Writing has been an evolutionary process. My first book was for the trade imprint of McGraw-Hill, but my passion was, and is, fiction. Along the path of discovery, I realized my work had some common themes--adversity, redemption, hope and faith. My first novel-at a whopping 750 pages was rejected outright by my agent, who told me to pare down the characters and "practice" with a new book.
My "practice book" turned out to be my first work for juvenile readers--something that I would have read when I was younger. It was, and is, full of these four themes; something I believe is so important for young readers. It seems that in today's world, the messages of personal faith is lacking-either in oneself, parents/adults-you name it. And along with it, the hope for a better, brighter tomorrow that can only come about with determination and discipline. My agent and I joke that my gift isn't writing; it's dog-with-a-bone-determination to become a better writer.
Now that I've taken up adult fiction for the second time, the themes are the same. The only difference is the setting, complexity of themes and the presentation. If I'm going to spend two or four hours reading a book, I want to feel better about life at the end. Someone told me that what one reads is the opposite reflection of that person's life. In other words, you read about what you don't have, or want. This has been true for most of my life. When my life was boring, I read horror or drama books. When I wanted to escape, it was fantasy and romance. During times of complete stress, I wanted People Magazine jelly-for-the-brain type reading.
Yet something happened a few years back. I started writing what I wanted to read but couldn't find. Or at least, didn't have the time to search for...and that's inspired a line of work that's now coming to market.
Now, as I've started to re-edit my original suspense/thriller novel, the same themes are present, but were hidden under too many sub-plots and convoluted characters. By reducing the number of characters, the substance has an opportunity to shine, which is infinitely more rewarding for me as the writer, as I'm sure it will be for the reader.