Guest Post by Author Candis Terry: DO YOU BELIEVE IN MAGIC?
As much as I love elves and fairies and maybe even David Copperfield (when he was a bit younger and a little more hip), that’s not the kind of magic I’m referring to. I’m talking about the type that is created between the pages of a book. You know, the magic that makes your heart race, your eyes mist, your stomach twist into knots, or dares you to even try to put the book down.
Yeah. That magic!
Every reader wants that to happen when they open a new book. So exactly how does a writer create those heart-pounding moments? Emotion. Not just any old emotion, but ones a reader can relate to. We’ve all had our hearts broken, lost a loved one, or had a joyous moment in our lives that we can easily recall. We’ve all had a want, a desire, or a dream. Those are the emotions a writer taps into, draws from their own lives, and shares.
I write quirky small town romances and I’ve been told I’m funny. So how does a quirky/funny writer create magic that will be emotionally satisfying and memorable for their readers? I pull from my own life. In my first book Second Chance at the Sugar Shack I created Letty Silverthorne, a quirky and maybe not so understanding mother who had a lot of issues with her children. Or maybe I should say her children had a lot of issues with her. She had a lot of work to do to make amends. But . . . she suddenly died. Throughout the Sugar Shack series each of Letty’s three adult children come back home--tangled up with emotion and remorse about having lost the chance to make up with her. Magically, Letty reappears in the backseat of her beat-up Buick—a mere ghost of her former self--to dispense unwanted advice from beyond the grave.
How does that situation draw from my own life? Though my mother is still alive, she and I do have unresolved issues. And since my mother has Alzheimer’s we will never be able to settle those things. I can’t begin to tell you how many wild and sad emotions that brings out in me. So when I wrote those scenes between Letty and her kids (even though they were pretty humorous), I had no problem drawing deep from the emotional well.
Draw from what you know. How you feel. What makes you laugh? Cry? If your heart races chances are so will your reader’s. A romance reader knows they are going to get a happy ending. It’s the emotional journey to that happy ending that makes them open the book and keep reading.
I invite you to check out the Sugar Shack books—the third book Somebody Like You will be on sale June 19. Also For Love and Honor, the military heroes anthology (on sale May 29) I’ve written with historical romance author Cathy Maxwell and women’s fiction author Lynne Hinton. For Love and Honor has been given a starred review from Library Journal Reviews and was called “Uniquely Satisfying.” All my books are available in both ebook format and print.
I’m tickled to be here with you today and I’d like to give away a copy of my first book Second Chance at the Sugar Shack. Just leave a comment and tell me what you think brings magic to a romance. One winner will be randomly selected on Friday, May 25, 2012. Open internationally.
Candis Terry, author of the Sugar Shack novels, was born and raised near the sunny beaches of Southern California and now makes her home on an Idaho farm. She’s experienced life in such diverse ways as working in a Hollywood recording studio to scooping up road apples left by her daughter’s rodeo queening horse to working as a graphic designer. Only one thing has remained constant: Candis’ passion for writing stories about relationships, the push and pull in the search for love, and the security one finds in their own happily ever after. Though her stories are set in small towns, Candis’ wish is to give each of her characters a great big memorable love story rich with quirky characters, tons of fun, and a happy ending.
Carla Swafford loves romance novels, action/adventure movies and men, and her books reflect that. Plus she's a rare creature in the Deep South, she loves hockey. Carla's married to her high school sweetheart and lives in Alabama.