Write What You Know

After reading Too Late for Regrets, many readers are wondering: why did I choose to make the heroine a gardener?

Because my hobby is gardening. Therefore, I could write with some authority on the subject. One of the most valuable pieces of writing advice in circulation is to write what you know.

In the case of my novel, making Elizabeth a gardener also allowed the story to flow more smoothly. The police officer sees Elizabeth for the first time while she is working in her garden. Perhaps it’s this nurturing and feminine act that arouses his interest? Had she been a violinist instead of a gardener, it’s unlikely that she would have been standing in the front garden playing the violin. Gardening becomes a shared interest between them and the running theme throughout the book.

So my advice to writers is simple: write what you know most. The plot will follow. In my next post, I will discuss passionate love scenes in various books and media and answer the question, “Is less more?”

Fall Chores

In multiple interviews and discussion boards, I’ve cited gardening as my inspiration for writing and drawn connections between it and the creative writing process. Because so many of my readers are of the gardening world, I’ve decided to share some of my gardening tips with you. First up: fall chores.

In Colorado at this time of year, the days are warm. But at night, one can feel the crispness in the air. The garden is beginning to look a bit tired–so is the gardener–it’s time to put the garden to bed.

All of the perennials have to be cut down to approximately six inches; those that are becoming overcrowded can be divided and replanted in other areas. Weeds and grasses that have established themselves must be removed.

This is a good time to spread compost, peat, and manure over the beds. In spring once the snow has melted and moisture has seeped into the soil, digging becomes easy. The soil is friable; it breaks up easily. Any weeds and grasses are easy to remove–it’s important to do this before they strengthen and start growing into the emerging perennials.

Now the excitement of spring planting can begin.

Stay tuned for our next topic: tulips.

Why Police Officers are the Perfect Heroes

Upon the release of my new novel, many readers have been approaching me with the same question: why did I choose a police officer to be the hero in Too Late for Regrets?

I wanted the hero and heroine to meet in a rescue situation. Only police officers and firefighters are constantly responsible for rescuing people. The initial meeting would need much dialogue, and if the heroine was being rescued from a burning house by a firefighter with dozens of people milling around, there would be no opportunity for dialogue. The same held true if she were to be rescued by a police officer in a traffic accident. The chaos wouldn’t allow for much sweet talk now, would it?

So the rescue had to take place in a secluded area. I chose a cul-de-sac near the police officer’s house. The perfect private setting. Then another continuity issue arose: how was Timothy to know that Elizabeth was there? I solved the problem by having a small boy on a bicycle see Elizabeth in distress and rush to alert the police officer of her situation.

Writing is an endless cycle of problem solving. How do we get our characters from point A to point B? This allows for a constant flow of creativity and imagination where we can explore tame and sometimes outrageous ways of bringing our story to fruition. Nothing is off the table. Being an author allows one to be wonderfully free, doesn’t it?

Once I had decided that Timothy would be a police officer, I wondered: what is it about law enforcement figures and their damsel in distress counterparts that makes their relationships so passionate and interesting? Why does the idea of being rescued bring out the most intense love in all of us?

Comment below with your thoughts!

Maureen