Have you ever heard of the author Marilyn Pappano?? Yeah… me neither. She has written over 80 books… but they fall under the ROMANCE genre, which isn’t something I read normally. Her latest… A Hero To Come Home To… has been on many ‘must read’ lists lately so I thought I’d check her out.
She wrote an essay on the topic ‘Why I Write’. My jaw dropped as I read it. Except for a paragraph towards the end… I could have written this exact essay!!! It was almost like she read my mind and wrote it all down. Well… and of course I haven’t written any books yet, so there’s that portion to omit.
I rejoice!!! I am not alone!!! I’m not crazy!! OK… I went a little far… but I’m sure you get my drift. Read the essay below and tell me what you think.
Copied from the Publlishers Weekly site… dated November 8, 2013 is her essay:
When I told my mom the news of my very first book sale, she heaved a sigh of relief. “So you’re not weird, after all. You’re a writer, and writers are supposed to be eccentric.”
That, in its simplest form, is why I write. It’s not what I do; it’s who I am. Though, yeah, it was nice having an excuse for my persistent weirdness
But there are other reasons. I write to escape, to grow, to make use of a world where I don’t always fit in. I write to share my emotions and opinions, to make sense of life, and to use up the surplus of words that float around in my brain. I’ve always been a talker, and if not for the outlet the books provide, people would be hugely sick of my voice.
I find sanctuary in writing. The real world can be a brutal place. Really, what control do we have in our lives? So many of the decisions that make or break us are out of our hands. We have to deal with politicians, corporations, the unfairness of life, the ugliness of the human condition. We can work our very hardest, do our very best, and still fail.
But the worlds in my head (always two or three of them at any given time): those are mine. I am in control. I am the queen of everything that happens in them. There is no problem facing my characters that I cannot make better, no hurt I can’t fix, no happiness I can’t express. The scariness of life, disappointment, betrayal, chaos, peace, death, love, hate, guilt, indifference, heartache—with all those excess words looking for an outlet, I can make things right for those characters.
I not only get to provide cheap entertainment for myself, which is pretty cool, but I can entertain other people. Readers have shared their fears with me, their memories, their low points, and their hopes for high points, and they do it because I’ve written characters going through what they’re going through. I may not have personal experience, but I have loads of empathy, and those wonderful words help that to come across.
When I was a kid, words weren’t so lovely. I had a speech problem, and only those closest to me could understand me. Kids teased, and teachers got exasperated. Two great things came out of it: my love of reading (books didn’t laugh) and my habit of observing others at any and all times. I still do both, still love both, and put them together in every page I write.
I write because I’m eccentric, and because words have the power to wound but also to heal, to enlighten and encourage and entertain and amuse, and to satisfy a yearning in all of us. And because words are also truth, I do it because I really am weird. And I’m okay with that, because I am a writer.
And here’s another blurb from her that totally resonates with me. Taken from her blog…
I’m never at a loss for words. I can easily say in a hundred words what someone else can say in ten. Like Seinfeld, I can talk a lot about nothing.
But sometimes I find myself at a loss for meaningful words. My husband asked me what it felt like when I get a particular vertebrae that gives me a lot of trouble adjusted, and all I could come up with was, “Good.” I’m pretty sure that if I put myself into a character who was asked the same question, I could describe the touch of the hands; the pressure, gentle at first, then increasing; the hard push; the twist of the hands; the loud craack!; the instant of pain, followed by warmth and tingling; then the relief.
I hear about someone who’s going through a tough time, and I say, “Poor thing” or “Bless her heart,” when the heroine in my current book would say, “Oh, that poor darlin’. That just breaks my heart. I can’t imagine where she’ll find the strength to get through this, but I’ll pray that she does, and you tell her, if there’s anything I can do for her, just let me know.” While my heroine in my other current book would say, “Geez, that sucks. She must have really pissed off the universe. If I were her, I’d have a couple drinks, put on my boots and start kicking ass. And there wouldn’t be any taking of names.”
It’s not that I don’t feel/know/understand things. I just put all those feelings/knowledge/understanding into books instead. In real life, “good” is good enough for me.
Like I said… I don’t read ROMANCE… but I’ll be honest, if her books are anything like these examples I might have to pick one up and give it a try.
For more information on Marilyn… check out her site at www.marilynpappano.net