I had every intention of writing a blog about my latest release for Silhouette Romantic Suspense, SAFE WITH A STRANGER (the first book in my new trilogy called The Safekeepers.) The Safekeepers is a series of suspense novels about bodyguards for children–with the fun addition of Mexican witchcraft and a family curse. Or maybe I could’ve blogged about connected books. That seems to be my thing lately. My last series for Silhouette was six books long! I just don’t seem to be able to write single books anymore. I like fleshing out characters over several books and really enjoy revealing a series-long connection inside each book.
But as I was sitting here at my desk, my mind wandered off (as it usually does,) and I began thinking about why I write at all. As I have said before, I hate to write. Really I do. Oh, I love telling stories. I love getting into the heads of my characters. I love doing research. And I love finding just the right word to make a sentence sing. But the process of sitting my back end into a chair and shoveling out the words makes me want to cringe. In fact, right now I am avoiding beginning a new work that has a looming deadline date.
So why do it? I can’t say it’s because I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I haven’t. What I’ve always wanted to be was a reader. I guess I should’ve been an editor. Or maybe a librarian. But no, those weren’t really right either. Actually, what I have always, always, been is a dreamer. I make up stories in my head. And have done so since I was two or three years old. Reading is just an excuse to tweak my stories into something better—in my head.
If my father was still alive, he might be surprised to find that at this point I have written twenty-three books (all in the category lines for Silhouette.) Many times while I was a teenager he would look at me with my head in the clouds and call me lazy. He couldn’t see how I would ever accomplish anything when all I ever did was daydream.
My mother knew better. She was the real reader in the family. I can remember as a little girl being frustrated with trying to get her attention only to find that she was so absorbed in a book she couldn’t even hear her name being called. I can do that too, by the way. Get lost in a book.
Mother knew in her heart what I should do, even when I didn’t. In high school she nudged me toward creative writing, but I was so wrapped up in earning a living that I couldn’t see my way clear to giving it a try. Not me. Nah uh. I became a stockbroker. I did fairly well at it too, but I was never totally happy and I didn’t know why.
Not until my mother had a stroke. My father was gone by then and I became Mom’s main caregiver. I took a leave of absence from my job and worked with her everyday. She could no longer read or watch TV, her eyesight betrayed her. So in an effort to make her hours more pleasant, my sister and I found books on tape. But that wasn’t a perfect solution either. Her mind wandered too much. In fact, she began daydreaming stories about all of us. So I went along with her and helped make up the story lines. While she was in the nursing home, the nurses would become fascinated to hear our stories. The hours went by quickly and I found I enjoyed entertaining people by doing what I’ve always done—daydreaming things in my head.
Still, I might not have given it a second thought if in the week before my mother passed away she hadn’t asked me to consider writing books as a career. She knew how much I loved giving others pleasure and taking them away from their troubles for a while. And bless her heart, she was just positive I would be good at writing the stories down. I didn’t know it for sure, and my husband was completely unconvinced. But I made the promise and then did my best to make it happen.
So to all of you mothers out there, nudge your children to do what’s in their hearts—even if they can’t see it. And to all of you dreamers out there, I’ll be the mother and say maybe it’s time to stop dreaming and make it happen.
I dream in Technicolor and with dialog and scenes fully formed. What do you dream about?
With all my very best,
Linda’s latest release from Silhouette Romantic Suspense is Safe With A Stranger, now available on stands and online from eharlequin.com, Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Please visit her at http://www.lindaconrad.com/ for the latest news, extras, contests and a complete Behind the Book description of The Safekeepers series!