Every story has a beginning
This is the story of how my first published novel came to be.
Certain ideas and characters like to blast into my consciousness unannounced, when I really don't need them to be pestering me. Others must be coaxed out from their hidey holes with cupcakes and tequila cocktails. The very first book I wrote was about characters that wouldn't leave me alone. I had these two people telling me bits of their story incessantly- when I was out on a run, while working, even when I was trying to sleep. I wrote their story, but didn't think I could do anything with it. I wrote a companion novel to that first book immediately after I finished. Both have sat untouched in my manuscript graveyard for years. Maybe someday I will dust them off and see about fixing some of the more obvious plot holes and the front-loaded happy endings.
But that's not the story I want to talk about.
The one I published as my debut novel came about because I needed it to. NaNoWriMo 2014 was looming, and I wanted to be a part of the fast and furious month of noveling. I needed a story that would speak to me and allow me enough passion to be able to write the story start-to-finish in one month's time. I had to go looking for my characters, and though I tried to plot their story, they deviated and went around me, but in a way that I was cool with. Try not to stop your characters when they start telling you their story, just go with it instead.
Bliss is a girl after my own heart. I guess that's why I enjoyed writing her so much. Her story is a romance, a family drama, and has parts that are career focused. She's got layers. There's a guy who seems out to complicate her life and keep her from achieving her goals, all while making her burn for an escape only he can provide.
Sometimes, you just have to give the characters in your head a chance to tell their story.
Something Bliss told me has stuff with me ever since. Even on a bad day, there is always lipstick.