When I sit down to write a book, I do not say to myself, ‘I am going to produce a work of art.’ I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing.” – George Orwell
“I don’t believe in being serious about anything. I think life is too serious to be taken seriously.” – Ray Bradbury, WD
Like every author, as I prepare to plot my next novel, I examine these two very different approaches to writing and plan the book accordingly. As I prepare to write my eighth novel, I realize that I’m more inclined to take Orwell’s advice than I am the Bradbury approach. And yet, I consider it my civic duty to keep abreast of what readers are looking for.In the Crescent Falls Series, I just finished the last book, My Dearest Chloe. I ended up being nearly a year behind schedule. As I examined what kept me from publishing this book, I realized that I was going a bit outside the box because readers consider my books Sweet Romance. Chloe was a recovering alcoholic and had abused drugs, as well. She bordered on narcissism, something I deplore. But in the end, she completely reinvented herself when circumstances forced her to step up and care for her Alzheimer’s ridden father. And when childhood friend, Luke Owens, threatens to kill the man who nearly ran both of them over in a tragic accident, it’s Chloe who intervenes and keeps Luke from destroying his family and boy scout clean image.
Five years ago I wouldn’t have touched the topic of substance abuse with a ten foot pole (as the cliché goes), but today, we’re living in a different world. With another heroin epidemic among us and prescription drugs seriously out of control, it’s important to me that fictional works bear some resemblance to real life. My Facebook friends apparently agree with me because when surveyed, they articulated how important it is for writer’s address real life issues. That’s not to say that we shouldn’t take Bradbury’s advice and stop taking ourselves too seriously. My next novel (which I’d like YOU, the readers, to name) will address the struggles of political spouses being thrust in the limelight. My Facebook friends indicate this would be a timely topic. While politics is something, indeed, to be taken seriously, we can all agree that, at times, elected officials invite us to poke fun at them (in an ever so kindly way!)
I’d love to receive your feedback on what YOU would like authors to write about. Feel free to leave a comment and please sign up for my newsletter which comes out only 3 times a year. I invite you to follow me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/authortessagray