Still Not Dead…

Despite rumors to the contrary…I am still living happily ever after in Swansea, Wales. With a REAL-life hero more wonderful than any book could ever be. And life gets better and better every single day.

Yes, but aren’t you ever gonna finish writing…especially Ægirs?

Back in November as part of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), I took a swipe at it. I got one more chapter edited and posted to Lit.

The problem is…After loving and living with a REAL hero, I am sick to tears of Sven.

Not just Sven himself…but that type of hero. The ‘bad boy’. The one who don’t know a good thing when he has it. The one who is afraid to commit. Who only knows mind games.

If that sounds like more than just a writer’s problem…it was. I spent thirty-five years trying to save more Sven’s than I want to count.

Here is the thing…

You CANNOT change another person.

Not even a fictional character it seems.

The thing is…knowing what I know now about what REAL love is…and is not…I don’t want to encourage other women with false hope and fantasies about ‘saving bad boys’ and living happily ever after. Because it don’t work.

Over the past few months, I have spent a great deal of time doing something I have not in a while…READING. Reading in my genre…trashy romance. Especially the best romance writer ever…

Bertrice Small.

ISkye started reading her books when I was thirteen years old. Yes, those books are way too racy for someone that age. Especially my favorite heroine…Skye O’Malley. But I snuck them off my Gran-Gran’s bookcase to read in secret.

I have discovered a theme to Bertrice Small and the handful of other writers that I have enjoyed over the past few months….

Saving bad boys is not the only theme…the only conflict…for a great romance.

Heroes, especially good ones, are men. Real men who know what they want when they see it. Who are not afraid to grab the opportunity…or the woman of their dreams…when she comes along. Even if SHE is the one with her doubts and insecurities (I was).

The truth is…life is full of enough conflict, struggles, and obstacles even when you love and are loved by the perfect millionaire Dom (and I should know).

You don’t need conflict between your hero and heroine to make a good story. If it takes 300+ pages of whining, fighting, and doubting for a man to grow the fuck up…then is he really worth all that shit the heroine goes through?

It is so much nicer and emotionally healthier when the hero knows what he wants…goes for it…wins the heroine over…in the first 50 pages…and they spend the rest of the book fighting together to overcome their demons…getting their shit together TOGETHER…and earning their happily ever after.

That is the kind of story I want to write! The kind of love I believe in. And the kind I have found with my Cookie Monster.

So where does that leave me? And you?

I will finish those last couple of chapters in Ægir’s this year. Just realize that when a writer has lost her passion for characters or a certain, it is not as easy or as quick. Or I fear as good. Trying to figure out how to ‘save’ Sven when I want to shake him and tell him that ALL of it is his fault…is quite a challenge.

I am writing other things…non-fiction on autism, parenting, and home education too. So that divides my time. As well as remodelling a 150-year old mansion that Cookie Monster bough for this Cinderella. #RadiCoolUnschooling my daughter. Life is as full as it is good.

But yes, I do still want to write romance…a different kind. I am going through my unfinished…and finished stories…looking at which ones match this criteria.

The Arrangement just squeaks by…because while Daniel was a bit of jerk…once he made the commitment to Jill it never wavered. Its follow-up story, Rings of Fire, with Doc and his ex-wife…MORE than meets the bill. As does my story, Nothing Done in All. All of those are finished already…just need edits before releasing.

Then there are some I want to finish…Nightwalker’s Woman. Perhaps Fall of Man, Forbidden Fruit, and a couple of others. But it won’t happen over night. It will take time.

And of course…the rebranding as Raquel Graffen must be done too. While I have no shame about what I write…I also don’t want some small minded people to discount my non-fiction books or inspirational romance like Sergeant Mike and Angel’s Wish because of the racier stuff.

So that is what is up with me…I will do my best to keep you all update…

And if you are curious about the tamer stuff I am up…check out #HomeCrazzyHome.

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