Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Get me outta here!

Someone recently asked me who I am trying to reach with my writing. I hadn't thought about that in years, so I answered with my old stand-by, "Women (or men) who like to read about the kind of love that lasts forever." Blah, blah, blah. Blink/smile. Easy. Next question.

When I got home I checked my email and found a letter from a Katrina survivor. She wrote to tell me that Lord Of Desire had helped her through the roughest time in her life. When she needed a way to retreat from everyday living, it was there.

Now it all came back to me....the reason I write. The reason I love to tell stories is to bring people to my world. A place where they can forget about the realities of theirs, even if it's just for a little while. All books do this, but I think romance does it best. What woman doesn't want to imagine herself in some faraway land being swept away by a gorgeous man? I love historicals because those knights in shining armor were the ultimate fantasy for me while growing up. I escaped to different times where brave men riding great snorting warhorses fought for the honor of a woman. I retreated into magnificent castles where everyone looked beautiful in the flickering firelight. I ran through lush heather moors like Julie Andrews in The Sound Of Music. (but my hair was longer and my gown was hand embroidered)

We all want to retreat sometimes. Reading brings us where we want to go, safely, quietly. Another reader wrote telling me she had an illness that prevented her from leaving her house. Lord Of Desire brought her to England. Our books do that and I think it's an amazing gift.

I love to write, but with deadlines and book signings and all the other stuff that makes us 'professionals', I almost forgot why I love it. The magic you see in your child's eyes while you're reading her a bedtime story is just as real when an adult opens up a good novel. I want to be the one to bring the magic to them.

If anyone ever asks me again who I am trying to reach with my writing, this time I know what my answer will be. The over-stressed, the over-worked, the dreamer, the lonely, the misunderstood, and anyone who just wants to take a break and maybe meet a future king in the flickering light of a magnificent castle.

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