One day, I was driving home from work, listening to music. I have a playlist that I like to listen to while I drive because all of the songs are upbeat, and I enjoy singing along to them.
So I’m singing along, then a song comes on. I immediately recognize the beginning notes of a piano. I turn up the stereo system, Demi Lovato’s voice filling the space a moment later. Tell me what you want, what you like, it’s okay. I’m a little curious, too.
As I’m singing along, it hits me like a freight train.
This would be a great concept to a romance novel. A summer fling. A book about a summer romance between two men, with one unsure of his sexuality. The other needed to be charismatic, and so secure in his sexuality, he thrived. The lyrics had an almost begging quality to them. Don’t be scared ’cause I’m your body type. Then a secrecy. I can keep a secret could you? To me, it was a clear struggle of self acceptance and a summer romance with someone of the same sex.
All I could picture was a scene. A straight guy, standing beside the dance floor, eyes scanning the bodies as they move and sway while he drinks from his cup. He catches site of a pair of shiny gold boots. In his inebriated state, his eyes travel of the contour of the body those boots are attached, too. Long legs wrapped in skinny jeans. Sheer floral blouse, mostly unbuttoned. Long dark hair, then finally, the most beautiful face he has ever seen. The only problem is, all of these things are attached to a man. A very charismatic man.
I wanted it to be a story about finding your sexuality, and the confusion that comes a long with it. Both characters have a little bit of me in them, and maybe on a different blog, I can write about that and how they came to be.
Anyways… this book in my head…
I have been reading for as long as I can remember. I started reading R.L. Stein’s Goosebumps series when I was in elementary school, the graduated to his fear street novels in middle school. That was also when I discovered the Harry Potter series, and began down the fantasy book path. As I got older, I started to dabble in romance novels, eventually landing in supernatural romance genre and staying there most of my adult life. I looked for a book similar to the one in my head and couldn’t really find one. So, instead of whining about it, I decided to write it myself.
I mulled over this for a while. I honestly didn’t think I could do it. Before this, I had only written a handful of short stories and a few poems, but I just couldn’t get this idea out of my head. It needed to be written, and I wanted to have the privilege of doing it. As time went on, scenes for the book began popping into my head. The baseball game. The outdoor theatre. The thunder storm. The lake.
One day, I sat down and began writing an outline with all of these little scene ideas that had been occupying my head for the past month. In about an hour’s time, I had managed to plan out fifteen chapters, then the scenes within each chapter. It wasn’t super detailed, just a general idea of what was to happen that chapter. I wanted each scene to be important to the story, and move it along. I was adamant that my characters would always have a very clear reason for doing the things the do.
Then I started writing. It took me about three months to complete I think? I had a friend reading as I went, getting excited every single time I wrote more. She gave me the motivation to keep going. To keep achieving. Before I knew it, my first book was complete. I couldn’t believe it. I still can’t.
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