Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Reprint: From the desk of... R.E. Hargrave Blog Guest Post

Here's another "reissued" guest blog post while I'm tied up with editing. This particular entry was originally posted on July 30, 2013, on the From the Desk of... R.E. Hargrave blog in support of my newest release, Wishing Cotton. I was very appreciative of the opportunity and am grateful to R.E. Hargrave for hosting me. I'm providing the link to the original posting below; I encourage you to check out her blog!

Discuss three things that readers would be surprised to know about you.

I’m not sure that there is anything genuinely surprising about me, but I’ll give it a shot. To be honest, I have a tendency to over-share that makes keeping things hidden rather difficult. One must also consider what sorts of things would be surprising: my writing life or my “real” life. Let’s see what I come up with.

Back when I knew nothing about the publishing world or the reality of a writer’s life, I used to envision published authors as boldly striding towers of self-confidence. To be fair, it’s difficult to picture Shakespeare or Tolstoy or Byron or whomever having fits of insecurity. But they must have done. Every writer I have spoken to has said the same thing. Seeing your words in print is exciting, of course, but it also feels like you have left the house in your unmentionables and not much else. It exposes you in a way that is unique to the creative world. Many people have been surprised that I experience this as well. Since I serve as lead editor for Renaissance Romance Publishing, there is an expectation of self-confidence that goes along with the job. Sure, I am confident when I’m slicing into someone else’s baby. My own stories, on the other hand… Even a cover reveal or an announcement of an upcoming release fills my soul with dread. There are moments when I want to take it back and tell the publisher I was just kidding. It’s pitiful. Still, I do manage to control those insecure impulses and carry on with my work.

Another thing about me that might surprise people is that I am not an especially emotional person. Romance novels, by definition, deal with deep and often turbulent emotions, and the characters need to reveal their feelings through their words and actions. In real life, I am much more buttoned down. Both sides of my family shy away from emotional displays, so I suppose I just grew up in a less demonstrative environment. It seems strange to some people who know me in real life that a person like me would find romance an appealing genre, but it’s a mistake to equate lack of public expression with lack of comprehension. I do feel things very deeply, and I understand human emotion. All the same, it can be difficult to reconcile the real-life persona with the written word, and I think people who know me through my writing are surprised when they actually speak to me and find out I’m a much different person than the characters in my books.

I don’t know if this counts as “surprising,” but I have background knowledge in a very hodgepodge collection of subjects. Over the years, I have received at least rudimentary training in ballet, violin, piano, voice, drawing, Egyptian funereal art, theater, British literature, art history, business management, various areas of law, gothic architecture, Catholicism, Judaism, Methodism, Norse mythology, middle English verse, pottery, literary theory, American and British history, archeoastronomy, etymology, and Native American spirituality. All of this means that at any given moment, I may spit out a completely random fact on an obscure subject. My husband treats me like a walking Encyclopedia Britannica. To balance this out, I am completely useless at the most basic tasks like cooking, cleaning, and shopping. Friends have commented from time to time that I know more than they do, but I still envy all of them their ability to boil an egg without setting their homes on fire.

So that’s it – the three most surprising things about me I can think of! Thank you for reading, and I hope you’ll also read and enjoy my story “Wishing Cotton,” which is being released July 23, 2013, as part of the Heat Wave anthology from Renaissance Romance Publishing.

R.E. Hargrave Guest Post 7/30/2013

No comments: