When I was in college, I worked a number of jobs, just because I wanted extra money over and beyond my “allowance.”
One as a cashier at a “Walmart” type place, and one as a waitress.
If ever there was a worse waitress in that restaurant, possibly in restaurants worldwide, I’d love to meet her. I trashed full platters of food, I forgot to get the manager’s wife’s ketchup for almost fifteen minutes after she first asked, I called a dish of the day “Francous when it was actually Francais” The entire table laughed. I’m sure I was the highlight of the night for them.
In other words, I sucked at that job.
After graduation and many years in corporate America, and hating it, I decided to try my hand at something where I wouldn’t spill food on people and wouldn’t want to whack them over the head with budgets. Writing.
What could be better than to write a book about a woman who is the worst waitress in the universe? Boy, I could tell that story with a lot of intimate and painful knowledge.
Thus, The Harder They Fall was born. Darcy, the heroine in the story is me (well, other than the fact that she’s tall, blond and beautiful). She can’t do anything right, although she’s trying so hard.
Actually, she is a better waitress than I was, has a purpose more important than I did, and has an adversary that I wish I’d had. I had a lot of good looking customers, but wasn’t lucky enough to spill a grilled tuna in any of their laps, which started a journey such as theirs.
It’s honestly funny to take something so painful in real life, and turn it into comedy. That’s how The Harder They Fall was born. I laughed and cried about it the entire time I was writing it. That was me, the klutz, and that was Darcy, who won. I love that she won.
I love wonderful romances when people go through crises, but manage to find the strength in themselves to fight for what they want, and end up winning. In real life, when I hear or read a story about someone like that, I cry, because it’s beautiful. It really does happen in real life. And I’d love to hear from readers who’ve had that “miracle” happen to them. You will, I assure you, make me cry happy tears.
So many critics slam romances or any kind of victorious ending stories as unrealistic, baloney, pipe dreams, etc. I do not believe that for a moment. I believe these happy stories happen to people every single day. Folks are just so shy about admitting, “Hey, that happened to me!” that they don’t speak up. They are afraid of admitting that they, too, had a glorious ending to a funny story.
Basically, they’re afraid of those who will criticize them for having, and loving, happy lives. Sad, really. Darcy and Michael both went through war and hell on their way to happiness. But they got there (a lot of bumps and disasters along the way, admittedly). They still got there. And I’m positive many readers have, as well. And can relate.
I write hard beginnings because it makes the glorious ending so much more satisfying. But it isn’t unrealistic. It happens every day in so many lives. And I love Darcy and Michael in The Harder They Fall because it began as a horror story for both of them, and evolved into what they both always wanted. Isn’t that what every human wishes for?
I would love to hear about your own love stories, horror stories, your journeys to that place called love. I’ll cry, happily, because I always cry happily (show me a dog commercial and watch a box of Kleenex disappear).
What I’d really love is affirmation that I’m not wrong. Unlike the critics who think readers of romance are hooked because they’re missing something in their lives, most are reading because they love to hear about another story that mirrors theirs.
I’d love to hear them. If you’d like to tell me yours, I’ll let the Riding With The Top Down people choose one, and I’ll send you a copy in any format you prefer.