Sinking into Wishing Bridge
My buddy Vince Mooney labeled my writing as "Romance Realism" and I loved him for it.
He was right. Besides being a good friend and ardent reader, Vince had a way of sensing what an author was all about, where we were going and he often told me that he kept a box of tissues at hand when he read one of my books for the first time. Not because he always cried...
But he knew there would be opportunity to weep and he wanted to be ready.
He was a good man and a good friend.
He would love "Reclaiming Hope in Wishing Bridge".
He would love it for the same reasons he loved my first contracted book "Winter's End". Because it's real... and because between me and God we waited just the right length of time for me to tell the story.
Ideas come and go in this biz.
I keep them in my head. Sometimes for years. I keep them in my head until I know that the time has come and then the story spills out from multiple thoughts/sources/perspectives. The first grain for this set-up was a very thinly done book I read years ago about a dreadful storm.
I wasn't impressed because the human cost of the storm was minimized.
Human cost should always be handled with grace but it should never be minimized.
So that was the first nudge. Nudge #2 came with the growing chronic problems in American schools.
A few are good.
Most are below par. They shade it so you don't see it unless you delve into national statistics, but it's there. It's simply not discussed.
Some are dreadful.
So in my head I wondered why? Why are people putting up with that? Why do we suddenly think that okay is good enough????
And the third thing was that I'm surrounded by young families and their friends and friends of friends.
Divorce... death... remarriage. Step-parents. Some good. Some awful.
So as I was putting together Heather's profile in my head, I knew she was displaced as a child. Put aside, a beautiful little girl, because her daddy remarried a woman whose neurosis blossomed when her own child was born.
One bigger. Stronger. More robust.
One fragile as a baby.
The other was never fragile. She was big, strong and smart with big brown eyes and gloriously thick brown hair.
And because she wasn't "her" child, because she was bigger, stronger, more robust, she was set aside in favor of the woman's own child. Her flesh. Her blood. Her single opus of achievement while Heather grew up in a shadow of loss and self-reliance.
It's hard when a parent chooses love or sex or marriage over a child's needs. It's a heinous blow to the child's self-esteem, but I didn't want Heather to ever be a victim... she was an overcomer and that became her strength and also her weakness.
And that's what makes this story "romance realism" because we're all a blend of the pros and cons that help shape us but we're also an amazing compilation of genetics that give us strength and talent and focus... so using those combinations, I was able to draw Heather Johnstone the way I wanted to.
Strong. Resilient. Focused. And tough but with such a love for children, for her students that you know she took those early rejections and turned them into something wonderful.
Some stories come to me overnight.
Some stories are years in the making.
Both are wonderful ways of doing this thing I love... this thing called writing. Storytelling.
Authors are blessed to live in a "best of both worlds" environment right now. We have traditional publishing and indie publishing and there is a lot to be said for both sides of the aisle but for this story I was glad to be on the independent side of the fence because human tragedy does happen.
It's how the survivors, those remaining handle it that helps shape the future.
And that's a story worth telling.
Leave a comment below to open the conversation... about school, about books, about romance, about writing... Ruthy has a copy of this newest 5 Star book to be given away to one lucky commenter... and she's so glad to be here with you today!
USA TODAY Bestselling author Ruth Logan Herne has over 70 novels and novellas to her credit including over thirty Love Inspired books, dozens of independent works and a body of work with Harper Collins, Penguin Random House (Multnomah), Guideposts and several others. She is living her dream as she manages a very busy and crazy fun pumpkin farm in Western New York with her husband Dave and a slew of family and friends to keep things going. You can friend her on Facebook, check out her website ruthloganherne.com and email her at email@example.com where she does, in fact, personally answer emails.