Tuesday, April 1, 2014

@WillNorthAuthor & His Thoughts on Love Stories for Grownups #WriteTip #AmWriting #Women

I write love stories. I don’t exactly know how this came about after a career of writing more than a dozen nonfiction books. All I can say is that one day a love story swam up from the depths of my heart and demanded to be written. I couldn’t have been more surprised. Then another one showed up. Then another. It’s a little like being taken over by aliens.
While my novels are certainly romantic, my previous publisher, Random House, didn’t want them called “Romance Novels.” They preferred “Literary Fiction,” which is fine…except it completely ignores my core readership, which is women who describe themselves as readers of romantic novels. Partly for that reason, Random House is no longer my publisher. They did not recognize the truth even when it was staring them in the face.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a book cover with a scantily-clad woman wilting into the arms of some heavily muscled, bare chested hunk, you’ll be disappointed. Sorry about that. That’s not what my novels are like, though you’ll find plenty of drama and sex. I like to say my novels are “love stories for grownups.” By that I mean they’re for and about people who’ve put some years behind them and, as a result, bear some emotional scars. Maybe they’ve suffered losses from which they’re still trying to recover: the death of a spouse or partner, or divorce, or abuse. Few are those of us who reach middle age without scars like these. And yet…and yet…we still hope for the magic. So if you’re looking for a story with the ring of truth, a story you can believe in and relate to, then you’ve come to the right place.
Writing these novels has been a sort of journey of discovery for me. What I discovered by writing The Long Walk Home and Water, Stone, Heart, as well as my latest, Seasons’ End, is that I believe in second chances at love. And third. Deep down, don’t we all? I’m not particularly religious, but when I look at the Book of Genesis, it strikes me as significant that God did not just create Adam and say, “Off you go then, my boy, you’re on your own.” No, He also created Eve (And in so doing I’ve always thought it obvious that “Man” was clearly only God’s first draft: he did a way better job the second time around!).
What I’m saying is that I think human beings are meant to be partnered. Who they partner with is of no concern to me if they achieve connection and happiness. I also have immense respect for those who choose a solitary life. But I wasn’t made that way. I suspect few people are.  At bottom, I think we long to be known by another. Deeply, intimately known. I think we seek those who will know and accept us. Who will, to put it simply, love us. Because isn’t that what love is really about: finding someone who knows and accepts us as we are?
In my books, that’s what happens: damaged people find the courage to begin again with someone who believes in them.
Every summer for generations, three families intertwined by history, marriage, and career have spent “the season” at their beach cottage compounds on an island in Puget Sound. Today, Martha “Pete” Petersen, married to Tyler Strong, is the lynchpin of the “summer people.” In childhood, she was the tomboy every girl wanted to emulate and is now the mother everyone admires.
Colin Ryan, family friend and the island’s veterinarian, met Pete first in London, years earlier, when she visited his roommate, Tyler. He’s loved her, privately, ever since. Born in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen, son of a bar owner, he’s always been dazzled by what he sees of the sun-kissed lives of the summer people.
But this summer, currents strong as the tides roil: jealousies grow, tempers flare, passions clash. Then, on the last day of the season, a series of betrayals alters the combined histories of these families forever.
As in previous novels, The Long Walk Home and Water, Stone, Heart, with Seasons’ End, Will North weaves vivid settings and memorable characters into a compelling tale of romance and suspense.
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Genre – Women's Contemporary Fiction
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
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