Trish Jensen’s Story: Inspiration Works!

Trish Welcome Trish Jensen to the convertible today!

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.


About Kathleen Eagle

Kathleen Eagle is the award-winning, New York Times best-selling author of over forty novels.
This entry was posted in books, drawing for books, giveaway, inspiration, romance novels, writing process and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Trish Jensen’s Story: Inspiration Works!

  1. Leanne says:

    Trish! Welcome to the convertible. Congrats on your release! I’ve never been a waitress, but I’ve always thought I’d be pretty awful at it. Not near enough upper body strength!lol I love romance novels because they keep the hope alive. They affirm all the good things I already believe about love and life.

  2. Good morning, Trish! I’m with you on the best kind of Romance. I’ve always pulled for the underdog. Romance makes us feel good about being human–celebrates the nobility of the human spirit. Sometimes we need to be reminded that it really exists. While she was in hiding, Anne Frank wrote: “In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.” She was such a wonderful romantic and has been my heroine since the first time I read her diary.

  3. Sky Robinson says:

    Congrats on your release Trish. I think I might have been able to give you a run for your money in the worst waitress competition.

  4. I so agree, Trish, about people who put down happy endings. We all have them in one way or another. I have to believe they are very unhappy people who haven’t had love hit them between the eyes yet.

  5. bellwriter says:

    Trish, first of all that cover! Oh my gosh, what a terrific cover. Did Debra Dixon design it? I would have been here sooner, but I’ve been staring at it all morning. 🙂 Love the concept behind the Harder They Fall. I think we all have worked in jobs that weren’t quite right for us– it’s part of finding ourselves and then appreciating what we’ve got..

    I’m not sure what I’ll write below qualifies for a romance, but I have a person in mind who would make a great heroine.

    This wonderful young lady is from Mexico. She’s in my Toastmaster’s group. So so happy to be in the United States, her English is poor (but improving). So what does she do? She joins Toastmasters, a place where people, some who are quite eloquent, come to show off their brilliance. Or, like me, learn not to stutter over my tongue.

    My new friend has had a tough life, most would say an awful life, but through it all, she’s brought her young daughter away from that existence. She’s a housekeeper at a local hotel, and has worked her way up to manager of housekeeping.

    I told her she’s my hero. I would no more go to Mexico and try to give a speech in Spanish, and yet that’s exactly what she does, week after week. Comes to our group to improve her English and better her life. It’s too soon to know if there’s a romance in the works for my new friend. But I can tell you, it isn’t because my Toastmaster’s group isn’t hopeful, or ready to play matchmaker.

    Can’t wait to read, THE HARDER THEY FALL.

  6. loisgreiman says:

    Welcome, Trish. Thanks for joining us. I agree, happy endings are for everyone…those who need to hope there is something better and those who are living something better.

    Congrats on the new release. Looks great!

  7. iwritebooks says:

    Hi, Trish! This story sounds great. I also spent some years as a waitress… I actually enjoyed it because it was never boring and I worked with a lot of people my own age and we made it fun. And I loved tips. 🙂

    My own personal love story seemed pretty natural to me at the time. We sort of recognized each other. Both of our mothers had refinished our family’s pianos in antique green. Didn’t it just have to be?

  8. Christie Ridgway says:

    The above was me, Christie Ridgway. I keep having wordpress difficulties.

  9. captainhellion says:

    This book looks fun, and I’m inspired how you created a novel out of a twist of your own experiences but BIGGER. 🙂 I think life has more happy endings than not–I think people tend to focus on the negative or assume the worst so they’re “prepared” for it. It’s nice to have a back up plan, but that kind of attitude can suck for everyone else who has to hang out with you. And a lot of the time, you don’t even need the back up plan. You turn out just fine.

    I don’t have any wildly romantic HEA of my own, per se. I’m in love with a glorious man, of course, but we don’t have our HEA “yet” and our idea of a romantic encounter is bantering about Harry Potter. Or the Republican party. We can be pretty comical; I have written conversations or the occasional klutzy moment into my WIP that comes from us. 🙂

  10. Trish Jensen says:

    Thanks everyone for laughing at my pain. Seriously, I actually had a lot of fun writing that book. No research needed at all. 🙂 I loved the stories! Sorry it took me so long to reply but (all you former waitresses should appreciate this), I’ve been in the weeds all day! And thanks to all you ladies at ridingwiththetopdown for inviting me!

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