Don’t Worry Be Happy
I believe in happy endings.
While I can’t quite call myself a romance writer, I still believe in happy ever after, or happy for now. Okay, maybe happyish. Since I like to blow things up and kill people off (usually the bad guys), not everyone is going to have their happy ending. Well I’m usually happy about it. I’m having way too much fun thinking of new ways to make trouble.
My mom said recently, “I didn’t know you had such a dark side.” Truth is I’m a nice person, except to my characters and I’m a pretty happy person. I work at being happy. It’s not always easy. Sometimes life really sucks, and it is too easy to get mired down in what is wrong. Over the years I’ve had to give myself pep-talks, allow myself to have a brief pity party and then get on with living. I’ve had to deal with unpleasantness and realize I’m stronger than I ever believed. I’ve had to decide to be happy and sometimes I’ve had to fake it until I felt it. That’s not saying I don’t have my blue days, my crying jags, my broken-hearted moments, I just choose not to live there and some days, like battling the characters in my stories, it’s a real fight to find my happy. But having a job where you can kill off the bad guys, blow things up and not have to worry about getting your hands dirty is pretty therapeutic.
Mom also mentioned she wished I’d write some “nice” stories. Don’t get me wrong, my mom has become one of my biggest fans, she often proof-reads my stories before I publish them. She has a great eye but she’s at an age where she likes up-lifting stories of hope and faith. I get that but that’s not where I am in my own journey. I think for me, writing the Leeward Files has allowed me to get out some of the darkness that has touched my life either in reality or through contact with others. To keep all of that hate and anger bottled up can destroy a person, like my character Phil. He is so twisted by what was done to him that even though he is trying to do what is right, he goes about it in very wrong ways. It’s not that Phil doesn’t know right from wrong, he just doesn’t see why it should matter if the results are good.
The Leeward Files has become a labor of love. Most of you who have read the series know it is loosely based on my hometown of Aurora, North Carolina. My town is dying. I love this town and would love to see it revitalized. There is so much potential here. When I look at this town, I see what it could be. I see Leeward without all the murders and sex trafficking. We really don’t need all of that here. The town is surrounded by water, the Pamlico Sound, the Pamlico River and South Creek border the peninsula. Farmland and forest still dot the landscape. The community, while not perfect, is like a big extended family. When we lost our home to fire people came together to help us, people we didn’t even know. When the backside of town flooded during Irene, people worked together to rebuild. Every day I am inspired by the people and beauty of this place, yet down town is dying. We have no grocery store. Windows are being smashed out. People are leaving. Houses are sitting vacant. Burned out homes are being allowed to sit as eyesores because no one can afford to have them torn down. When I imagine what I’d do if I won the lottery or managed to snag a movie deal, I’d have to fix up this town I love. I’d love to bring back some of the beauty and charm and make it a place people would want to come to. Anybody got a winning lottery ticket I could borrow? How about a movie deal, I’ve got some great books that would make awesome movies, and I know a town where we could film it! I’m just saying, I know a guy…
In my series, The Leeward Files, Evergreen Crystals was to be my happy ever after story for my previous heroines: Rae Lynne from Chrome Pink, Dana from White Gold and Jenna from Titanium Blue. The three best friends have found the loves of their lives and plan to settle down. Jenna and Tar plan to stop their divorce and try to be a family again. Rae and Logan are expecting a baby and she has agreed to marry him even though she terrified she might ruin his life. Jake is feeling the pressure to propose to Dana with both of her best friends getting married but is that the right course for them? Not everyone has to get married and have babies to have a happy ever after. I really thought Evergreen Crystals was going to be my sweet romance story. It is romantic, it’s sexy but I couldn’t resist killing somebody and causing trouble and well, it still has a happy ending. Don’t worry, be happy. Now as for the next books…he, hee, heee, I did tell you I’m having too much fun blowing things up. Well, let’s just say, the next three books are giving me a lot of therapy.
So, if anyone goes missing or if there is a mysterious fire, it wasn’t me. I prefer to do my crimes on paper, it’s less messy that way. If you like suspense thrillers with strong romantic elements set in a small southern town, check out my Leeward Files Series and thanks for stopping by.
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