Authors and their comfort zones
Once upon a time there was an author who loved to write romance. She wanted all those happily ever after endings and when she sold her first two books she knew she was going to write more. When she wrote about the hero’s point of view in her first book she was told “you can’t do that” and she couldn’t understand why. Just as the heroine and hero couldn’t make love unless they had planned to get married very soon after and it was mentioned. So each time she was told “you can’t do that” she asked why and from then on, she did her best to break one or two “rules” and get away with it. Sometimes she did get away with it and sometimes she again heard “you can’t do that”.
She also knew she loved to write about things that go bump in the night and anything that couldn’t be properly explained. At first, she was told the paranormal ideas she had wouldn’t sell, but it didn’t stop her. After all, the time would come when she could write the books she well and truly loved to write.
So along the way she wrote about a psychic who watched a woman’s death through the murderer’s eyes, about a woman who hit 30 and had her dead parents come back with the intention of staying until she found the right man, about the daughter of a famous horror actor who lived in a house that had a few secrets and prompted questions of “could that be …?” About a woman who thought the life of a society belle was better than hers until she was killed and ended up in that woman’s body only to learn she was now a suspect in the belle’s fiancé’s death. Another woman who stumbled onto a small village that only appeared the month of December where Christmas was celebrated in a big way, a woman who almost gave up her life because she was slowly fading from life until she returned to her home town where no one knew her and a dark-natured homicide cop who has a long murdered woman haunting his house and he falls in love with her.
They were all practice works for what she really wanted to do. She wanted to leave that comfort zone and write a book that had all of those “you can’t do that” in it.
Thanks to a sassy witch named Jazz Tremaine, who’d been around for the last 700+ years, she was able to do just that. It wasn’t easy forgetting those old rules and just going for it, but she did it because the book deserved the absolute best she could give it. So this author worked hard, laughed, cried, sweated blood and discovered that writing about Jazz, Nick, Irma, and Fluff and Puff was the most fun she’d ever had. That author was me and the book was 50 Ways to Hex Your Lover.
Another form of living happily ever after since I’ve since sold three more books in my witch series. The second, Hex Appeal, will be out this November and Wicked By Any Other Name and Wishing You A Hexy Christmas in 2009.
It’s not easy writing outside your comfort zone. It’s like giving up that blankie that’s worn and soft and makes you feel better. But sometimes, jumping off that cliff and swimming through uncharted waters throws you into a whole new world that may be unfamiliar, but it can also be a lot of fun.
What about you? Do you like to venture into new territory or do you stay in your comfort zone?