One of the most frequent questions I’m asked is, “What made you start writing books?” I have a standard answer: I always wrote, from childhood on. I was always a storyteller. And one day circumstances were such that I had the time, incentive and energy. . blah, blah, blah.
Oh, it’s the truth. But there’s actually a much deeper, much simpler motivation for why I write. I’m addicted to ahhhhs.
You know what the ahhhs are, right? It’s that feeling you get when you’re reading a book, particularly (for me) a romance. You hit a certain point in the story, and suddenly, you’re captivated. The male lead does something or says something. . .or there’s a moment between the two love interests. . .or some element of the story just grips you so totally that you’re completely invested in this world, in these characters and you think. . .ahhhhhhh.
I’ve been an addict for a very long time. I’m not sure if it began with Laura and Almanzo in These Happy Golden Years or Scarlett and Rhett in Gone With The Wind or Celia and Luke in Celia Garth. But once I discovered this feeling, like any other addict, I needed that fix. Once a book ended, I was on the prowl for yet another.
Finally, one day, I realized that just reading the stories wasn’t cutting it. I needed something. . .more. Something that was within my control, particularly when it came to timing. I wanted to give the characters lurking within my own mind their ahhhhs. And that’s when I began seriously writing.
My first personally-written ahhhhh moment came during the first chapter I wrote about Tasmyn and Michael. It was the scene of their first kiss, on the beach of a lake in central Florida. I wrote it first, before anything else in Fearless, and it fed the need, at least for a little while:
“Tasmyn, trust me. I won’t hurt you, ever, and if it’s in my power, I won’t let anyone else hurt you either. I’ve never felt this way about anyone before. May I kiss you. . .please?”
I was shaking ever so slightly as I nodded my head, barely. A smile spread over his face as he brought his other hand to my neck and gently tilted my head back. His lips brushed mine, and it was so tender and innocent that I felt tears spring to my eyes.
Of course, pretty soon I needed another fix. And that’s why there are four books in the King Series, and why I went on to write about more ahhhhs.
I was thinking of this last night. I finished a book I’d had mixed feelings about; the storyline was a little iffy, some of the editing and grammar could’ve used work. But I connected with the characters, so I stuck with it. In the end, I enjoyed the book, even though it had some rough areas. Why did I keep reading? Because it had killer ahhhh moments.
Now it’s time for me to get back to my current story. Sometimes my own characters amaze me with the depth of their connection, with the twists and turns. . .and let me tell you, in The Only One, I think there are more ahhhhhhhs than in any of my other books to date. Mason and Rilla are setting the bar high.
What can I say? I just need one more hit. . .yeah, just one. . .