Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Making Dreams Come True – Part 3

If you haven't read the previous parts, you may want to do so first. See:

In the last post, I told you the bookmobile novel idea changed as I learned more about writing. Once I understood the book was about Karen and Brian and how they get back together after thirty years, and Liz the bookmobile librarian was a supporting character, and once I had taken several writing classes, the book began to take shape. It began to look and feel like a novel. In fact, I felt more like all I had to do was write about what the characters were feeling. They took over and told the story.

I set the story in Austin, Texas, because that's where I grew up. While a student at the University of Texas, I worked as a bookmobile driver part-time for the Austin Public Library. Brian, who had sold his business in California before returning to Austin to pursue Karen, bought a bookmobile to impress her. As it turns out, it does the opposite. I used the bookmobile in a third of the scenes to make the setting smaller and more manageable. Supporting characters come aboard the bookmobile as needed.

Is it a romance?

The story is told by the two main characters, Brian and Karen, alternating from one to the other so that the reader can see what's going on in their minds without one character knowing what the other is thinking. With two protagonists and the points of view alternating between male and female, plus the title of the book (Where Love Once Lived), early readers thought the book was a romance. Not knowing any better, I went along with that belief. I joined the Romance Writers Association and, in 2007, the manuscript won several contests. It took first place in the romance division at the Writers League of Texas contest and first place in the inspiration division in New Mexico. Plus a third place in Houston and finalist in California.

The book talks about going back to where Brian was last happy. He sells his company, moves from California to Texas, buys land and builds a house at the same location where he and Karen had once been happy together, he buys a bookmobile because that's where they had been together so many times. The title, Where Love Once Lived, seems to be describing these actions. However, I soon learned the story is really about where the love of God had once lived in Brian's heart and his struggle to regain his faith.

In the next post, I'll tell you about trying to find a publisher.

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