Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Contemporary Freedom

They say write what you read or read what you write. I think because I grew up reading stories set in a time I could relate to it seemed only natural I'd write within that realm. Maybe for some it seems the easy way out and while many of my stories require research it's easier to find current information then it is for, let's say, the 1700's. I'm sure it's all a matter of knowing where to look and who to talk to, but contemporary romances hold a realism I can relate to. That's not to say I don't read others, I do.

The cool thing about contemporary romance is that it can cover just as many sub-genre's with fewer rules than others can. It seems when the twentieth century came, so did a new freedom that exploded and fought its way into the twenty-first century with a wild abandonment in the world of writing.

Changes in the genre specifications seem to have followed the pattern of the sixties and seventies albeit years later where sexual freedom began. Anything goes providing it holds to the basics of the ground rules set so many years ago.

Many of us want to break the molds and some of us manage it in many different respects. Those of us who refuse to stay within the narrow lines still hold the highest respect and hunger for the natural chemistry that draws together two people who are least expected to become soulmates. That's the joy of writing. I love the feelings my characters draw out in me.

When I started writing my first published story, A Psychic Hitch, I had no idea what it was going to be about, who the characters were going to be, much less how they were going to get together. I'd just come off NANO month where I'd done a very intense story and wanted something lighter, fun and different to do. It was December, cold and I think there was snow on the ground. Please, muse, take me someplace warm, I begged. And it happened. I ended up on a beach where I once vacationed. I worked pieces of it out in my mind while I drove and while I served tables for the next few hours. Once at home, I put it on paper so to speak. The story flowed and grew over time with the help of critiques and suggestions from an editor.

Blurb: Darius Markum, a man Cheri London meets online, agrees to help her conceive a child she wants. Darius sets out to win Cheri's wary heart, but before they can meet, she's injured and a rescuer named Allen comes to her aid. After a night of passion, Cheri returns home without meeting Darius...until she discovers Darius and Allen are one and the same. Read More

I think with contemporary characters, you can relate easier because their atttributes, their internal and external issues are things you know, you've been around, you've dealt with within yourself or someone you know. For me this is so much easier then trying to get into a mentality of an era I didn't live in.

When I wrote Last Glass of Wine, it was a totally different situation. It was really close to home; it caught me totally by surprise. I had no idea when I started it that I was writing the history of current events. No, it was really more than writing about current events and putting twists on them to make them into the story it was becoming, I was causing the events. It was rather offputting and scary. I'd write before I went into work and bam what I wrote that morning really happened that day. It went on like that for about a week and a half when I realised I needed to break that pattern. I did it, I stopped working on the story. Not writing didn't lesson the emotional turmoil and anger I felt over the whole situation, but it did stop things from roller coastering down a path that could have damaged my working relationship with my co-workers.

Blurb: Despite company policy, Cole and Lana are desperate to get their hands on one another, but when she believes he was fired over the one indiscretion, she has to have one night with him before he leaves town. Then she learns the truth. Read More

The differences between the stories while they are part of a series can be summed up in the one line review from Mark at Book Cove Reviews - “WITH BEKKI LYNN, YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT WILL HAPPEN AT THE END, THAT’S HOW I WAS HOOKED AND I GUARANTEE YOU WILL BE TOO.” He'd read and reviewed both books and he liked that while I seemed to follow the predictible standard path of a romance, I put in little twists and turns that made them different as you neared the end. Many reviewers liked that I strayed from the norm. That pumped me up, because I was put in the same category of other writers who weren't afraid to step from the mold and put their own signature on their work.

Over a decade ago, I was given advice which I still hold onto it. "Don't let anyone tell you that you can't write the way you do. If they do, run as far away from them as you can get." A NY Bestseller told me this and another backed her up.

From the straight contemporaries, I went to contemporary paranormal. I've always loved the supernatural, and yes, I do love the show - who wouldn't love watching two hunky brothers take down demons. Anyway, my latest release was actually started while I was working on A Psychic Hitch. An Apache hero, Peridot and an American Girl, you had to know something spiritual had to be involved. I believe in ghosts, I believe there are powers that weld your life with and without your permission. I also believe that your ancestors can affect your life in ways you may not see, ways you may never understand. It could be things they've passed on, things they foresaw. Who knows. My great-grandmother was Blackfeet therefore I think a lot of acceptability I have is natural. So, this storyline was easy to write, fleshing it out and actually envisioning what the characters wanted wasn't. I'm glad I took the time to let them work it out for me. Jewel of the Sun's BLOOD DESTINY won't be the only ghostly paranormal you'll get from me.

Blurb: Cassandra Jones’ night are filled with exploits of passion she’s wanted, but never experienced. It began when she’d received gems she never ordered. Elan Takoda collected his peridot, unknowing his path was set the moment he touched them. Too late, he learned things were more complicated than what their grandfather’s concocted. Read More

None of us can foresee our future or predict what we'll write and I think that's half the fun. I love not knowing what I'll do a year from now. I think it's fun to explore genre's and their subs.

My books can be purchased at:

Barnes & Noble
All Romance Ebooks



Savanna Kougar said...

Wow, Bekki, I definitely understand why you write contemporary, and paranormal. The ghost blog you had up around Halloween, I think it was, was absolutely incredible.

I've felt presences, and had some medium-type experiences, etc. However, I don't see ghosts like some do.

And, like you, I've had scenes I wrote play out, though, more what occurred on the world stage than my own life. However, I've had precog dreams that played out exactly the same way the next day.

I went through a period of time where I only read contemporary romance after years and years of reading historicals. At that time, contemps were being written in a fresh new way and historicals had gotten staid, too formulaic, too just pumped out by the NY houses.

Truth be told, I don't relate well to our current times. Most of it makes no sense to me, even though I'm living in it. So, I create worlds that do make sense to me.

And the stories I've written that do occur in contemporary times include alternate realities that intrigue me and make sense to my 'odd view' of things.

Bekki Lynn said...

Savanna, I love your 'odd view'. I love the stories you write. I'm always amazed by how your mind works.

I think if we write where our 'happy place' is then it comes off well.

I have a son who has precog dreams. I think it's one of the reasons he works so much, it doesn't give him much time to sleep.

It's the synchronizing dreams that hurt the most, because it's too late to do anything about them when you wake up. I lived with it for 40 years and now it's been a year without them -- it's been great.

Celia Yeary said...

BEKKI-- Interesting why you write contemporary. I find it curious why one author writes one thing, and the next, something entirely different. Why? surely we all have reason for writiing what we do, but it's a nebulous thing to pin down. I read contemporaries, but I don't write them them very well, I guess, because my Wester Historicals sell best--I can get contracts easier with those. Hmmm, I need to find out what's wrong with my Contemps.
Like you, I do appreciate that publishers, even through a dizzying array of genres and sub-genres, still look for those "basics"--love and a HEA--Celia

Lindsay Townsend said...

Really interesting, Bekki, how you came to write the various contemporary genres you do. I love the new sub-genres now and love what you're doing with them.