In about six weeks, This Heart of Mine will release. Part of me is dancing on my tip toes I’m so excited. But on the flip side of that, I’m so nervous I have butterflies playing bumper cars in my stomach.
Yes, it’s true that with every book I’ve sent out to the world to be read, enjoyed, and judged, there’s a bit of angst. Because I know not everyone is going to love my book, my characters, my writing style. There are tons of books out there that everyone loves, but don’t resonate with me. And I’m sure as readers you’ve found this to be true. Authors and all artists, have to accept that one’s work is subjective. And I’ve accepted it.
Mostly. But those butterflies keep on fluttering. What if my base, my core readers, don’t tap into that magical essence of the story I’ve spent months imaging and creating?
Every book I write is part imagination and part heart. I find a kernel of an idea and while writing it, I tap into and borrow from my personal experiences, my emotions, my fears, my moral compass, to create the story. This is why I tell people that every character has me in them.
The difference between This Heart of Mine and dozens of my previous books is that this book didn’t grow in that creative section of my brain. It wasn’t a seed of an idea that I planted and spent months whispering to, what’s next? What now? I didn’t borrow bits and pieces of my life to create the plot.
No. Chunks of this story were taken right out of my life. Out of my husband’s life. When I tapped into that creative place and asked, what’s next? I didn’t have to put my thinking cap on. I just had to open up a vein. I followed the foot prints of emotion, of pain, of the strugglesand ultimately, the triumph of a real life experience.
I cried more writing this book than any book I’ve ever written.
Because like Leah, my husband needed a transplant. Like Leah, it was unlikely to happen. Like Leah, he and I were forced to accept that his time here, that our time together, was about to end. Like Leah, he was given that second chance. Like Leah, when he woke up from that transplant, he started having dreams. Dreams that had us wondering if they were his own or from the donor.
And while there is so much personal experience that stems from this story, there’s fiction as well. My hubby isn’t Matt, my hot hero. (Sorry, Babe.) He’s wasn’t dealing with high school and figuring out who he was when the transplant took place. His donor’s death hadn’t been ruled a suicide, but left others wondering if it hadn’t been murder. Yes, plenty of creative energy went into this book.
But the emotional essence of this story. Of learning to cherish time. Of learning to live every day to the fullest because tomorrow is not a promise. That came from the lessons we learned during this difficult time. And the love that Leah and Matt find? That’s one hundred percent real. It’s not the teenage love, but it started as young love, and grew stronger like it can after thirty years of marriage. You don’t know how much you love someone, until you sit at their bedside in ICU while they’re in coma. You don’t know how precious life is, until you’re certain it’s gone. You don’t value time until you’ve been given a second chance.
This Heart of Mine is up for preorder at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Powell’s, Indiebound and iBooks. So, don’t miss out, order your copy today. If you’re one of my loyal fans who has preordered it, leave a comment, and one of you will win an ARC of This Heart of Mine. So, you’ll have one to keep and one to give away to a friend.
Last week’s winner of a $10 Amazon gift card is Kate Cecce. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your gift card.