Monday, November 7, 2011

The Story Behind the Cover...

    My first holiday themed story is coming December 15th and I am very excited about it. I really am pleased with how the story turned out and equally pleased with the cover. 
  When I compared my cover to most Christmas stories, I noticed something a little different than what I've seen elsewhere. It's not "Christmas-y"
    My mind was pretty set on what I wanted on the cover, so it never occurred to me that while a lot of other covers have mistletoe, Christmas trees and snow, mine doesn't. Could this be because I write what I know and white Christmases are few and far between in deep east Texas? That's a possibility. 
    To be honest, when I wrote this novella back in 2009, I hadn't even considered submitting it as a holiday story. Kind of strange since it takes place at Christmas, right? 
    I thought of it more as a coming of age story, or even one advocating organ donation. Not that I am some big public spokesperson for the cause, but I have been personally affected by the need. 
    Some of you may know that my husband of fifteen years passed away suddenly in 2006, which is the main reason I began writing seriously in the first place. I couldn't afford therapy. *snicker*
    Although he and I had discussed at great length how we felt about being an organ donor, I never imagined one of us would ever have to make that call and actually follow through. So, when the hospital asked if I would consider donation when my husband died, I didn't hesitate. It's what he wanted.
   Organ donation, in that respect, was difficult, but as heartbreaking as it was, it was the right thing to do for me and my family. 
    Living donors may not be faced with making a serious decision under the dark veil of grief, but it isn't one to be taken lightly either. Serious thought must go into it as well as education. Informed decisions save lives and keeps donation in a positive light, just as it should be.  
     For me, as a writer, I like the idea of incorporating a message in my stories. Most of my works may be riddled with an erotic flare, but unless the story has real issues that real people endure everyday, what's the point?
    My Blood Hunter series dealt with child abuse, infidelity, autism, and even had a brief peek into early American history's shame of slavery. 
     Really? A vampire series had all that in it? It wasn't just about a bunch of vampire's with blood lust and a heightened sexual appetite? 
    No, and nothing I'll ever write will be just about those things. 
  Flesh Wounds dealt with depression, attempted suicide, single parenting and alcoholism. It wasn't a tragedy, by any means, but just the opposite. 
  They all have been. After all, what's the point if the story has no positive outcome?
    Building a story around serious social issues is the solid foundation for any story, but when a romance is created around these topics, it makes the happily ever after that much sweeter. 
  When you take into consideration the desensitized youth of today then maybe you can understand the need for bringing some good old fashioned values back into the world they live in and remind others that the  world doesn't end at the edge of your driveway. 
   Writing with a purpose, whether creating contemporary stories depicting real life issues or even correlating today's problems into a fantasy or paranormal, the message remains the same. Life is so much better when you learn something and a story is that much sweeter when it touches that special spot in your heart reserved for good tidings. 
    Now, I'm not one of those writers who shoves a message down your throat, nor am I one to say it's my way or the highway. I would like to think that the subtlety of the message finds a way to gently make a point without overshadowing the love and romance of the story, giving the reader dessert along with the hearty meal they paid for. 
    As a final note, it doesn't matter what you're reading, be it paranormal, historical, erotic or even fantasy and sci-fi, chances are the author had a reason for the subject matter and even if it isn't obvious, which I hope it isn't, you can rest assured that the author is giving you a part of themselves, whether it's from their personal experiences or not. 
    Somewhere, somehow, something bigger just may be there, nestled between the lines. 

Be on the lookout next week when 
Midnight Beckoning 
releases from eXtasy Books.

and then in December, when 
"The Long way Home" 
comes to town just in time for

Be sure to check out the 
"Stuff Your Stocking"
Blog Hop by clicking the tab 
for it at the top of this page!!
will be participating!!!


  1. I appreciate your honesty in your assessment of your writing, Robin. And I agree, without some sort of message what's the point in a lot of heavy breathing? For me, the message is the story. I can take it with graphic sex, implied sex, or no sex if the message comes through. Best wishes for continued success in your writing ventures.
    Pat Dale

  2. I'm so sorry about your husband :( I think it's beautiful that you both wanted to be donors like that.
    I like when stories have a message or deal with a certain subject or issue, even if it's a dark one like suicide or abuse. I think that's the appeal of the tortured hero/heroine, they need love that much more and to learn to trust again. It's a beautiful, powerful thing to watch the broken get healed be it in fiction or real life.
    Thank you so much for sharing. I love your cover :)
    I think you're a neat, beautiful person. God bless you.

  3. Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words, Pat and Zoey.
    I'm with both you, sex or no sex, the story needs to be believable. Don't get me wrong, I love my external conflicts, but internal conflicts really hit home. Real life issues do it for me every time.

  4. I too write characters with internal conflicts. We all have them, and battle them every day. I like that characters overcome them - I think it gives people hope they can too. Great post, Robin. Thanks for sharing something so personal. You're a treasure :)

  5. Robin, you are so right about writing with a purpose, something that can be a struggle for authors to promote in a society still filled with narrow mindsets who try to stereo-type the writers/readers that support and love the genre of romance fiction. I so admire you for finding strength and comfort in your passion for writing after such a tragic loss. I lost my 37 y/o sister to kidney failure, and your story so deeply resonates. I have a little red heart on my driver's license, and my family knows of my wishes to be an organ donor. One organ donor can save the lives of several people (7? 8?) And...I LOVE your cover for The Long Way Home. You've got what I call an all-season cover and just the fact that it's not decked out in Christmas finery will most likely make it stand out there even more :) I can't wait to get my hands on this story.

  6. @Lalani
    Thank you for the wonderful comment. I am so sorry for your loss. ((Hugs)) for that!
    As I said, I didn't force the topic on readers, but I did demonstrate how simple being tested for the registry is. I know from my own experience that no matter the side of a donation situation you may find yourself on, it's emotional and serious. Opening eyes to the subject, even if it's just one pair at a time, is the only way to save more lives. BTW, I have a little heart on my driver's license, too!!

    @Kellie, thank you for dropping by. You rock!! ;-)