After Jennifer and I put together her stop for She Walks in Moonlight we thought it might be fun if she took over with a guest post for a day. And since she’s a way better writer than me (after all who has written a book? not this girl!), I jumped at the chance to turn today over to her – enjoy!!!
Do you remember the first time a love story made you swoon as a child? I still remember watching intimate scenes in movies, like in Last of the Mohicans how Nathaniel promise Cora “I will find you! No matter how long it takes, no matter how far!” Or reading Anne of Green Gables in third grade and just generally swooning over Gilbert Blythe. When we’re young, love and romance aren’t too important just yet, but for most girls it always makes a good story greater.
Remember the simple thrills we felt when characters barely touched, sometimes only exchanging heated looks and we just knew they were in love? My mother rented the 90’s version of Sense & Sensibility and there were many such looks and touches that had me sighing with happiness.
The things that make us gasp and swoon with delight grow with our age. Soon we want more kisses, more “heat” as they say to our romance. It’s only natural as we become adults, after all, and our lives become more complicated. But I confess, there are times I still much prefer the Jane Austen version of love and romance, when men had to rely on their wits and words, or their actions, to win their gal. Yet I also enjoy the freedom of modern romance, mixed with both the angst and struggle with that heat I mentioned. I never thought I would write romance.
My first foray into the genre is titled Stay, a sort of mythical/paranormal contemporary love story between a goddess assigned the task of protecting true lovers and the human who looks exactly like the god who cursed her. I wrote it during a bitter time in my life, after the teen years when love seems easy and all consuming. I learned by then it is almost certainly never too easy, and a lot more fragile. And I was beginning to do what many women before me by doubting the existence of true love. Before writing Stay, I conducted dozens of interviews with authors, bloggers and friends, asking them if they believed in true love and why.
Their stories made me a believer and I started to notice a theme. True love, the kind that lasts decades, involves sacrifice. In other words, deep love that lasts a life time, happens when we learn to put another person’s interests and well-being above our own. Sometimes that means putting a pocket dream or ambition aside, other times it’s something as simple as going out of our way to do something specific they like. I wrote Stay, with no sound outline, willing to let my characters take me away. The title character, Rona, doesn’t believe in true love either any more, even though she’s been helping guard and save it for centuries. So when she meets a human who belongs to another woman, she is faced with emotions and choices she never expected to feel again. I won’t give away the rest of the plot, but I will say the ending surprised even me. More than that, it touched me on a deeper level as a writer. It made me a believer again, just like Rona.
Fast forward four years and I’m not only happily married, but in love with both my husband and our silly boy. No great internal struggle led me to writing my second contemporary romance. One day an idea popped into my head, more like a challenge, really. I wondered if I could write what’s considered the typical modern romance, without any supernatural elements. If you know my other books, you can understand why that would be a challenge for me.
I had a few ideas in mind for She Walks in Moonlight or Moonlight as I thought of it in my head. First, I wanted this to be a second-chances story. Those have always been my favorites, from Jane Austen’s Persuasion, to Nicholas Sparks’ The Notebook. Second criteria: I wanted to write this from a woman’s point of view and not just any woman. I made her bitchy with a bad reputation, a character that would be hard for most people to like on first impressions. And I wanted her story to be about redemption and family as much as a second-chances romance.
Writing Moonlight was a very different but still surprising experience for me. I started with little intention of taking it seriously. It was a fun side-project for me while I focused on my epic fantasy novels. Then something odd happened, the deeper I plunged into Danica and Adam’s story. I fell in love with the characters and their imperfect families and friends. And Danica’s relationship with her brother Peter cut me deeply, because I also have a much older brother. But the biggest change happened when my best friend and critique partner’s parents were both diagnosed with cancer in the same year. Her father passed several months later and suddenly Danica’s story became more real. I wanted to get this right for my friend and for all the families who have loved and lost.
So you might have noticed how my view of romance has evolved since Stay. Part of that goes back to the whole “write what you know” and my worldview has definitely changed in four years, quite drastically in fact. But while my newest romance release isn’t only about familial love, it is very much a story about two people who find redemption through one another. There is a heck of a lot more heat in Moonlight than Stay. Again, the difference between writing as a bitter single gal verses a married woman with a healthy sex life. 😉 Writing is an ever-evolving thing. I learn from each book and am constantly growing as an author and person.
As much as I change, I would be lying to you if I didn’t say I’ll always be that little swooning girl. Sometimes it takes a lot more to reach past my tougher desensitized shell. But every time I watch romance in movies, or read them in books I feel that lovely flutter. I still sigh and smile as the characters inevitably fall in love in the end, which is, I think, the greatest thing about romance fiction. It makes us swoon and feel when life gets tough, the same way a fantasy helps us escape into another world a while.
She Walks in Moonlight won’t be my last romance. I have at least three other ideas in different stages, I am happy to report. Because I think I’ll always be a little in love with true love and I hope you’ll continue to take that journey with me.
What are some of your favorite romances? Is there a fictional couple that is the be all and end all to you? Let’s talk love.
A Second Chances Romance, #1
by Jennifer Silverwood
Contemporary Romance/Women’s Fiction
Kindle Edition, 200 pages
October 28, 2017
Globetrotter, Danica Pavlova spends her days scouring old folktales and her nights trying to forget her life is anything but a fairy tale. Ten years ago, she ran away from her best friend the night after causing his crippling accident, convinced Adam King was better off not loving her.
But when her brother is diagnosed with leukemia, she resolves to come home to care for the family she abandoned and face the love she never forgot. Will she find forgiveness for the mistakes of her past, or can there be a second chance for a woman who walks in moonlight?
Perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You and John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, She Walks in Moonlight explores both redemption and romance in the face of tragedy.
*Warning-Contains Adult Situations & Some Language*