Tuesday, March 13, 2007


I did not like the first book that I wrote. In fact, I disliked it so much that my affection for it bordered on that thin line between love and hate. And I should clarify that I had liked my original manuscript, but the edited, published version of the book took the story in a direction that I hadn’t been prepared to go. Sure, it was a story about love, but it wasn’t a love story. Deleting eighty pages and manipulating select text made it a love story and Deborah the Romance Author was born. Interestingly enough, diehard romance fans hated it. It didn’t fit the mold of a romance book and I had to learn how to give them what they were looking for.

I’m feeling much the same way about a book I just finished and it hasn’t hit that editing, publishing stage yet. I’m fairly confident that there will be few changes when it does because it fits the pattern of romance that is expected of romance authors with just a hint of my true flavor to identify it as one of mine. And therein lies my frustration with my writing.

My flavor. The essence of who I am which spills out in my words. I’m not feeling it and I’m not quite sure why. I’m writing a series about four brothers. Two of them I like a lot. I’m struggling with brothers three and four and they may well not get a book if I don’t get some warm and fuzzy from them soon. I like the first brother. He’s like a fine drink of wine on a summer’s night when Marvin Gaye done got you hot, buck naked, and thirsty for something you didn’t even know you needed. The second brother is more Wyclef Jean guiding your shimmy, rum punch in the desert heat, and a hard body grinding you at your best friend’s blue light basement party. Oh yeah, I like both them boys! Trying to find some motivation for the others and hoping it comes soon ‘cause I’ve got deadlines to meet. Right now both of them feel like Doublemint twins in matching plaid vests and high water chinos singing me a Barry Manilow ballad. Not pretty at all.

I tell a better story when I just let it come to me and be whatever it intends to be. To write romance I’ve got to go to the story and work it the way it needs to be. Sometimes that feels like I’ve been trapped in a burlap bag with a mean ass alley cat. We be fightin’ and the cat be kickin’ my butt. Right now that cat is kickin’ me good and I can’t seem to find me a big ass dog to kick back.


Anonymous said...

From a kindred spirit, know that you are not alone in that feeling. I just finished a project I absolutely hated, it stinks - I know it stinks - and there is nothing I can do about it. I'm terrified of the thought of it hitting the bookshelves, because my readers will then know it stinks. But, I've given it over and decided you can't win them all. So, focus on the next project, make is something you love and keep moving forward :)

Deborah Mello said...

Thanks for commiserating! And you are so right. I can't win them all. Here's hoping I find my dog on the next one.