new series in the coming weeks!