Well, ladies, not sure if you’ve heard, but MamaWriters is shutting down, so this is my last MamaWriters post.
It’s a bittersweet time. My second book, The Irish Warrior, just released June 1. I love this story, so it’s very exciting, and . . . it’s another threshold.
This whole period in my life feels pregnant with loss and with possibilities, tying together the start of the life of a new book, the end of the story I’m working on (and turning in to my new editor at Pocket very soon!), the beginning of another story, and the end of MamaWriters. Oh, and the end of the school year. Wow.
I’ll be uploading a few of our fabulous guests through the rest of this month, but this is my last post. The blog will stay live, so you can access the Community Features, and we reserve the right to start back up in some new incarnation in the future, so keep us on your Twitter feed and be prepared!
It seemed like a good time to go back and think about when I got The Call, which was only two years ago. And yet it seems like so much longer. My ‘Call’ story is tied in to being a mom to a young child, and to love, and it seemed appropriate to end with something that feels so much like a beginning.
How often is that they way, with writing and with parenting? An end is a new beginning, and we have to constant flex and change so our children can thrive, so our stories can thrive, and so we can thrive, as moms and wives and workers and women.
The Call: From Pink Eye To Published
Okay, so it wasn’t *my* pink eye. It was my not-very-happy little boy’s. But I was sitting there, forcibly–I mean, lovingly–holding a warm compress to his very, very pink eye, when my agent called with the news that I had been offered a 2 book contract with Kensington Publishing.
I was excited, of course. Deliriously so. I was also wondering if I was spreading pink eye germs onto the phone.
I was, of course.
So, while my agent talked, and I ooh-ed and okay-ed, I also wiped lavender-based cleaner all over the phone receiver with one hand, while holding the warm, loving compress to my child’s eye with the other, phone nestled–lovingly, of course–between my cramping shoulder and cheek.
You know the pose. The accoutrements may vary, but the pose is the same–the twisted torso of love.
You know it. You’ve done it a thousand times. You’re a woman.
And why do we do this? Well, aside from the Awesome Paycheck we receive as mothers, it’s because of LOVE.
Yes, genre fiction gets disdained in general to some degree or another, but I’m not sure that romance doesn’t take the hardest hit of all. (Perhaps I only say that because I write romance, and so I feel those hits more powerfully, because I take them more directly.)
But I maintain that this focus on love is part of the reason it’s disdained.
I think people are scared. Perhaps taken aback by love being so in-your-face as it in our novels. Embarrassed by the notion that someone would face it so openly, would focus on it so directly. We just don’t do that in our culture: much too messy. We’re allowed to work hard, and harder yet. We’re encouraged to buy things, and we’re praised for being busy. But loving? Hmmm… not sure I see that as often.
And yet, that’s what romances do–put LOVE right smack in the center of everything. And it’s so darned . . . messy.
We’re all a little scared of that messiness. Maybe, when we read a romance, we brush up against uncomfortable considerations of how we’ve ‘done’ love in our own lives. The times we haven’t loved well enough, or deeply enough, or openly enough. The times we played it safe, held back, opened our arms *halfway,* not all the way. And the shadowed regrets of what we might have lost. Or gained.
And maybe, the best romance novels, maybe they help renew our motivation to do better next time. Like when our loved ones get home from work. Today.
In a romance novel, in the end, the protagonists metaphorically reach out and say ‘Yes‘ at some fundamental level. They act, they move, they shake things up. They face their fears, they make mistakes, they anger people, and they DO. They LIVE. They’re alive. And in love. And they move toward it with their arms open.
I think that might be scary to some people. I know it’s scary to me sometimes.
Now, you see how that relates to pink eye? I thought so.
Feeling great respect and affection for all the MamaWriters out there. Please find me on Twitter or Facebook, and here is my website,–drop me a line and say Hi sometime! you don’t need to have a huge agenda: staying in touch is good enough. And if we haven’t ‘met’ yet online…? So what. Write me anyhow.
Be good to those you love and above all, to yourself.
Kris Kennedy writes sexy, adventure-filled medieval romances for Kensington and Pocket Books. At her website, you can sign-up for the newsletter and drop Kris a line saying Hi! THE IRISH WARRIOR, winner of the 2008 Golden Heart® Award for Best Historical Romance, released June 1. Read a sexy excerpt here!